I led the Tucson Audubon Society Field Trip this gorgeous Arizona morning to the Tubac Anza Trail first south of the bridge, then north from 7:30 AM to 11:30 AM. It was much quieter than expected and earlier in migration than I had hoped, despite the leafing cottonwoods and late spring temperatures. We only tallied 41 species by my count. LESSER GOLDFINCHs, BEWICK'S WRENs and CHIPPING SPARROWs represented about 90% of the avian biomass we saw today.
Highlights were two COMMON BLACK-HAWKs that took off from the cottonwoods where the river bends away from the highway about 250 yards south of the wastewater plant. They circled low overhead, gave stunning satisfying looks and floated northward on warm southerly breezes.
A single HAMMOND'S and a very cooperative sunlit DUSKY FLYCATCHER were nice studies. VERMILION FLYCATCHERs were abundant and bright. BROAD-BILLED HUMMINGBIRD numbers reached ridiculous proportions (60-75 likely) and were perched atop a mesquite at every bend in the trail.
We saw one pioneer LUCY'S WARBLER and the flood of WHITE-WINGED DOVEs has begun, but we saw no Elegant Trogon, no Summer Tanagers, no Bell's Vireos, no Ash-throated Flycatchers and no Hooded Orioles. A few fleeting glimpses of Gray hawks may have been had by some, but the circling screaming matches will likely start very soon. With continued warm temperatures, the migrants can't be far away.