Birding Blog Archives

August 28th, 2010
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Rio Rico, Kino Springs, Tumacacori

Gulf-Fritillary-Rio-Rico-10-0827-04caterpillar-sp-Rio-Rico-10-0827-01I spent the morning birding with Jenise Porter, with the aim of finding her a Black-bellied Whistling Duck.

We checked Amado pond first with no success, although a vocal pair of GRAY HAWKS just west of the Arivaca exit was a good start. Rio Rico was more productive. TROPICAL KINGBIRD, RUFOUS-WINGED SPARROW and more vocal GRAY HAWKS were around the river and adjacent scrub, whilst the larger pool hosted an early BELTED KINGFISHER, juvenile and 1st year BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERONS and a fly-through LESSER YELLOWLEGS. But no ducks…

Checkered-White-Rio-Rico-10-0827-01Tropical-Checkered-Skipper-Rio-Rico-10-0827-03Like yesterday at Sweetwater, it was cool and damp and for once, instead of flying around in a frenzy, a wide variety of butterflies and other insects were posing nicely for photos. It was great fun hunting the undergrowth to see what we could find.

Heading south along River Rd we found a dead badger at the side of the road with a mob of TURKEY VULTURES waiting to get their fill. Another pair of GRAY HAWKS was in this area. It was interesting to Cassins-Kingbird-Rio-Rico-10-0827-03-EDTurkey-Vulture-Rio-Rico-10-0827-07see so many kingbirds, many of which were in tail molt. There were Westerns lacking in white edges, Cassin’s with almost not tail at all and various birds with seemingly pointy tails (short outer feathers growing in) or double tails (having dropped the inner one of two feathers). Only the Tropical seems to be full in the tail department at the moment.

Elada-Checkerspot-Rio-Rico-10-0827-01Gray-Hawk-Rio-Rico-10-0827-02Kino Springs was very birdy. Warbler migration was in evidence with MacGILLIVRAY’S, LUCY’S, YELLOW and ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLERS around the clubhouse pond (aka Stacey Lake). The weedy margins were buzzing with LAZULI BUNTINGS and BLUE GROSBEAKS amongst others. A BANK SWALLOW perched with the BARN and CLIFF SWALLOWS for a long look. A SORA flew (annual wing test?) along the edge of the pond and crashed back into the vegetation. A couple of HOODED ORIOLES put in an appearance, as did GILDED FLICKER, CASSIN’S SPARROW, ASH-THROATED and VERMILION FLYCATCHERS, COMMON GROUND-DOVE and many more. I heard a few suspicious gnatcatcher calls from the mesquites to the north of the pond but I couldn’t get them to show.

Shield-bug-Rio-Rico-10-0827-02grasshopper-sp-Rio-Rico-10-0827-02grasshopper-sp-Rio-Rico-10-0827-03Just as I was about to declare BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING DUCK extinct, a pair with three chicks swam out of the vegetation on the near side of the pond and gave us prolonged scope views, much to Jenise’s delight.

We headed back north on I-19 and stopped at the irrigated fields south of Tumacacori, which held 50+ WHITE-FACED IBIS, double figures of TROPICAL KINGBIRDS, a small flock of CINNAMON TEAL, a GREEN HERON and shorebirds including SOLITARY and SPOTTED SANDPIPERS.

Thanks to Jenise for her usual fine company and treating me to a really good Mexican lunch at De Anza Restaurant Y Cantina in Tubac – highly recommended!


1 comment to Rio Rico, Kino Springs, Tumacacori

  • Sue

    I am interested in possibly going on a trip in Spring but yours are not listed yet. Please send me information on your spring tours when they are planned so that I can make plans ASAP since I need to request money for the tour.

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