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May 8th, 2015
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Santa Cruz County birding

A highly successful day of target birding in Santa Cruz County, with 83 species.

Patagonia Lake:

Nothing unexpected, but it was good to find ‘MEXICAN’ MALLARDS, NEOTROPIC CORMORANT, WHITE-FACED IBIS, GRAY HAWK, COMMON GROUND-DOVE, NORTHERN BEARDLESS-TYRANNULET, SUMMER TANAGER, and LAZULI BUNTING. We spent a while trying to locate a WESTERN SCREECH-OWL that was replying to my whistles. We found the right tree, but never did see it. Presumably it was hidden in a hole.

White-faced Ibis

Summer Tanager

Patagonia Lake, from the birding trail at the eastern end

Patagonia Lake Rd:

A couple of BOTTERI’S SPARROWS showed well at the side of the road. It was lovely to see a GRAY FOX as it crossed in front of us.

Patagonia Roadside Rest:

We couldn’t locate the Thick-billed Kingbirds in a brief visit, but did find GRAY HAWK, a warbling WARBLING VIREO, and WESTERN and SUMMER TANAGERS.

Salero Rd Crossing:

A quick stop at this always productive site gave us BLACK VULTURE, good views of a close ZONE-TAILED HAWK overhead, NORTHERN BEARDLESS-TYRANNULET, and SUMMER TANAGER.

Kino Springs:

Fairly quiet today, with only GRAY HAWK and SUMMER TANAGER being of note.

Rio Rico Ponds:

Both ponds had some water, with a good number of BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCKS, a few ‘MEXICAN’ MALLARDS, several TROPICAL KINGBIRDS, and BULLOCK’S ORIOLE.

Black-bellied Whistling-Duck

Tropical Kingbirds

Ruby Rd:

At various points along the road, another flyover ZONE-TAILED HAWK, four ‘AZURE’ EASTERN BLUEBIRD, RUFOUS-WINGED SPARROW, HEPATIC TANAGER, and HOODED and SCOTT’S ORIOLES.

'Azure' Eastern Bluebird

Ash-throated Flycatcher

Rufous-winged Sparrow

Atascosa Peak, from Ruby Rd

Peña Blanca Lake:

NEOTROPIC CORMORANT, GRAY HAWK, ZONE-TAILED HAWK, HERMIT WARBLER, RUFOUS-CROWNED SPARROW, BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK,

American Coot

American Coot

Rock Wren

Rock Wren

Zone-tailed Hawk

Peña Blanca Lake, from Upper Thumb Rock

Sycamore Canyon:

We checked the area around the parking lot without finding anything unusual, but did get nice views of CANYON TOWHEE and YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT.

Canyon Towhee

Yellow-breasted Chat

Arivaca Lake:

The THICK-BILLED KINGBIRDS continue, along with good views of COMMON GROUND-DOVE and NORTHERN BEARDLESS-TYRANNULET.

Common Ground-Dove

Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet

Tubac:

The Sinaloa Wren was a no-show in our brief visit, but we did find RUFOUS-WINGED and ‘MOUNTAIN’ WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS, and SUMMER TANAGER, as well as this female BLACK-CHINNED HUMMINGBIRD, nesting close to the wren site.

Black-chinned Hummingbird on nest

Undisclosed site:

A male BARN OWL continues at a roost site in Santa Cruz County.

Barn Owl

 

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