September 17, 2013

Though the goblets of Toloache blossoms are still fresh, abundant and fragrant on plants outside the fenceline along the road as if Summer were never to end, the bosque and ponds are without birdsong now in the dawn. It is quiet but for crickets, and a couple of chip-notes of arrived Fall sparrows.

Swainson’s Hawks continue to pass through, though in fewer numbers than I might expect–then today we make a field trip to the Nature Conservancy’s Cobra Ranch by way of Willcox and it is revealed that a main column of this bird must follow the Sulphur Springs Valley as a route south, rather than the San Pedro. Outside Willcox we pass a wide field, and on it there are mind-teasing numbers of Swainson’s Hawks at rest on the ground, the unmoving, standing birds evenly placed as if the whole were a vast farm of fighting cocks or a garden gnome storage lot. For a moment I almost unconsciously passed off all those hawks as just decoys someone had placed a little too carefully; I’ve never seen so many birds of prey in one ground spot before!