I got down to Montosa Canyon before daybreak this morning, making a concerted effort to see if I could detect any Five-striped Sparrows. Nada, so even though they were pretty noisy in California Gulch last week, I think we may have to wait a few more weeks for a possible post-breeding wanderer or two to show up here? Was pretty birdy this morning with a number of the regular and expected species for this area. Was initially frustrated in trying to find BLACK-CAPPED GNATCATCHER and waded through a few of their BLACK-TAILED cousins before I got a nice and obvious male on the gravel off-shoot that heads up the southern ridge just past the paved crossing. Heard a MONTEZUMA QUAIL, saw some nice male VARIED BUNTINGS and got onto an energetically singing CRISSAL THRASHER which surprised me a bit, not that they are up there but usually this time of year I have trouble finding them.
Afterwards, stopped over in nearby Agua Caliente Canyon. Wow, the hillsides there are a surprisingly bright green, given how little rain we have had down here this year, but on those hillsides dominated by ocotillo, they have put on every leaf possible after that one rain just a week ago. Noticeably less birdy over there but I got there a little later, and it gets hot fast down there and the bird activity quits accordingly.
Short stop at Amado WTP on the way back, there were a few BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING DUCKS there, hard to find otherwise down here this year and a juvenile BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON loafing on one of the floats.
"One pill makes you larger, and one pill makes you small
And the ones that mother gives you, don't do anything at all”
- Grace Slick, Jefferson Airplane