Birding Blog Archives

September 24th, 2011
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San Pedro House, Ash & Ramsey Canyons

I met Drena and Jeff Meyer at Mary Jo’s wonderful Ash Canyon B&B for a day of SE Arizona birding. As always, Ash Canyon was excellent and before long Mary Jo spotted a smart adult male LUCIFER HUMMINGBIRD among the hordes coming to her feeders. A female CALLIOPE HUMMINGBIRD was also picked out, and other birds such as SCOTT’S ORIOLE, CANYON TOWHEE and ACORN WOODPECKER were added to the list before we headed out. A beautiful big SONORAN GOPHERSNAKE was crossing Turkey Track Rd.


Sonoran Gophersnake


Sonoran Gophersnake

We went to San Pedro House for our morning’s birding. Maintained by Friends of the San Pedro River, this world-class birding site is a productive combination of grassland and prime cottonwood riparian habitat with a flowing river and large ponds. It’s an important site for people and wildlife, but it’s currently under threat from a frivolous lawsuit by someone who fell off their own horse there. Let’s hope that common senses prevails…

The birding was good from the start, with COMMON GROUND-DOVE and COOPER’S HAWK by the house. SWAINSON’S HAWK, LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE and BREWER’S, VESPER and BLACK-THROATED SPARROWS were in the grassland, taking advantage of the plentiful insects.


Grasshopper sp.


Grasshopper sp.


Grasshopper sp.


Tree Cricket sp.


Walking Stick sp.

Along the river, migration was evident. There were quite a few LAZULI BUNTINGS, with one or two BLUE GROSBEAKS and a tatty INDIGO BUNTING. Other migrants included OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER, HOUSE WREN and NASHVILLE WARBLER. GRAY HAWKS were vocal, while other birds included SONG, LINCOLN’S and CHIPPING SPARROW, ABERT’S and GREEN-TAILED TOWHEES, SUMMER and WESTERN TANAGER.


Green Kingfisher Pond at San Pedro House

We took our lunches to Ramsey Canyon and enjoyed them at a picnic table under a huge tree. After lunch we walked up canyon and completed the Bledsoe Loop. We saw some interesting wildlife, such as baby deer, MADREAN ALLIGATOR LIZARD, a YARROW’S SPINY LIZARD that gets its own post, butterflies including RED-SPOTTED ADMIRAL and RED-BORDERED SATYR and GREAT SPREADWING damselfy. But from a birding point of view it was unbelievably quiet. We literally saw no birds at all from leaving the parking lot until we had almost got back to the visitor center a couple of hours later. We heard an ARIZONA WOODPECKER but there were no other birds of note.


Madrean Alligator Lizard


Madrean Alligator Lizard


Coues White-tailed Deer


Coues White-tailed Deer


Arizona Sister


Red-spotted Admiral


Great Spreadwing


Acorn Woodpecker

A quick stop at the Sierra Vista EOP produced a calling SORA and good numbers of BREWER’S, YELLOW-HEADED and RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS.

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