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August 19th, 2015
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Pena Blanca Canyon & Lake, Rio Rico

Another great day of birding in Santa Cruz County, with 71 species.

Ruby Rd:

We stopped near the Calabasas Campground and watched BOTTERI’S SPARROW, GRAY HAWK, and GREATER ROADRUNNER. A couple of MONTEZUMA QUAIL were calling, but we couldn’t get a visual.

Peña Blanca Canyon:

We didn’t find Rufous-capped Warblers today, but good views of a male ELEGANT TROGON were ample compensation.

Male Elegant Trogon

Male Elegant Trogon

Also in the canyon, BLACK VULTURE, the noisy GRAY HAWK family, a flyover ZONE-TAILED HAWK, ARIZONA WOODPECKER, an early OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER, DUSKY, PACIFIC-SLOPE, and DUSKY-CAPPED FLYCATCHERS, BELL’S, HUTTON’S and WARBLING VIREOS, ROCK and CANYON WRENS, BLACK-TAILED GNATCATCHER, PHAINOPEPLA, ORANGE-CROWNED, NASHVILLE, and WILSON’S WARBLERS, PAINTED REDSTART, RUFOUS-CROWNED, RUFOUS-WINGED and CHIPPING SPARROWS, SUMMER TANAGER, BLACK-HEADED and BLUE GROSBEAKS, VARIED BUNTING, and HOODED ORIOLE.

Arizona Woodpecker

Rufous-winged Sparrow

Rufous-winged Sparrow

Juvenile Rufous-winged Sparrow

Western Wood-Pewee

The butterfly show continues to impress, with several ELF butterflies found among the many BORDERED PATCH and ELADA and TINY CHECKERSPOTS.

Bordered Patch and Checkerspots

Elada Checkerspot

Elf and Checkerspots

Elf and Checkerspots

Peña Blanca Lake:

We settled in for lunch and watched migrant swallows alighting on the wires near the lake, with six ‘DESERT’ PURPLE MARTINS joining a bunch of NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED, CLIFF and BARN SWALLOWS.

A YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO called, and briefly appeared, but too quickly for the camera as usual.

Rio Rico Ponds:

A particularly nice mix of birds in the heat of the afternoon, which included a decent-sized group of BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCKS, ‘MEXICAN’ MALLARD, a WHITE-FACED IBIS, six BLACK-NECKED STILTS, a pair of TROPICAL KINGBIRDS, COMMON YELLOWTHROAT, several bright LAZULI BUNTINGS, and a couple of BULLOCK’S ORIOLES.

Also in Santa Cruz County, the roosting BARN OWL continues.

Barn Owl

Barn Owl

 

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