Birding Blog Archives

June 13th, 2010
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San Pedro House Fun Birding Workshop

I was joined by Susan, Jenise, Flory and Ed for June’s Fun Birding Workshop at San Pedro House near Sierra Vista. It was hot but we lasted well.

Around the house we were greeted by a variety of interesting birds. One of our targets was COMMON GROUND-DOVE and straight away a pair were seen at close range feeding on seed on the ground. As we headed away from the house our attention was drawn to the first of many singing YELLOW-BREASTED CHATS, although obtaining good views proved to be typically frustrating. Another target bird was BOTTERI’S SPARROW and before too long we’d heard a singing bird in the grassland. I located it perched in a mesquite and everyone got fairly distant but satisfactory scope views. We saw another one later on and heard many more.

We marvelled at various grassland and mesquite scrub species, from BLUE GROSBEAK to BELL’S VIREO, a summering LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE to a surprise GILDED FLICKER, before we entered the riparian zone. We heard YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO several times but never saw one. Three TROPICAL KINGBIRDS were squabbling around a large cottonwood and VERMILION FLYCATCHERS were dazzling. More COMMON GROUND-DOVES were moving about in pairs and calling from the undergrowth.

We spent a while in search of a Green Kingfisher but came up empty (as usual). Other birds around Kingfisher Pond and the adjacent river included BROWN-CRESTED FLYCATCHER, SUMMER TANAGER and GRAY HAWK.

Back at the house we broke the cooler open and enjoyed lunch under the impessive cottonwood. A SWAINSON’S HAWK finally gave us flight views, allowing us to compare field markings with a Red-tailed Hawk we’d seen earlier. BLUE GROSBEAKS were stunning at close range, as were yet more COMMON GROUND-DOVES. In total I reckon we saw and heard at least 11 individuals, which is very encouraging as this species has been scarce over the previous few years.

We had planned to head home via St David but it was just too hot, so we called it a day. Excellent fun as ever, and thanks to my guests for their great company!

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