Axiom---A bird you are looking for, no matter how common, will be hard to find.
The latter months of a big year, the list of target birds gets shorter. Well, for John, it isn't that short, but still, when we arrive at a spot, there are only a few birds to look for.
We stayed at Bishop, CA, Sunday, August 26th, and drove through to Sunflower AZ by 3 PM, August 27th. There is a short residential road that we drove up and down several times looking for Common Black Hawk and Zone-Tailed Hawk. There were TONS of Turkey Vultures coming in for the night to confuse things, but we did pick out a Zoney or two. 633 Bob, a local resident, showed us the Black Hawk nest, said the two adults and two juveniles were still around and told us the screeching we were hearing was a Zoney. He encouraged us to stay until dusk and return early the next morning. Driving down the hill towards Tucson, we debated if we should go all the way back up to Sunflower. A CASINO, a Radisson Hotel, forty-nine bucks for a room, nice restaurant, only thirty miles back to Sunflower, SOLD!
BUT the next morning, no 'Common' Black Hawk. Even Bob hadn't seen one.
We headed to Mount Lemmon by Tucson. John related to me that he had been to at least eight places where people had reported black hawks, some multiple times, since the end of June. They are notoriously hard to see, but John has looked for Virginia's Warbler in even more places. He has seen little gray jobbies, but not well enough to identify them. The calendar marches on. These birds may be winging their way south of the border now.
John is thinking about taking flight too. Cape May, Florida Cape, Alaska.