Sabino Canyon and Sweetwater Wetlands in December 2015

Mary Ann and I went to Sabino Canyon and Sweetwater Wetlands in southern Arizona.

We left at about 8 on Wednesday morning, December 30, and arrived at the Canyon at about 10:00. Sabino Canyon is a beautiful spot near Tucson, Arizona. Sabino Creek runs through the canyon, with several small waterfalls along the way. It is a popular birding spot. This trip was more for birding than hiking, which means we didn’t get very far on the hike, instead spending time ‘chasing’ birds. We went to Sabino dam and spent time in the riparian area there. There were a lot of birds. The only new one I got was the Pyrrhuloxia. There is a leucistic Phainopepla there. We saw lots of Phainopepla, but we didn’t see the┬áleucistic. The term ‘leucistic’ means it is a partial albino, and the leucistic Phainopepla is all black (as usual) except for a white crest. Unfortunately, I didn’t get any landscape pictures to show how beautiful it is there – I didn’t want to switch lenses for the landscape shot.

The only negative about Sabino canyon is that it is very crowded. There is a huge parking lot there, which was full. We joked that it’s like Disneyland. It seemed to me that the area handled the crowd well, because it wasn’t really a problem. We stayed off of the paved path most of the time.

After Sabino Canyon we went to the Sweetwater Wetlands. This is an area with recharge ponds similar to Water Ranch in Gilbert. It is in north Tucson near the freeway (the I-10). I would say the highlight was the Red-naped Sapsucker. I was also happy to get a picture of the Common Yellowthroat. They are fairly common, but I’ve never been able to get a decent photograph before.

Here are the pictures:

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