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August 26th, 2015
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Black-capped Gnatcatcher, Five-striped Sparrow, Elegant Trogon

Another good day of target birding in Santa Cruz County, taking in Peña Blanca Canyon and Lake, and California Gulch.

Peña Blanca Canyon:

We didn’t find the Rufous-capped Warblers, but there was plenty to see, including GRAY HAWK, YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO, ELEGANT TROGON, NORTHERN BEARDLESS-TYRANNULET, DUSKY, PACIFIC-SLOPE, and DUSKY-CAPPED FLYCATCHERS, HUTTON’S VIREO, BUSHTIT, NASHVILLE and WILSON’S WARBLERS, PAINTED REDSTART, WESTERN TANAGER, BLACK-HEADED and BLUE GROSBEAKS, and LAZULI and VARIED BUNTINGS.

Elegant Trogon

Gray Hawk

Rufous-winged Sparrow

Yellow-billed Cuckoo

It was nice to find a little BLACK-NECKED GARTERSNAKE, as well as CANYON TREEFROG and my first ever PALMER’S METALMARK.

Black-necked Gartersnake

Palmer's Metalmark

Black Swallowtail

Tropical Buckeye

Santa Cruz Beehive Cactus

Santa Cruz Beehive Cactus

Ruby Rd:

Along the way we saw GREATER ROADRUNNER, LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE, ‘AZURE’ EASTERN BLUEBIRD, and BOTTERI’S and LARK SPARROWS.

California Gulch / Warsaw Canyon:

Our main target was FIVE-STRIPED SPARROW, which is getting harder to find now they and are not vocalizing so much, but they are still present. The BLACK-CAPPED GNATCATCHERS also continue, displaying a new range of tail molt progress.

Black-capped Gnatcatcher

Black-capped Gnatcatcher

Black-capped Gnatcatcher

Black-capped Gnatcatcher

Black-capped Gnatcatcher

Also in the area, NORTHERN BEARDLESS-TYRANNULET, BELL’S VIREO, ‘DESERT’ PURPLE MARTIN, BLACK-TAILED GNATCATCHER, WILSON’S WARBLER, YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT, RUFOUS-WINGED and BLACK-THROATED SPARROWS, the continuing LARK BUNTING flock, and VARIED BUNTING.

Peña Blanca Lake:

A brief visit gave us ‘MEXICAN’ MALLARD, GREEN HERON, BELL’S and WARBLING VIREOS, YELLOW and WILSON’S WARBLERS, SUMMER TANAGER, and HOODED ORIOLE.

Rio Rico:

TURKEY VULTURES and SWAINSON’S HAWKS are very much in evidence, as they migrate south along the Santa Cruz Valley. A dedicated hawk watch at this time of year would be different, but probably as productive as the well-known Tubac hawk watch in spring.

Undisclosed Site:

The roosting BARN OWL continues.

 

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