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April 2nd, 2016
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Anza Trail, Rock Corral Canyon

An excellent morning of birding the Tubac area, with 70 species.

Anza Trail, Tubac:

We started the day by watching a group of JAVELINA (Collared Pecary) from the bridge. Always fun to watch.

Javelina (Collared Pecary)

Javelina (Collared Pecary)

Javelina (Collared Pecary)

Javelina (Collared Pecary)

Javelina (Collared Pecary)

Javelina (Collared Pecary)

Sadly, we also found a dead juvenile HARRIS’S HAWK under the bridge, directly below some low-slung wires. As I mentioned last month, Harris’s Hawk is a rarity in Santa Cruz County and I’ve only seen two previously, both also juveniles. The one I saw last month was flying high over the bridge, so unless it turned around and came back, it presumably wasn’t that one. But it was a sad sight nonetheless.

Dead Harris's Hawk

We found a good assortment of birds around the bridge, along the Anza Trail and in Ron Morriss Park, including BLACK VULTURE, GRAY HAWK, NORTHERN BEARDLESS-TYRANNULET, GRAY and VERMILION FLYCATCHERS, CASSIN’S KINGBIRD, BELL’S VIREO, NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW, LUCY’S and YELLOW WARBLERS, GREEN-TAILED and ABERT’S TOWHEE, RUFOUS-WINGED, LARK, SONG, LINCOLN’S and a ‘MOUNTAIN’ subspecies WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW, and PINE SISKIN.

Lark Sparrows

Lark Sparrow

Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet

Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet

Northern Cardinal

Rufous-winged Sparrow

Lincoln's Sparrow (top) and Song Sparrow

Amado Pond:

Gulls are always a surprise find in the Arizona desert. RING-BILLED GULL is the commonest, but still unusual.

Ring-billed Gull

Otherwise the pond was quiet, with just RING-NECKED DUCK, TREE and BARN SWALLOWS, and LAZULI BUNTING being of note.

Rock Corral Canyon:

We started along the bumpy dirt road and saw a ZONE-TAILED HAWK near the freeway.

Zone-tailed Hawk

At this point my camera battery died and I didn’t have my spare (schoolboy error) so I was reduced to photos with my phone.

Several BLACK-TAILED GNATCATCHERS were noisily calling in the desert approaching the canyon, as was a GREATER ROADRUNNER, and BREWER’S and BLACK-THROATED SPARROWS.

We birded quite a way up canyon. Our best find was a pair of BLACK-CAPPED GNATCATCHERS about a half mile beyond the rock corral.

The canyon also produced BLACK VULTURE, SHARP-SHINNED and GRAY HAWKS, WHITE-THROATED SWIFT, COSTA’S HUMMINGBIRD, NORTHERN BEARDLESS-TYRANNULET, CASSIN’S KINGBIRD, BELL’S and HUTTON’S VIREOS, HERMIT THRUSH, LUCY’S and NASHVILLE WARBLERS, RUFOUS-CROWNED and RUFOUS-WINGED SPARROWS, and ‘OREGON’ and PINK-SIDED’ forms of DARK-EYED JUNCO.

It’s a shame it’s such a rough road to get to the canyon which requires a brave truck-owner to reach. It really is a beautiful place.

Rock Corral Canyon

Rock Corral Canyon

Rock Corral Canyon

Rock Corral Canyon

Rock Corral Canyon

 

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