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A cold but delightful day of birding in Pima and Santa Cruz Counties.
The desert was alive with birds, despite the low temperature, and we encountered most of the typical desert species, including COOPER’S HAWK, WHITE-WINGED DOVE, ANNA’S and COSTA’S HUMMINGBIRDS, CACTUS WREN, BLACK-TAILED GNATCATCHER, PHAINOPEPLA, and RUFOUS-WINGED SPARROW.
The usual stuff was augmented by BUFFLEHEAD, NEOTROPIC CORMORANT, and nice views of a feeding WILSON’S SNIPE.
Both BLACK and TURKEY VULTURES were flying about.
Tucson Audubon’s Paton Center, Patagonia:
A SHARP-SHINNED HAWK flew by as we arrived, so it took a while for the birds to return to the feeders. When they did, we enjoyed close views of WHITE-WINGED and INCA DOVES, BRIDLED TITMOUSE, GREEN-TAILED and ABERT’S TOWHEES, LINCOLN’S SPARROW, PYRRHULOXIA, PINE SISKIN, and a couple of smart male LAZULI BUNTINGS. One of the group saw an unusual lower-elevation ARIZONA WOODPECKER along the creek beyond the house.
A brilliant male VERMILION FLYCATCHER was popular as ever.
A drive throught the grasslands produced a nice group of PRONGHORN, plus NORTHERN HARRIER, PRAIRIE FALCON, LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE, and plenty of BREWER’S, VESPER and SAVANNAH SPARROWS.
Greaterville Rd / Box Canyon Rd / Madera Canyon Rd:
Driving over the pass at dusk we saw three GREAT HORNED OWLS and two BARN OWLS to end the day on a pleasing note.