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April 14th, 2014
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Whitewater Draw, Chiricahua Mountains

A mammoth day of birding in Cochise County, with 115 species.

Whitewater Draw:
A splendid CANADA GOOSE. Great start!
The TEAL trifecta, plus an interesting but distant bird that resembled a weird GREEN-WINGED TEAL with a long bill – a hybrid, possibly?
About 20 WHITE-FACED IBIS.
Shorebirds included five AMERICAN AVOCETS, a SOLITARY SANDPIPER, a GREATER YELLOWLEGS, and six LONG-BILLED DOWITCHERS.
Also, a few NORTHERN HARRIERS, COMMON GROUND-DOVE, pair of GREAT HORNED OWLS in the barn, GRAY FLYCATCHER, a few CHIHUAHUAN RAVENS, TREE, NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED, BARN and a single BANK SWALLOW. Ten Javelinas were feeding out in the open, and included a whitish one.
We couldn’t find any Ruddy Ground-Doves, unfortunately.

Teal hybrid?

Great Horned Owl

Javelina

Javelina

This is what Whitewater Draw looks like in the summer, when there aren’t any cranes there…

Whitewater Draw

Whitewater Draw

Cave Creek Ranch:
As we arrived, we saw a couple of birders looking up at a hawk. I jumped out of the car and got an eye-full of a big rarity for this mountain range, at exactly the same time that Dave Jasper ran around the corner shouting GRAY HAWK! It was a pleasure to be present when Dave saw his first ever Gray Hawk in the Chiricahuas in, I think, 27 years of living and birding there. According to Reed Peters (who sadly missed it) it was also the first record for Cave Creek Ranch. It was being mobbed by a furious SHARP-SHINNED HAWK as it drifted up canyon.
A tatty, tan-striped WHITE-THROATED SPARROW (a smarter white-striped one has also been present lately).
Also there, ZONE-TAILED HAWK, MAGNIFICENT, BROAD-TAILED, BROAD-BILLED, BLACK-CHINNED and several BLUE-THROATED HUMMINGBIRDS, BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK, and SCOTT’S ORIOLE. Many thanks to Reed for allowing access to his fabulous feeders! http://www.cavecreekranch.com/

Blue-throated Hummingbird

Blue-throated Hummingbird

White-throated Sparrow

Zone-tailed Hawk

Zone-tailed Hawk

South Fork of Cave Creek:
DUSKY-CAPPED FLYCATCHER, CASSIN’S VIREO, GRACE’S WARBLER, PAINTED REDSTART.

Dusky-capped Flycatcher

South Fork of Cave Creek

Portal Rd (Forest Road 42, a mile past SW Research Station):
A random roadside stop produced DUSKY FLYCATCHER, TOWNSEND’S SOLITAIRE, and GRACE’S WARBLER.

Paradise Rd (Forest Road 42B):
Pair of MEXICAN CHICKADEES, about 200 yards along the Paradise Road from its junction with the Portal Road.
Also, ARIZONA WOODPECKER, RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH, GRACE’S WARBLER and PAINTED REDSTART.

Mexican Chickadee

Mexican Chickadee

Mexican Chickadee

Arizona Woodpecker

Grace's Warbler

Barfoot Park:
A fine male WILLIAMSON’S SAPSUCKER, a pair of OLIVE WARBLERS, and YELLOW-EYED JUNCOS.

Williamson's Sapsucker

Williamson's Sapsucker

Barfoot Park, and much of the Chiricahuas, is recovering well from the 2011 Horseshoe 2 Fire.

Barfoot Park

Rustler Park:
Female OLIVE WARBLER, GRACE’S WARBLER and YELLOW-EYED JUNCOS.

Steller's Jay

Pinery Canyon:
WILD TURKEY crossing the road.

Elfrida:
About 20 LARK BUNTINGS along SR191 north of Elfrida.

Davis Rd, McNeal:
Flock of 50 LARK BUNTINGS. After a very sparse winter for this species, today’s flocks were perhaps northbound migrants.

Coffman Rd:
Pair of SCALED QUAIL, BENDIRE’S THRASHER.

Whitewater Draw again:
Still no Ruddy Ground-Doves. The WHITE-FACED IBIS flock had increased to an impressive 94.

White-faced Ibis

 

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