August 29, 2013

A little before sunrise at The Stocktank, the first Teal take wing. I’ve been lulled so long into endless San Pedro summer I didn’t expect the return of waterfowl so soon (it’s later than I think), and did not approach the water carefully enough to be able to see which species of these famously jumpy duck they were. Too large for Green-winged, they’re either Cinnamons or Blue-winged. A set of owls is gossipping still, probably saying about the human with no stalking skill, “Now there’s a lubber!” A lone Summer Tanager calls out its pik-tuk-tukk, but doesn’t sing. Was that a Wilson’s Warbler already? Something yellow, small, bright.

Masses of swallows are over the pastures, probably on that ethereal path heading south. A large flock of large blackbirds shoots past on high, too high to figure out what they are but I’m guessing they’re the first Brewer’s returning or passing, could be going to winter anywhere from here to Tehuantepec, truly a “North American” species. So many of the birds of this place are restive … coming, passing, or thinking of leaving. Overhead are silhouettes of many I’m certain are on the move, with bills pointing south.

The Sonoran Desert Toads smug in the knowledge of how they’ve arrived uptown there in the much-watered native grass seedling field have grown to silver dollar size.