The third month at my new home in Rio Rico, although having spent a month on tour in the UK, I still haven’t actually been here for an entire month yet. My yard list broke the 50 barrier in classic style, when a juvenile female HOUSE SPARROW appeared at the feeders briefly. I couldn’t have wished for a flashier bird for the 50 species landmark!
I ended the month at 53, with the main highlights being flyovers: a flock of five BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCKS that flew along Josephine Canyon, a GRAY HAWK calling from the vicinity of the Santa Cruz river and a soaring PEREGRINE FALCON. A female BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK visited the seed feeder for two days, while I predicted the arrival of my first RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD about a hour before it happened, right on cue. Other new birds for the yard this month were NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD, VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW, RED-TAILED HAWK (finally), COMMON RAVEN, COOPER’S HAWK and LARK SPARROW.
When I moved in, I set myself the target of getting the yard list up to 60 by the end of year. However, with the potential of the yard for birds being realized at a greater rate than I thought possible, I’ve revised my end-of-year target up to 80.