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

Nutting’s Flycatcher, Rose-throated Becard

A successful day of target birding in Santa Cruz County, with two major national rarities.

California Gulch:

Our main target for the day was the extremely rare NUTTING’S FLYCATCHER that has been present for a month or so. It took a while but we eventually tracked it down and enjoyed great views.

Also in the area, we found SHARP-SHINNED HAWK, GRAY FLYCATCHER, LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE, ROCK WREN, HERMIT THRUSH, LARK and BLACK-THROATED SPARROWS, HEPATIC TANAGER, and PYRRHULOXIA.

Oro Blanco Wash:

This is often a productive spot and today was no exception. Feeding by the roadside we found a few WESTERN BLUEBIRDS and three surprise SAGE THRASHERS.

Sage Thrasher [1]

Amado:

A GREATER ROADRUNNER was at the roadside and a TURKEY VULTURE drifted over.

Anza Trail, Tumacacori:

There have been several ROSE-THROATED BECARDS wintering along the Santa Cruz, but they’ve been frustratingly difficult to find. Today we were in luck when another birder pointed out a smart male feeding high in an early-flowering cottonwood tree.

Rose-throated Becard [2]

Rose-throated Becard [3]

Also here, HUTTON’S VIREO, BRIDLED TITMOUSE, AMERICAN ROBIN, ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER, ABERT’S TOWHEE, RUFOUS-WINGED SPARROW, and HEPATIC TANAGER.

Rock Corral Canyon:

A quick visit late afternoon produced a few birds as the sun sank below the mountains, the most notable being a DARK-EYED JUNCO of either the Slate-colored or Cassiar forms, or a hybrid (I hope that covers it!). We also found NORTHERN HARRIER, CANYON WREN, BLACK-TAILED GNATCATCHER, GREEN-TAILED TOWHEE, as well as the always entertaining ANTELOPE JACKRABBIT.

Dark-eyed Junco - Slate-colored or Cassiar or hybrid [4]