Mike Swink and I (and Mike's son) birded Fletcher Canyon this morning. Overall, the area was fairly quiet, likely due to fairly windy conditions and low water flows in the creek. However, we were able to build a decent species list, and the best bird of the day (at least for the morning) was a PACIFIC WREN. The bird stayed on or near the ground the whole time, but let us approach fairly closely before scurrying away under the brush. It was seen perhaps a quarter to a third of the way between where water can first be seen and where the canyon closes into a slot canyon as you walk up the trail. The section in which it was seen was a north-south running bend in the canyon.
After leaving Fletcher Canyon around noon, we headed down to Floyd Lamb State Park to see what we could rustle up. We walked fairly quickly past the ponds and park area to the natural area in the Northeast section of the park. We did not see a single cormorant at any of the ponds on our way past. Upon entering the natural area, we weaved our way through a film crew in the process of filming a movie on our way to the biggest cottonwoods at the eastern end of the riparian stringer. As we reached perhaps the third to last cottonwood, a small raptor flushed and flew towards the last cottonwood. We had just seen an adult Cooper's Hawk, so my gut was telling me that that's what we flushed. However, when we relocated the bird with binoculars, it was clearly more in line with a Buteo than an Accipiter. We played with the idea of stumbling on the first Gray Hawk record for the state, particularly because of an apparent white patch on the rump when the bird flew. However, all other signs pointed to BROAD-WINGED HAWK, including spotted thighs (not barred) and a lack of a prominent white cheek (though some mottled white was present on the cheek). Hopefully someone else can go out to check it out and verify, if it's still around. Either way, we took lots of pictures of the hawk to submit to the NRBC. Unfortunately the film crew began rolling tape right as I was photodocumenting the BWHA. They asked me to step out of their shot when they noticed me in the background. I had enough shots of my own at that point, so I obliged. Everyone was very friendly, just thought I would throw that information out there as a precautionary note of what you might expect to see if you go looking for the bird.
The following is a complete species list for both sites today.
Floyd Lamb State Park:
Fletcher Canyon trailhead is off of Kyle Canyon road in Clark County Nevada. Floyd Lamb State Park can be accessed off of North Durango in Northern Las Vegas.