Day 40 – Phoenix, AZ and Santa Cruz Flats, AZ

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I wrap up my AZ jaunt with 381 species!!

I’m heading home to Naples and can’t wait to sleep in my own bed. It’s been 34 days. Simple things become luxuries when you live on the road.

Today we went to the “Thrasher spot” known to birders as the best place to find Le Conte’s Thrasher. This Sagebrush habitat looks barren but supports a surprising number of species. After several hours of walking around in circles, we find not only Le Conte’s but also Bendire’s and Sage Thrashers!

I give props to anyone who can photograph the Roadrunner-like Le Conte’s! A feat I couldn’t accomplish.

After a fruitful day in Phoenix, we headed back to Tucson to try one more time for the Rufous-backed Robin which had become my nemesis bird for 2017. I felt nauseous when I saw the exit for the Santa Cruz flats. I’d tried 4 times for this bird and another failure was gonna mess with my head.

Don’t know if it was my lucky horn, but this time we nailed it! It figures that the bird would only give me a butt shot.

Very happy to be returning home and birding on familiar grounds. Hope that Great White Pelican shows back up on Sanibel Island!!

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