Scorched Sweetwater

I discovered Sweetwater on my own, but always with the intention to come back with my buddy.

My buddy and I had intended to go a little farther afield today, but by the time we got underway, sunset was too close for our original plan. Sweetwater, though, is very close to our condo, still within the city limits of Tucson, and I thought we might get good bird sightings at sunset and dusk.

But it was a very different experience from my first visit. Much of the reeds and grasses had been cut back, and a fire had clearly been burning; parts of the wetlands were still smoking, and scorch marks were everywhere.

We didn’t see very many birds at all — clearly they had all found more hospitable habitats for the day — although I did find a bird’s nest up in a mesquite tree where I had seen an Abert’s towhee on my last visit.

But we learned a lot about fire, mosquito abatement (controversial though it is) and habitat management in an artificial urban water reclamation wetlands.

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