Surprising Visitor at Sweetwater Wetlands

Yesterday I led the monthly Sweetwater Wetlands birding walk for Pima County Department of Natural Resources, Parks, and Recreation.  I was joined by eight eager birders on a beautiful early November morning.

Before we even left the parking lot, we had seen Yellow-rumped and Orange-crowned Warblers, Verdin, and Song Sparrow.  We also scoped a obliging Red-tailed Hawk on a power pole a couple of hundred yards down Sweetwater Drive.  Crossing the bridge, we headed down the east side of the wetlands we saw the first few of what would be many Yellow-headed Blackbirds.  They are really stunning birds!

The first recharge basin yielded dozens of American Wigeons, as well as a few Mallards.  A dozen or so Killdeer were joined by a single Least Sandpiper.  Along the trail we added a nice male Costa’s Hummingbird going after an insect breakfast.  At the ponds we added Pied-billed Grebe, American Coot, Common Gallinule, Great Egret, Black Phoebe, Vermilion Flycatcher, Cinnamon and Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shoveler, and Ruddy Duck.  In the rushes, we added Red-winged and Brewer’s Blackbirds.

Overhead we saw American Kestrel and Cooper’s Hawk.  We heard, but did not see, Soras and Marsh Wrens.

The star of the show was a brilliant male Baltimore Oriole in the southwest corner of the wetlands.  Talk about gorgeous!!  A most agreeable fellow too, as he remained in view off and on for several minutes.  The oriole adds to the list of eastern birds that have appeared at Sweetwater in fall over the past few years, joining Chestnut-sided and Yellow-throated Warblers and others.

We totaled 36 species for the morning.

Thanks to everyone who came out!

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

  • Subscribe
  • Categories

  • Archives

  • Recent Comments