May 18, 2013

Birds of gold, glittering on the edges of every little muddy bay of The Stockpond. Common Yellowthroats, several Western Tanagers, Yellow and Wilson’s warblers. The Yellow Warblers are given the bum’s rush by several Lucy’s; they’re chased off. That done, the Lucy’s “high tail” it to the other side of the pond to perch instead around the hydrant where the cleanest water is to be enjoyed. Beyond all these birds occupied with slacking their thirst, Silver-leafed Nightshade makes a bank of purple flowers. The Wilson’s Warblers should be near the end of their time here, and these will indeed turn out to be the last seen this migration. Their numbers were noticeably down over those of past years, and the timespan of their passage (less than a month) also seemed much shortened.

Later at lunch, a (the same?) Spotted Sandpiper returns to spend the day, and many more Western Tanagers are hanging out at this their favorite waterhole for now. Cliff Swallows zoom in and zoom out, dipping to the water surface in their low swing of flight. A female Summer Tanager gathers nesting material along the flat shore at the west side, and there come along a last pair of White-crowned Sparrows to have a drink before they set off northward and soon out of Arizona for the summer.