Woo hoo, another lifer! What with the 9 new lifer species on Tuesday I was pretty satisfied to have 10 new lifer species for the trip.
The site is where water runs down the mountain and you can see why it was chosen. It is a very special place. Most of the petroglyphs were on the wall on the right hand side of the photo above. You can see a direct shot of just part of the wall in the photo below. It is completley covered in rock art.
Bingo, Canyon Wren, another lifer species, number 11 for the trip. These little guys are gorgeous. Click on the photo for the larger version to see some of the details. I wish I could have gotten closer for a better shot.
On the way down we were trying to make better time as we were hungry but again a bit of movement caught my eye. I brough up my binos and there was a towhee, it looked like maybe an Abert's Towhee but something was amiss.
There was a vague central breast spot and the throat had this vague yellowish wash. I had just studied the towhee page in Sibley the night before. A quick flip to the page verified my suspicion. Canyon Towhee! Another lifer! I never thought I would add three new lifers on this hike.
On the way down we saw more Curve-billed Thrashers and I picked up a very distant Golden Eagle for my year list.
We could see it had landed on a nest. A second hawk soon flew in. I began snapping photos and trying to take in details. Both birds flew off one after another. There was an obvious white band at the base of the tail like a Harrier and Chelsey noticed a white band at the tip of the tail that I had missed as I was busy snapping photos. You can see both white tail bands in the above photo. The bird was dark with rusty red wash at the shoulders. Click to enlarge the above photo to really see the red. It was a pair of Harris Hawks. What a treat. That's another lifer and a perfect way to end our hike. That ended up being the last lifer bird I saw on the trip but what a way to end. Since this was not my first time to Arizona I was pretty happy to be able to add 13 new species to my life list.