My highest day total of the year so far, birding from Rio Rico to Tucson, with 86 species.
We only birded the area from where the oak canyon comes alongside the road, to the parking area, which was very productive. We didn’t venture up canyon to look for Rufous-capped Warblers.
A pair of BLACK-CAPPED GNATCATCHERS calling and showing fairly well in the lower canyon. This is 0.6 miles before (northwest) the Florida Canyon parking lot, and a quarter mile before the intersection with the final dirt road on the left. I’ve had a bit of fun with Black-capped Gnatcatcher ID in this blog post .
Also there, single HAMMOND’S, GRAY and ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHERS, BLACK-TAILED GNATCATCHERS, three TOWNSEND’S SOLITAIRES, 22 AMERICAN ROBINS, nest-building PHAINOPEPLAS, ORANGE-CROWNED and BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLERS, RUFOUS-WINGED, BLACK-THROATED and LINCOLN’S SPARROWS and a smart male HOODED ORIOLE. Two GREATER ROADRUNNERS were perched up by the road in. A couple of SWAINSON’S HAWKS soared over the grassland, and a GOLDEN EAGLE dived behind the ridge before we got good looks. My personal highlight was the surprising number of COSTA’S HUMMINGBIRDS we found, a minimum of 20 in 0.6 miles, all bar one being males, most of which were singing/wheezing.
Lisa Frank Ave, Tucson:
A BURROWING OWL was at the regular, previously described site, not in the storm drains in the parking lot, but over the road. Please give the owls some space.
A couple of SORAS and COMMON GALLINULES were showing, and a couple of VIRGINIA RAILS were heard but not seen. Eight duck species were around in small numbers. Six shorebird species were on the recharge basins: BLACK-NECKED STILTS, AMERICAN AVOCETS, KILLDEER, SPOTTED SANDPIPER, LEAST SANDPIPERS and LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER. Also present, a NEOTROPIC CORMORANT, NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED and BARN SWALLOWS, a singing PLUMBEOUS VIREO and several YELLOW WARBLERS.
Reid Park, Tucson:
A brief look for the Lewis’s Woodpecker was unproductive, which was not surprising given the hundreds of people milling around, baseballs whizzing past our heads and the DJ pumping out some bangin’ techno tunes near the grassy knoll. A few birds were still around, including BLACK-CHINNED HUMMINGBIRD and LUCY’S WABLER.
The two ponds held plenty of water birds, but only NEOTROPIC CORMORANT and PIED-BILLED GREBE were of particular note. A BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON showed down to a few feet. Jane saw a ‘MYRTLE’ YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER while Charlie and I were photographing ducks.
My thanks to Charlie and Jane for three great days of birding!