We left the Phoenix area early in the morning to arrive at the Sweetwater Wetlands and search for the gallinule. When we arrived we found out that the wetlands were closed for a couple hours due to bug spraying. Instead of waiting for the wetlands to open we decided to hit Sierra Vista first and search for the gallinule on our way back to the valley. Approaching the stand of trees which the flycatcher had been staying in, I heard my first lifer of the trip, the Cassin's Sparrow! We stopped the car and started searching the area in hopes of getting a visual. Cassin's Sparrows actually turned out to be fairly abundant in the surrounding grasslands and it wasn't too long before I spied one perched on a short tree!
While we were watching the CASPs a couple of Botteri's Sparrows popped up and started singing as well!
A Chihuahuan Raven added to the list of awesome birds we were seeing!
After enjoying the sparrows we walked a little ways down the road and all the sudden we spied the Scissor-tailed Flycatcher flyingout of the stand of trees!
Returning to its perch the flycatcher gave everyone outstanding views!
The Scissor-tailed Flycatcher was one amazing bird and it was actually more awesome than I expected it to be!
After an amazing experience with one of the most beautiful birds I have ever seen in my life we drove over to the San Pedro River to do some chill birding. The San Pedro River was perhaps one of the largest riparian areas I have ever birded and it was thick with birds! Six Yellow-billed Cuckoos, an Indigo Bunting, a couple of Gray Hawk, and more awesome birds added to our great morning of birding! After the San Pedro our next birding stop was Hunter Canyon where Ms. Susan and Mr. Gordon would drop Josh and I off so we could search for the Rufous-capped Warblers for a couple hours, a would-be lifer for both of us. The Rufous-capped Warbler was probably my most wanted lifer of the day as I have searched for them before in Florida Canyon and missed them by just a few minutes! Josh and I hiked a mile up Hunter Canyon and started scanning the area with both our eyes and ears. There was no sign of the warblers but while we searched a singing Greater Pewee made its way to Josh's life list! We had been searching the area for nearly an house and our hopes started fading, this Buff-breasted Flycatchers, however, started breaking the fall of a possible dip.
Josh and I loved the higher elevations of Hunter Canyon but we had to keep searching for the RCWAs! We ran into some birders from NoCal and we joined forces. Hiking up the canyon a little ways I got about 20 yards in front of the group when all the sudden I spied a Rufous-capped Warbler foraging at eye level in a douglas fir!!! I quickly called the group over and BOOM RCWA lifer views!!!!!!!!!
Josh and I were pumped but due to having to meet Ms. Susan and Mr. Gordon Josh and I hiked back down canyon. We then headed over to the Sweetwater Wetlands to search for the Purple Gallinule. Unfortunately no one had seen the gallinule that day so we didn't stay around long, and thus missed it. However, I can't complain because three out of four is pretty good especially since the fourth bird wasn't really a miss! Thanks Ms. Suan, Mr. Gordon, and Josh for the awesome day of birding!
In the mean time, the only birds that breed in AZ that I still need are Five-striped Sparrow, Buff-collared Nightjar, Eastern Bluebird, Flame-colored Tanager, Dusky Grouse, Gray Jay, Nutting's Flycatcher, and Black Rail I believe!