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

California Gulch, Pena Blanca Lake, Rio Rico, Madera Canyon

A long and fruitful day of target birding with 87 species…

Ruby Road:
Pair of BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCKS flying low over Ruby Road near Walker Canyon. Nesting nearby? Also, LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE, VARIED BUNTING.

California Gulch:
FIVE-STRIPED SPARROW at the first stream crossing. Also GRAY HAWK, COMMON GROUND-DOVE, COSTA’S HUMMINGBIRD, two pairs of NORTHERN BEARDLESS-TYRANNULETS, several VARIED BUNTINGS.

Pena Blanca Lake:
Adult LEAST GREBE in Thumb Rock Cove.
Pair of WILLOW FLYCATCHERS in Thumb Rock Cove. I confess that I neglected to report a single Willow Flycatcher here (in the same tree) a week ago whilst birding with Carlos Sanchez from Florida. That bird has apparently found a mate.
Also PIED-BILLED GREBE, GRAY HAWK, COMMON GROUND-DOVE.

Esplendor Resort, Rio Rico:
VARIED BUNTING along the entrance road.

Rio Rico Ponds:
c.20 BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCKS in flooded fields, plus TROPICAL KINGBIRDS and BRONZED COWBIRDS. NEOTROPIC CORMORANT on the ‘main’ pond.

Santa Gertrudis Lane:
GRAY HAWK, TROPICAL KINGBIRD. No running water in the Santa Cruz!

Madera Canyon:
ARIZONA WOODPECKER and SULPHUR-BELLIED FLYCATCHER in the first quarter mile of the Carrie Nation Trail.

Proctor Road:
BUFF-COLLARED NIGHTJAR heard at 8:00 p.m. and again at 8:40 p.m. The previous etiquette of listening from the road has apparently gone by the wayside. We arrived at 7:30 and found five other cars at campsite 7, but no birders. It turned out they were all roving through the mesquites attempting to flush the bird to get a view. We could hear voices and see flashlights all over the flat land and on adjacent hillsides. Consequently the bird didn’t call until after dark and was immediately approached from all directions by a dozen flashlights, prompting it to disappear for 40 minutes, after which the same thing happened again. We didn’t see it, but apparently some birders got flight views. Not the most satisfying experience.
Also WESTERN SCREECH-OWL, LESSER NIGHTHAWK, COMMON POORWILL and NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD impersonating the nightjar at 7:50 p.m.