Bird #298 — Rock Wren

saipinctes (trumpeter) obsoletus (indistinct)

Monday, April 2, 1984 — 11:50 am

Coronado National Forest, Arizona — Sabino Canyon Recreation Area

The Rock Wren was my final North American wren.  I first saw one on a desert slope about halfway up the lower canyon.  It was perched on a rock approximately 40 feet up from the creek-side greenery, singing.  Just as it flew off, another one appeared at about the same height, just up the canyon.  This one was singing on an ocotillo stalk.

I continued walking up the canyon, but I didn’t see any more lifers.  It was getting hot.  I took off my sweatshirt and wrapped it around my waist but continued wearing my down vest.  I think it kept me cool because it blocked the sun.

Near the parking lot at the top of the lower canyon, I spotted a Rock Wren singing from a saguaro and another one climbing straight up a cliff wall.

I had the option of taking a shuttle bus down the canyon, but I decided to walk back down.  It was a long trip.  The place was crawling with people by this time, and I didn’t see much birdwise.  By the time I got back to the flats at the base of the canyon, I was bushed.  The walk across the desert to the visitor center almost did me in.  I stumbled up to the visitor center, pretty much wasted and called Mom to come get me.  I passed the time sprawled in the shade of a shelter watching Roundtail Ground Squirrels cavorting at my feet.  Mom and Sal showed up about half an hour later, at 3:30 p.m.

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