There are 10 recreation sites at the Salt River in a 13 mile stretch, and all of them are good for birding. I had time for 3 of them this morning. My first stop was at the Granite Reef Recreation Area. In two hours of birding at Granite Reef, I recorded nearly 50 species.
Migrant diversity wasn't as high as I expected it would be here today, but there were still some highlights. I had my first-of-fall "AUDUBON'S" YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS (5-6), 2 RUBY-CROWNED KINGLETS, and a GRAY FLYCATCHER. Most of these birds were in the picnic area. I particularly enjoyed seeing the Gray Flycatcher pump it's tail like a Phoebe over and over while I observed it.
Vermilion Flycatcher (first year male)
Granite Reef Picnic Area
The Salt River: Where the Great Blue and other Great wade
Salt River Wild Horses
The wash has water flowing through it seasonally as a water run-off during the tubing season. There isn't any water running through it now, although there were spots with a few small pools. The upside to this is that it's easier to walk through the wash, but the downside is there are usually a lot more birds with the water running through. I had my best looks ever at a Northern Waterthrush at this location, which was a bird I was hoping for when I came today.
Blast from the past-a Northern Waterthrush at Willow Wash in 2011
Ladder-backed Woodpecker (what looks uncomfortable to us is this bird's routine life-upside down!)
Butcher Jones mesquite bosque (winter Gray Flycatcher habitat)
Butcher Jones Beach
Till next time....Good Birding!