The robin was very skittsh though, and it was hard to get any good photos but here are a couple more.
While I was off trying to photograph the robin and not lose it another bird flew up and into the canopy.
Right when I got my binocs on the bird I knew it was a Varied Thrush! When I looked back to signal Mr. Paul he told me that he saw the bird. The Varied Thrush was a bird both Mr. Paul and I have dreamed of seeing ever since we first saw the cover on the Sibley's Guide to the birds of Western North America.
I only saw the bird once before it disappeared into the riparian forest. Mr. Paul and I walked a little further to see if there was anything else new but we came up empty. So we walked back to where we saw the birds and they were both along the so called river, and at one point they were within twenty feet of each other!
Both Mr. Paul and I were stoked to have two rare birds, one that is rare for North America and another that is rare for AZ, but it got even better when we found a continuing rare for Maricopa Williamson's Sapsucker!
On our way back to the Picnic Area along the River Ramble I was able to get my third lifer of the day, a calling Winter Wren! Along the Palm Lake Loop we had another couple of highlights to add to our morning, a Gray Flycatcher and possible flyover from a calling Red Crossbill.
While I was sitting at the Picnic area waiting for Mr. Paul to come I found a Fox Sparrow, and after friend and fellow birder Mr. Tommy D saw the photos he said it was a rare for AZ Red Fox Sparrow! Thanks Mr. Tommy!
We were able to see and hear 41 species at the preserve and we birded at this birders paradise for about four hours! After birding the preserve we drove for half an hour until reaching Lake Pleasant. The Maricopa side of the lake held a Pied-billed Grebe a few Ring-billed Gulls, some Buffleheads, and a dozen Snow Geese. But on the Yavapai side we spied two continuing Brown Pelicans.
We also had a Ring-billed Gull that flew right by us.
By the end of the day we had many highlights and Mr. Paul got himself 8 year birds (only seven away from 200!) and I got 6 bringing my year list to 279 (29 species above my list last year). Thanks for the awesome day of birding Mr. Paul!!!