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

Elegant Trogon, Five-striped Sparrow, Black-capped Gnatcatcher

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A windy but fabulous day of birding in Santa Cruz County, with some of our most wanted species.

Ruby Rd, Calabasas Campground Overlook:

A quick stop at the roadside produced a singing BOTTERI’S SPARROW.

Botteri's Sparrow [1]

Walker Canyon:

Another quick roadside stop gave us RUFOUS-WINGED SPARROW.

Rufous-winged Sparrow [2]

Peña Blanca Canyon:

We only found 36 species in four hours in the canyon, but it was quality over quantity. The highlight was great views of a pair of ELEGANT TROGONS.

Elegant Trogon [3]

Elegant Trogon [4]

Elegant Trogon [5]

Also in the canyon, GRAY HAWK, ARIZONA WOODPECKER, DUSKY-CAPPED and ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHERS, HUTTON’S and WARBLING VIREOS, LUCY’S, BLACK-THROATED GRAY and WILSON’S WARBLERS, HEPATIC and SUMMER TANAGERS, BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK, LAZULI BUNTING, and SCOTT’S ORIOLE.

Black-throated Gray Warbler [6]

Black-throated Gray Warbler [7]

This is a great canyon to watch butterflies, and today was no exception.

Arizona Metalmark [8]

Common Buckeye [9]

Common Buckeye [10]

Skipper sp. [11]

White-striped Longtail [12]

White-striped Longtail [13]

White-striped Longtail [14]

Peña Blanca Lake:

We’d hoped to see Common Black Hawk in a brief look over the lake, but instead, we found GRAY and ZONE-TAILED HAWKS, ROCK and CANYON WRENS, LUCY’S, YELLOW, ‘AUDUBON’S’ YELLOW-RUMPED and WILSON’S WARBLERS, and LAZULI BUNTING.

Rock Wren [15]

Rock Wren [16]

I also found a new butterfly, a rather nice SQUARE-SPOTTED BLUE.

Square-spotted Blue [17]

Square-spotted Blue [18]

Ruby Rd, Yank’s Canyon Overlook:

Another stop at the side of Ruby Rd provided us with nice views of a bright ‘AZURE’ EASTERN BLUEBIRD.

'Azure' Eastern Bluebird [19]

Vermilion Flycatcher (left) with 'Azure' Eastern Bluebird [20]

Confluence of California Gulch and Warsaw Canyon:

Again, it was surprisingly easy to find presumably the same FIVE-STRIPED SPARROW just north of the road junction. I wonder if this bird is thinking of nesting earlier than usual.

Five-striped Sparrow [21]

Five-striped Sparrow [22]

Five-striped Sparrow [23]

Five-striped Sparrow [24]

A pair of BLACK-CAPPED GNATCATCHERS was in the usual spot among the hackberry trees.

Black-capped Gnatcatcher [25]

Black-capped Gnatcatcher [26]

Black-capped Gnatcatcher [27]

Also in the gulch, NORTHERN BEARDLESS-TYRANNULET, BLACK-TAILED GNATCATCHER, RUFOUS-WINGED, BLACK-THROATED and RUFOUS-CROWNED SPARROWS, and SUMMER TANAGER, as well as a pair of ANTELOPE JACKRABBITS nearby.

Antelope Jackrabbit [28]

Arivaca Lake:

It was late afternoon by the time we arrived. We couldn’t detect a Thick-billed Kingbird but they may be back at this regular site. We did encounter NEOTROPIC CORMORANT, DUSKY-CAPPED FLYCATCHER, LUCY’S, YELLOW, and ‘AUDUBON’S’ YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS, COMMON YELLOWTHROAT, SUMMER TANAGER, and HOODED ORIOLE.