On January 10th, Caleb Strand, Mark Brogie, Ellen Brogie, and I, teamed up and birded in the Sunflower area of northern Maricopa County. We followed that up with a visit to the Salt River for over three hours. It was a very fun day, and the four of us made a great team. Mark and Ellen are snowbirds from Nebraska, where they are awesome birders too. Mark keeps incredible records for the state of Nebraska.
At Sunflower, we had highlights of Mountain Chickadees, Olive Warbler, Townsend's Solitaire, and more. There wasn't anything to scream about, but it was a pleasant time in an on and off rain period.
The Lower Salt River Recreation Area via Saguaro Lake provided the best enjoyment. At Butcher Jones Recreation Site we were treated to a fearless Sora as well as two Pyrrhuloxias feeding in the picnic area.
On January 5th, a Prairie Warbler was reported from Saguaro Lake. Lauren Harter found out about where it was seen, and today, the four of us went to check it out on one of our stops. We were shocked about the location being one to harbor a Prairie Warbler. I description written by David Wiedenfeld, the bird's finder, had a good description. We looked around for a bit and really weren't feeling like we would re-find the warbler. While looking at birds on the lake, we heard a chip note behind us after thirty minutes of looking and deciding not to look for the Prairie Warbler anymore. It was the Prairie Warbler himself, and it was incredible. The warbler found us, we didn't find it. Once it found us, we enjoyed it for over thirty minutes as it worked mesquite and paloverde trees lining the lake. At times it went elsewhere into dry desert areas. Throughout our times watching it, it put on a show for us. It was incredible to me that I had just seen my life Prairie Warbler only two months ago in Gilbert, and now I was looking at my second one two months later. This one is an adult male, and is striking. It is a much better looking warbler than the young first year bird that many saw at Gilbert Water Ranch!