Time for some catch-up here.
After my visit in Utah, I drove south as far as Chandler, a suburb of Phoenix and stayed with my new friends Jon and Rob. The next day I participated in the Gila River Christmas Bird Count about an hour west of Phoenix. Several teams worked hard all day, and at the compilation dinner we learned we had set a new record high species count. My best contributions were the only Ross's Goose and Hermit Thrushes. Here's my team climbing down from a lunch-time overview of the Gila River.On December 31 I did the Peloncillo Mountains CBC in far SW New Mexico, just over the border from Arizona. I rode over with Alan Craig, who was in Tucson for errands, and stayed at his and Narca Moore-Craig's place in Portal. It was a memorable trip. Highlights were a Long-eared Owl and a Bobcat. Here are my area teammates Jon Dunn and Raymond VanBuskirk.