Birding Blog Archives

February 2nd, 2010
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Santa Gertrudis Lane, Madera Canyon

Gray-Hawk-Amado-020110-01I spent the day birding with Denise and Dick Filby and Pam. We started well, with the wintering Gray Hawk found on wires alongside the frontage road of I-19.

Hermit-Thrush-Tumacacori-020110-01Santa Gertrudis Lane in Tumacacori was hard work compared to recent visits, but still produced a some good birds. A Painted Redstart and Gray Flycatcher were by the river crossing and a Crissal Thrasher, a couple of Green-tailed Towhees and a Plumbeous Vireo along the De Anza trail. The only birds of note along Santa Gertrudis Lane itself were, disappointingly, a wintering White-winged Dove, a couple of tame Hermit Thrushes and a few cardinals, mockingbirds and White-crowned Sparrows. The majority of the fruit has gone from the trees, but the action had moved to some degree to a ranch house to the south of the lane. In one or two places we could see through the hedge and observed the fruiting trees around the house and, in particular, the metal water trough at the back of the field. This attracted a steady stream of drinkers, including a handful of American Robins, 50+ Western Bluebirds and a Townsend’s Solitaire, amongst others, but we couldn’t find the Rufous-backed Robin or any of the other rarities at this site of late.

Canyon-Wren-Madera-Canyon-020110-06Yellow-eyed-Junco-Madera-Canyon-020110-04We spent the afternoon at Madera Canyon, which was also surprisingly quiet. Two more White-winged Dove were in Continental as we drove through. The feeders at Santa Rita Lodge were unusually birdless, with a few Yellow-eyed Juncos, the usual band of Wild Turkeys and little else.

Kubo Cabins were slightly more productive, with a bright Townsend’s Warbler, a close range Canyon Wren and at least two Broad-billed Hummingbirds, unusual enough in winter but especially so at this elevation.

We had great fun with an Acorn Woodpecker, Polly, let’s call her, who wanted a cracker. A couple of Yellow-eyed Juncos were equally keen.

Acorn-Woodpecker-Madera-Canyon-020110-03Acorn-Woodpecker-Madera-Canyon-020110-05Acorn-Woodpecker-Madera-Canyon-020110-08Acorn-Woodpecker-Madera-Canyon-020110-09Acorn-Woodpecker-Madera-Canyon-020110-06

Yellow-eyed-Junco-Madera-Canyon-020110-05Yellow-eyed-Junco-Madera-Canyon-020110-02

We hung around until after dark on the off chance we could hear a Whiskered Screech-Owl calling.

After a few stops we did, and amazingly were able to locate the bird right by the road, just uphill from the Kubo Cabins, ending the day on a high.

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