Birding Blog Archives

October 30th, 2010
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Santa Cruz Flats TAS Field Trip

Five birders joined me for a Tucson Audubon Society field trip to the Santa Cruz Flats, between Picacho Peak and Casa Grande (directions in SE AZ bird finding guides). It was decidedly quiet out there in over 90F heat but we did manage a few interesting sightings.

In Tucson, the first bird of the day was a surprise – an OSPREY flying over Ina Rd close to I-10.

Turning off I-10 at exit 211, we stopped at the pecan grove on Phillips Rd. This produced four woodpecker species (RED-NAPED SAPSUCKER, GILA WOODPECKER, LADDER-BACKED WOODPECKER and NORTHERN FLICKER) and a pair of INCA DOVES. Along Sunshine Boulevard we found a large flock of HORNED LARKS which were accompanied by a single CHESTNUT-COLLARED LONGSPUR, the first one I’ve seen at this location. A pair of ROCK WRENS were at Western Sod with another nearby. Raptors were in short supply but did include a smart PRAIRIE FALCON. Four COMMON GROUND-DOVES were in one spot coming to drink. LARK BUNTINGS were found in several areas in small groups.

Unfortunately we had to cut the trip short as, just before midday, without any warning, my car battery completely collapsed. I always carry jumper cables and thankfully someone was driving along the quiet back road we were on at the time, but after we got the car started again we decided not to risk anything else and headed directly home.

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