Note: I am leaving for Camp Colorado in three weeks so I am a little bit panicked that I haven’t even gotten closed to being done writing about Chiri. So I am picking up the pace and should hopefully be finished by the time I leave for Colorado.
Lifers Denoted by Bold
The seventh day of Camp Chiricahua was chalked out to be a travel day from the Chiricahuas to Sierra Vista. We woke up at the research station to spend a bit of the morning birding around the Chiricahuas before departing from that magnificent mountain range. However, the birding there produced nothing terribly unusual save for a few more Montezuma quail.
Heading out of the mountains for the last time, we birding along Stateline Road where we were happy to find a couple of lazuli buntings, the first of the trip.
We then finally left the Portal area, headed towards the Huachuca Mountains.
On the way to lunch in Bisbee, we spotted a zone-tailed hawk and nearly ran over the first Abert’s towhee of the trip although not everyone saw it.
After lunch, we drove down to the Mexican border (after a brief false alarm about a black-chinned sparrow) where we sat for a few minutes waiting for birds to fly across to Mexico and therefore be countable for our Mexico lists. Despite having been to Mexico before, I was able to add a few species that are not found as far south as I was.
After that, we had one more stop before Sierra Vista. It was at a wastewater treatment plant where we were targeting yellow-headed blackbird. We were not disapointed and saw a number of blackbirds as well as some other birds that were localized in the area such as sora and marsh wren. We were additionally able to get good looks at a nesting curve-billed thrasher.
Not long after, we arrived in Sierra Vista where we relaxed for the rest of the evening, something that was much needed after a number of long days. However, the birding for the day wasn’t done as after dark we went to the parking lot of a shopping center where we were able to see a number of lesser nighthawks as well as a single common. I had heard lesser nighthawk before in Florida but I had never seen one before. Consequently, I was quite chuffed to get good views of them hunting around the light posts in the parking lot.
We then returned for the hotel where we would sleep before birding in the canyons around the Huachucas the next day.