female Bushtits (Psaltriparus minimus), common in Arizona.
As I continued along the trail, I was hearing a "Bee-Buzzz" call that sounded very much like a Blue-winged Warbler. I then heard more Buzz-trilling calls and again saw Bewick's Wrens singing from tops of trees. Another Verdin later, I walked by the Bell Rock formation and noticed a small flock of White-throated Swifts circling overhead. I was able to put the scope on several holes in the rock face where the birds were entering and exiting. Cool! Several Anna's Hummingbirds also buzzed by as I walked.
I ended up walking past it, as well. It was fine w/ our presence.
Robin and I hooked up, and we began to head back. I would run into several more Bewick's Wrens, and more Juniper Titmice, but would be unable to get any pics. Another Spotted Towhee made a nice digiscoping subject. I then chatted w/ a couple from Ottawa who were asking about the Western Scrub Jays that were flying about - they looked nothing like the Whiskey-Jacks (Gray Jays) they have back home...
It was much quieter this afternoon than it was in the morning. Skies were also very overcast, and it was about 80F. Still, I walked the Big Park Loop hoping to get a few more digiscoping opportunities. Western Scrub Jays were about the only birds actively calling and flycatching. Another Canyon Towhee appeared close enough to digiscope in poor light.
After a while it flew off, and returned to a snag that allowed me to see it face-on. I fired away at full magnification, trying to steady the scope while a D300s, 300/2.8VRII and binoculars dangled from my neck. I managed enough keepers (I hope) that I could continue on the trail and leave the bird to defend its territory.
popped its head out for several minutes, then scrambled out onto the clay-colored rock. I slowly backed up enough to photograph it w/ the 300/2.8 VRII, then backed up even more so that I could digiscope it (at left)!
Day 7 was a quiet day. We decided to stay near the resort for the day, so we walked into town to check out some of the art galleries. Forecasts called for strong winds today (up to 60 mph) so we made sure to get back to our cabin before they hit. It was time to pack, anyway, so a nice lunch at the resort (creekside) was called for.
We headed home on the 7th of March, but had to drive back to Phoenix. This gave me some time to do some last birding (from the car), which was not too bad. We stopped at a McDonald's to get a soda, and I was able to spot a pair of Chihuaha Ravens near much larger Common Ravens. Just outside of Phoenix we stopped at another McDonald's where I found a Gila Woodpecker atop a wooden dumpster of all places. A Eurasian Collared Dove made for a nice cap to the trip.