I’m coming to hate birding with large groups and today was no exception. Twenty-seven birders showed up for the TAS trip to Las Cienegas and even though we split into two groups, it was still very noisy and generally not good birding for me. Despite that, there were a few friends and good birders among the group which more than made up for the lack of “seeables”. Raptors were perhaps the highlight of the day, with excellent comparisons*Zone-tailed and *Gray Hawks. Red-tailed, Swainson's, Cooper's, Northern Harrier and American Kestrels were also there for good measure.
Another good study was the comparisons between Western and Cassin's Kingbirds. Western Wood-Pewees were numerous on any exposed snags. The weather was a bit windy and that combined with the noise levels made warbler numbers seem very low. I did see Wilson's and Orange-crowned as well as a Warbling Vireo. Also seen were Summer and Western Tanagers, lots of Blue Grosbeaks, Green-tailed Towhee, plus Brewer's, Lincoln's, and Song Sparrows.