The next day, June 24th, I had the craving to see this neat bird. I have seen Painted Bunting males in southeastern Arizona before in fall migration. They are striking at this time, but lose a lot of the green coloration on their back, thus they aren't nearly as cool as they are in spot-on breeding plumage like Caleb and Walker's bird is. I joined Barb Meding, Susan Fishburn, and Steve and Joan Hosmer at Tres Rios in pursuit of the Bunting. It would be a life bird for Susan if we could land it. We actually parked at Baseline and Meridian Wildlife Area and walked a shorter distance to Tres Rios in the area where the Painted Bunting was found. After 45 minutes went by, I heard the bird singing in a grove of mesquites in the area where Caleb and Walker had the bird. I yelled to my party that I had the bird singing and we all began to look. Susan and her eagle eye then spied our source perched high up in a distant willow.
Although distant at first, the bird was still distinctive as ever. Blue head, red body, green back. Holy Painted Bunting! I had to get closer. Walker and Caleb reported the bird to be highly vocal. The case was the same when I was there. This bird couldn't stop singing.
Branches got in the way here, but gosh, look at those colors..
I'll be honest, when I started birding avidly in Maricopa County, I thought I'd eventually get a female Painted Bunting in the County (which I already have), but I never thought I'd see an adult male singing in front of me.
The Painted Bunting was rather shy when I would get closer, but throughout the thirty minute observation I managed a few decent photographs and even better binocular views.
Hopefully the Painted Bunting will stay put, because it would be cool to see it again! Thank you Caleb and Walker.
My party of five were grateful for the sighting. It was cool to see Susan get her lifebird on a scenario like this. An adult male Painted Bunting in Phoenix in June was unheard of before this discovery. Here's my group: Steve, Barb, Joan, and Susan. Thank you everyone for a great morning of birding and succeeding on our main target in the Painted Bunting!
We saw two Barn Owls too. I can't leave any post owl-less.