I’m in the middle of leading field trips for the “Spring Fling” of the Southwest Wings Birding Festival in Sierra Vista, Arizona. This is their second year offering a short festival of field trips only during the spring, while they still do a full-fledged festival (with talks, workshops, vendors, displays, etc.) in August. I’ve been leading field trips off and on for this festival since 1994.
Wednesday night was my owling field trip, and we quickly connected with Elf Owl (in a nest cavity in a dead Arizona Sycamore), a Whiskered Screech-Owl pair, and this Western Screech-Owl.
The passage of a front to the north of us brought some brutal winds up higher though, so our attempts at seeing Flammulated or Spotted Owl and Mexican Whip-poor-will were thwarted.
Then yesterday (with the winds continuing), I took my group of nine participants to a couple places on the San Pedro River, where we saw nearly 60 species of birds, including a pair of Northern Beardless-Tyrannulets at their nest, migrant Western Tanagers, and this handsome male Pyrrhuloxia.