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May 27th, 2011
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Madera Canyon, Rio Rico, Patagonia

Linda and John Renna from Orange County, CA, joined me for a really good day in the field. We began early at the school in Continental for RUFOUS-WINGED SPARROW as well as other typical desert birds such as CURVE-BILLED THRASHER, CANYON TOWHEE, BLACK-THROATED SPARROW, PYRRHULOXIA, BLUE GROSBEAK and BELL’S VIREO. We had a very close encounter with a LADDER-BACKED WOODPECKER.

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Pyrrhuloxia

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Ladder-backed Woodpecker

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Ladder-backed Woodpecker

As we left Continental we stopped to watch a VERMILION FLYCATCHER and I spotted a snake in the road. It turned out to be a SONORAN CORALSNAKE, my first one. Sadly it was somewhat flatter and more dead than I’d have preferred, but it was still nice to see. It’s the only venomous snake in Arizona that isn’t a rattlesnake.

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Sonoran Coralsnake, expired

We stopped in the grassland half a mile before Proctor Road and had decent views of BOTTERI’S SPARROW.

As reported many times over, the FAN-TAILED WARBLER was still showing near Madera Kubo, and we got brief looks as it bounced along the creek edge. At Cora’s feeders by the gift shop, SWAINSON’S THRUSH, MAGNIFICENT HUMMINGBIRD and BLUE GROSBEAK were competing with the usual hordes. Thanks to Cora at Madera Kubo Cabins for her usual gracious hospitality.

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Magnificent Hummingbird

Magnificent-Hummingbird-Madera-Canyon-11-0527-01a

Magnificent Hummingbird (close up of above photo)

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Broad-billed Hummingbird

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Blue Grosbeak

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Swainson’s Thrush

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Why did the turkey cross the road?

At Proctor Road, there were yet more of this year’s migrants of choice, an OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER and another SWAINSON’S THRUSH. A female LAZULI BUNTING was in the parking lot, while a SWAINSON’S HAWK was over the grassland on the way out.

At Rio Rico, around 20 BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCKS were loafing in wet fields north of the Rio Rico Drive. Also in the area, BRONZED COWBIRD, GRAY HAWK, four GREEN HERONS and a BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON.

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Black-bellied Whistling-Duck

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Roseate Skimmer

BLACK VULTURES were seen along River Road south of Rio Rico, at the Patagonia Roadside Rest and along Blue Haven Road. Also at the Roadside Rest, a few CEDAR WAXWINGS, SWAINSON’S THRUSH and BROWN-THROATED FLYCATCHER, but not surprisingly there was no sign of the Fan-tailed Warbler or Thick-billed Kingbird in the early afternoon heat. We also missed Gavin’s Ruddy Ground-Dove, despite seeing Gavin at almost every site during the day.

At the Paton’s house, we were entertained by a couple of COMMON GROUND-DOVES, several GRAY HAWKS, YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT, LARK SPARROW, BLUE GROSBEAK and BROAD-TAILED, BROAD-BILLED, BLACK-CHINNED and VIOLET-CROWNED HUMMINGBIRDS.

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Common Ground-Dove

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Violet-crowned Hummingbird

My thanks to Linda and John for their absolutely charming company. Great day!

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