El Polin today

Smokey Bear

I was supposed to be birding in a remote canyon in SE Arizona today. Missing that would be worth a good sulk. I declined to mope and instead rode my bike to El Polin Spring at lunch to find a quiet park and my first good mix of migrants this spring.

A WILSON’S WARBLER sang at the spring. His putative mate took a bath. ALLEN’S HUMMINGBIRDS bathed and fought. Following a few interesting “whit” sounds uphill, I was lucky to hear them develop into the SWAINSON’S THRUSH song - four birds signing at once. They didn’t sing again in my hour there so I caught a good moment. A WARBLING VIREO worked the trees and plucked small red berries. My FOS PACIFIC-SLOPE FLYCATCHER had a big bug in his orange mandible and was slow to gobble it down because he was already watching the next fly like the audience at a tennis match. A BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK made an appearance, ate some berries, and then sang like a Robin on crack. Six TURKEY VULTURES flew overhead, not kettling but headed southwest. And then there were the expected SONG SPARROWS, RED-TAILED HAWKS (3), NUTTALL’S WOODPECKERS (2) and VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOWS(3). The HOUSE FINCHES were bright and noisy. Regular old ANNA’S HUMMINGBIRDS delighted. Would have loved a Kingbird like I’ve seen there on past mother’s day weekends, but I had plenty of good luck today.


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