- Southeast Arizona Birding Guide, Richard Fray - https://www.arizonabirder.com -

Rio Rico, Patagonia, Rock Corral Canyon, Santa Gertrudis Lane, Madera Canyon

A mammoth day of birding in Pima and Santa Cruz Counties. Highlights were a BLACK-CAPPED GNATCATCHER in Rock Corral Canyon and the continuing BUFF-COLLARED NIGHTJAR heard at Proctor Road in Madera Canyon.

Rio Rico Ponds:
A couple of ‘SOUTHWESTERN’ CLIFF SWALLOWS with a pair of ‘NORTHERN’ CLIFF SWALLOWS, scoped perching on wires over the ‘main’ pond. I’ve been checking Cliff Swallows in the area as best I can for weeks, and this pair are the first Southwestern ones I’ve seen. At least 27 BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCKS in the flooded fields to the north of Rio Rico Drive. Also TROPICAL KINGBIRD, BRONZED COWBIRD, etc.

Patagonia Roadside Rest:
The pair of THICK-BILLED KINGBIRDS have indeed built a new nest, which is in the same huge sycamore tree above the picnic table. This time it’s almost at the top of the tree and more towards the road, best seen by looking back from 30 yards east of the picnic table.
Male VARIED BUNTING feeding on desert honeysuckle flowers under a netleaf hackberry to the south of the rest area. BLACK VULTURE overhead.

Patagonia Lake Road:
BOTTERI’S SPARROW.

Salero Road, Patagonia:
INCA DOVE, COMMON GROUND-DOVE.

Paton’s:
GRAY HAWK, INCA DOVE, COMMON GROUND-DOVE, VIOLET-CROWNED HUMMINGBIRD, WILSON’S WARBLER, WARBLING VIREO, WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW, BRONZED COWBIRD, PINE SISKIN. Thanks Larry!

Rock Corral Canyon, Tumacacori Mountains:
Accessed from Santa Gertrudis Lane to the west of I-19, this exciting site requires a high clearance, four wheel drive vehicle and a healthy sense of adventure!
Male BLACK-CAPPED GNATCATCHER calling repeatedly and seen briefly, about a mile beyond the point where the ‘road’ dips down and meets the canyon. Also, at least a dozen BLACK-TAILED GNATCATCHERS scattered throughout, and many expected species such as WESTERN WOOD-PEWEE, CANYON TOWHEE, RUFOUS-WINGED and RUFOUS-CROWNED SPARROWS, BLUE GROSBEAK, etc.

Santa Gertrudis Lane:
Male VARIED BUNTING seen briefly at the parking area on the frontage road.
Female INDIGO BUNTING 100 yards south of the creek crossing, coming down to drink.
GRAY HAWK, ZONE-TAILED HAWK, BLACK VULTURE and lots more.

Proctor Road, Madera Canyon:
BUFF-COLLARED NIGHTJAR calling repeatedly between about 7:30 and 8:45 p.m. but not seen. Nice to see so many familiar faces in the crowd.
LESSER NIGHTHAWK seen, COMMON POORWILL and WESTERN SCREECH-OWL heard.

Madera Canyon Road:
BOTTERI’S SPARROW before dusk, GREAT HORNED OWL after dark on the way home.