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Target birding at its finest at two of our most fabulous canyons.
Rock Corral Canyon:
The desert grassland hillside en route gave us RUFOUS-WINGED, CASSIN’S, GRASSHOPPER, BREWER’S, and BLACK-THROATED SPARROWS.
Our main target was further up-canyon, and after a brief search of the same area as previous sightings, we found a FIVE-STRIPED SPARROW. Excellent!
The sparrows have found a really nice spot. This is their view of the upper canyon.
The canyon was lively, and we counted 45 species in five hours. The highlights were calling MONTEZUMA QUAIL, BLACK VULTURE, GOLDEN EAGLE, NORTHERN HARRIER, SHARP-SHINNED and GRAY HAWKS, COSTA’S and BROAD-BILLED HUMMINGBIRDS, NORTHERN BEARDLESS-TYRANNULET, DUSKY-CAPPED, ASH-THROATED and a ‘WESTERN’ type FLYCATCHER, five WREN species (ROCK, CANYON, HOUSE, BEWICK’S and CACTUS), CRISSAL THRASHER, ORANGE-CROWNED, LUCY’S and BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLERS, GREEN-TAILED TOWHEE, SUMMER TANAGER, and LAZULI BUNTING.
I also took the opportunity to study some butterflies and found a few nice ones, including an ERICHSON’S WHITE-SKIPPER, a new one for me.
The usual desert species were present, including GILDED FLICKER.
Continental Mulberry Trees:
This will soon be a great place to watch a wide range of species gorging on mulberries. Today, a lot of PHAINOPEPLAS were taking advantage of the early-ripening fruit, as were a flock of 30 CEDAR WAXWINGS.
The pair of RUFOUS-CAPPED WARBLERS in the lower part of the canyon gave us great looks, and meant we didn’t have to climb further up-canyon – a win-win!
Hummingbird numbers are increasing, as is diversity, with six species feeding on the abundant flowers in the canyon: BLACK-CHINNED, ANAN’S, COSTA’S, BROAD-TAILED, RUFOUS, and many BROAD-BILLED HUMMINGBIRDS.
Despite being a warm afternoon, we totalled 40 species in under four hours in the canyon, including GREATER ROADRUNNER, NORTHERN BEARDLESS-TYRANNULET, four PACIFIC-SLOPE FLYCATCHERS, VERMILION, DUSKY-CAPPED and ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHERS, a calling BLACK-CAPPED GNATCATCHER, AMERICAN ROBIN, a ‘MYRTLE’ YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER, many ‘AUDUBON’S’ YELLOW-RUMPED, single BLACK-THROATED GRAY and WILSON’S WARBLERS, LINCOLN’S SPARROW, GREEN-TAILED TOWHEE, HEPATIC TANAGER, LAZULI BUNTING, and HOODED and SCOTT’S ORIOLES.
Another canyon, another new butterfly, this time a PYTHON SKIPPER.