- Southeast Arizona Birding Guide, Richard Fray - http://arizonabirder.com -

Ramsey Canyon, Hunter Canyon

More successful target birding, today in the wonderful Huachuca Mountains.

Sierra Vista:

A few SWAINSON’S HAWKS were perched on the poles by the roadside as we passed through town.

Ramsey Canyon:

Our first target was the returning male FLAME-COLORED TANAGER at the Bledsoe Loop. In the past I’ve had trouble finding this bird at times, but today it was the first bird we saw, singing away at the top of the trees.

Flame-colored Tanager [1]

Flame-colored Tanager [2]

Also on the preserve, MAGNIFICENT HUMMINGBIRD, ARIZONA WOODPECKER, GREATER PEWEE, HAMMOND’S, DUSKY, and DUSKY-CAPPED FLYCATCHERS, PLUMBEOUS and HUTTON’S VIREOS, ‘BROWN-THROATED’ HOUSE WREN, AMERICAN ROBIN, ‘AUDUBON’S’ YELLOW-RUMPED, BLACK-THROATED GRAY, TOWNSEND’S, and WILSON’S WARBLERS, PAINTED REDSTART, HEPATIC TANAGER, and BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK.

Greater Pewee [3]

Coues White-tailed Deer [4]

Yarrow's Spiny Lizard [5]

Yarrow's Spiny Lizard [6]

Our next destination was going to be Carr Canyon for Buff-breasted Flycatcher, but as we returned to the Nature Conservancy parking lot in Ramsey Canyon, I heard a distinctive call and we managed to locate a cooperative BUFF-BREASTED FLYCATCHER in a slightly surprising location. A nice bird, and a real time saver!

Buff-breasted Flycatcher [7]

Buff-breasted Flycatcher [8]

Hunter Canyon:

Our plans changed as we now had a lot more time, so Rufous-capped Warbler got bumped up the list as our next big target bird. Embarrassingly, I’d never visited this canyon before, so I was very grateful for the opportunity. It didn’t disappoint.

Hunter Canyon [9]

Hunter Canyon [10]

Not long after we began uphill, we found a few BLACK-CHINNED SPARROWS, an unexpected bonus.

Black-chinned Sparrow [11]

It’s a reasonably rocky trail, which gets steeper the closer you get to the area that the warblers inhabit.

Hunter Canyon [12]

Hunter Canyon [13]

Hunter Canyon [14]

Hunter Canyon [15]

Hunter Canyon [16]

When we finally got to the spot, we were delighted to hear a RUFOUS-CAPPED WARBLER singing heartily. We got brief views, and later had another brief, but close look in good light.

Rufous-capped Warbler [17]

This is an interesting and possibly unique area with an unusual mix of habitats and birds. It was delightfully birdy in our time there. Several more warblers were present – some really good ones: VIRGINIA’S, RED-FACED, and a particularly showy pair of GRACE’S WARBLERS.

Grace's Warbler [18]

Grace's Warbler [19]

Grace's Warbler [20]

Grace's Warbler [21]

Also in the canyon we found ARIZONA WOODPECKER, GREATER PEWEE, DUSKY-CAPPED and more BUFF-BREASTED FLYCATHCERS, PLUMBEOUS and HUTTON’S VIREOS, BUSHTIT, PYGMY NUTHATCH, BROWN CREEPER, ‘BROWN-THROATED’ HOUSE WREN, PAINTED REDSTART, HEPATIC and WESTERN TANAGERS, BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK, and SCOTT’S ORIOLE. I look forward to more trips to Hunter Canyon.

Bushtit [22]

Greater Pewee [23]

Painted Redstart [24]

Painted Redstart [25]

Painted Redstart [26]

Painted Redstart [27]

Painted Redstart [28]

Scott's Oriole [29]

Scott's Oriole [30]

Sonoita:

HORNED LARK, ‘LILIAN’S EASTERN MEADOWLARK and close views of a CHIHUAHUAN RAVEN gave us a nice way to end a great day.