I led the Tucson Audubon Society Field Trip to Scotia Canyon on the west side of the Huachuca Mountains this soggy morning. The road past Parker Canyon Lake and into Sunnyside and Scotia Canyons was in much better shape than expected given the heavy monsoon season.
On the way down on Route 83 from Sonoita, BOTTERI'S and GRASSHOPPER SPARROWs were actively singing.
A restroom break at Parker Canyon Lake yielded a WESTERN GREBE.
The Huachuca Mountains were shrouded in mist this morning and it was extremely humid with scattered thunderstorms when we arrived. Somehow we eked out 2.5 hours of partial sunshine and building thunderheads for a good walk in the canyon, albeit it was dark and a bit gloomy under the trees, and the birds were quieter than expected.
SULPHUR-BELLIED FLYCATCHERs were the exception as noisy pairs were calling throughout. We had a fantastic, open branch, sunny look at one at the start of the hike. An ELEGANT TROGON pair barked at us first up canyon and then down, with only fleeting looks through the vegetation and each time one or the other flew. BUFF-BREASTED FLYCACTHERs were numerous but mostly hidden while calling, though one individual on the ground held for quite a while. EASTERN BLUEBIRDs were visiting a nest cavity and WESTERN WOOD PEWEEs were just numerous.
Other birds included DUSKY-CAPPED FLYCATCHER, PLUMBEOUS and HUTTON's VIREOs, BROWN CREEPERs singing, GRACE'S WARBLER, CASSIN'S KINGBIRDs, PAINTED REDSTART, HEPATIC TANAGER, HERMIT THRUSH and the like, mostly normal stuff.
Just as we got back to the cars, it started to rain, and a hasty retreat was necessary to avoid an incoming heavy storm that chased us all the way back towards the Canelo Hills.