Although not as foggy as last week, this walk started off much quieter. Both the birds and the birders seemed to me extraordinarily quiet this morning. Our leader, Darlene Smyth, led us briefly through a few of the Feliz Paseos trails, but wisely decided it wasn’t worth the time spent there as there were only a few Verdin about.
We carpooled to the David Yetman trailhead which is (technically) on Camino de Oeste near Speedway/Gates Pass. While waiting for the group to gather we focused the spotting scopes on a Gilded Woodpecker and a Curve-billed Thrasher that were perched near the houses along the edge of the trail. After we gathered, we followed the trail for about a half mile or so and did have better luck seeing birds here. One of the first we saw was a Green-tailed Towhee bathing in a small rock indentation filled with water. The sunlight hit him just right and his rufous cap and green tail were almost iridescent. He was quickly joined by a Curve-billed Thrasher. Over the next few minutes we spotted several species of wrens. Cactus, Rock, and Canyon wrens all allowed us several opportunities to study them. Another Verdin also gave us a chance to study his species by sticking to the branches of some Paloverde and Ironwood trees below us. Other birds seen were Black-throated Sparrow, Gambel’s Quail, Phainopepla, Northern Mockingbird, Gila Woodpecker, Mourning Dove, House Finch, Loggrhead Shrike, and White-crowned Sparrow. Noteworthy is the fact that we didn’t see one raptor on this trip, however, an adult Bald Eagle fly over was noted in this very area later in the day.