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.