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January 8th, 2011
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January Workshop: San Rafael Valley, Patagonia

Laura Stewart and Jenise Porter joined me for January’s Fun Birding Workshop. We visited a variety of sites, starting at San Rafael Valley. The highlight was a pair of WHITE-TAILED KITES , one of which we saw at close quarters. We also had good views of a MERLIN. Another car load of birders reported seeing a couple of Baird’s Sparrows but we missed out. We did get the opportunity to compare SAVANNAH and VESPER SPARROWS at close range.

San-Rafael-Valley-11-0108-01

Parker-Canyon-Lake-11-0108-02We headed on to Parker Canyon Lake but couldn’t find a Least Grebe. We did find five PIED-BILLED and a single EARED GREBE as well as up to 50 COMMON MERGANSERS.

Everyone was looking forward to getting to Patagonia and looking for the Rufous-backed Robins that had been there lately. A NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD was guarding the fruiting trees but after a while one of the RUFOUS-BACKED ROBINS appeared, was chased around by the mockingbird, and eventually gave us good views coming in to drink from the gutter on the roof of the house. The lighting was tricky but I got a photo.

Rufous-backed-Robin-Patagonia-11-0108-05

Williamsons-Sapsucker-Kino-Springs-11-0108-01At the Patons’ house we were entertained by a host of goodies including LAZULI BUNTING and INCA DOVE. It was nice to see LINCOLN’S SPARROW and GREEN-TAILED TOWHEE up close.

Finally, at Kino Springs, the PALM WARBLER continued in the area around the swimming pool, behind the restaurant. The male WILLIAMSON’S SAPSUCKER was also in the same area, as was another MERLIN.

It had been another successful workshop with both Laura and Jenise picking up welcome life birds. Click here for more information about my monthly Fun Birding Workshops.

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