So I'm back in Virginia. All went well today with traveling from LA and what a trip it was!
My goal for the Arizona trip was to reach 400 species for year's end and I was at 378 when I went to Arizona. I knew that in all likelyhood that I would pass 400 but never in my craziest imagination did I expect to add 51 new year birds (including 48 lifers!) and be at 429 when I returned home. W O W!
A few "trivia" bits from the trip:
-I stopped off in Denver on my way to Arizona, hoping for an American Dipper. Could not find a dipper but got my life Clark's Nutcracker.
-I reached 400 species on the first birding day in Arizona, with 21 new birds that day.
-a flock of Brewer's Blackbirds was bird number 400.
-the rarest bird was the Rufous-capped Warbler seen near Madera Canyon.
I'd like to give a BIG THANK YOU to everyone that helped me on this trip! An especially huge thank you to Laurens Halsey, our guide in Madera and Florida Canyons on Saturday! What a time and amazing birds, Laurens. Thank you. Thanks to everyone else: guides at Tucson park bird walks, the "Mountain Plover people" that found me Mountain Plover on Friday, and many others.
My plan now? For the last 2.5 weeks I'll really be in "cleanup" and chase mode in the "local" states and hopefully add a few more birds. Tomorrow my mom and I will discuss our "chase plan" for Maryland for the Black-headed Gull and other more common birds there.
I will plan to post photos from the trip over the next few days.