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February 26th, 2015
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Pena Blanca Lake to Ash Canyon B&B

A long and productive day, birding from Pena Blanca Lake to Hereford. We tallied 83 species, including an impressive 17 emberizids (sparrow family).

Pena Blanca Lake (the cove on the western side):
The RUFOUS-CAPPED WARBLER continues, but today it was on the south side of the previously-described cove. It was feeding in the cattails for a while, but originally arrived from up on the hillside, and left in that direction (south) a few minutes later. It sang halfheartedly a couple of times, so it’s presumably a male.
A tan-striped WHITE-THROATED SPARROW was in the same area as the warbler.
At least one SWAMP SPARROW continues in the cattails on the north side of the cove.
Also there, a calling MONTEZUMA QUAIL across the lake, NEOTROPIC CORMORANT, a relatively showy VIRGINIA RAIL, COMMON GALLINULE, GREATER ROADRUNNER, and lots of VIOLET-GREEN, a few NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED and a single CLIFF SWALLOW.

Rufous-capped Warbler

Rufous-capped Warbler

Common Gallinule

Pied-billed Grebe

Virginia Rail

Ruby Rd:
BLACK and TURKEY VULTURES over, and RUFOUS-WINGED SPARROWS singing between the lake and Rio Rico. Close views of three CHIHUAHUAN RAVENS near the Pilot Travel Center back in Rio Rico.

Chihuahuan Raven

Tucson Audubon’s Paton Center for Hummingbirds, Patagonia:
Despite regular visits all day, we somehow picked a chunk of time when no Violet-crowned Hummingbirds came in, so we had to make the most of the stunning ANNA’S on show.
Also there, a couple of BLACK VULTURES low overhead, several INCA DOVES, a ‘MYRTLE’ YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER, and a female LAZULI BUNTING. Thanks Larry!

Myrtle Yellow-rumped Warbler

Las Cienegas:
100+ CHESTNUT-COLLARED LONGSPURS continue along Curly Horse Rd, but today they were a little further along, maybe a quarter mile beyond the first bend after the road turns to dirt (which is 3.3 miles after you turn from SR 83 just north of Sonoita). We didn’t see the leucistic individual today. For anyone wanting to look for these birds, please be warned that, while they are currently offering relatively good flight views, they drop back into long grass where it is almost impossible to see them. With patience you may be able to get views on the ground if they walk into a bare patch, but the chances are you’ll have to be satisfied with seeing a flock of smallish brown birds with white bits on them as they bounce around in your binoculars.
A WHITE-TAILED KITE was nearby, and a group of Pronghorns close to SR 82.

Pronghorn

San Pedro House:
The continuing GRAY HAWK was circling above the cottonwoods near the bridge, calling. Also, WHITE-WINGED DOVE, INCA DOVE, COMMON GROUND-DOVE, and the continuing GILDED FLICKER (plus a couple of NORTHERN FLICKERS).

Gray Hawk

San Pedro River

Ash Canyon B&B:
We arrived too late for the Scott’s Oriole show but Mary Jo said they’d been in regularly all day. We did have excellent close views of BUSHTIT, SPOTTED and CANYON TOWHEES, and RUFOUS-CROWNED SPARROW, among others. Thanks Mary Jo!

 

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