More target birding in Pima and Santa Cruz counties, today with the amazing Ken Burden, 87 years young, who scored his 802nd ABA species (5,300+ worldwide) with the Plain-capped Starthroat.
TROPICAL KINGBIRD by the Santa Cruz River bridge on Palo Parado Rd (exit 25).
Randolph Park, Tucson:
TRICOLORED HERON, WOOD DUCK and NEOTROPIC CORMORANT still on the pond behind the Hardesty Building. We didn’t detect any vireos, unfortunately.
The ponds behind the Hardesty Building produce some amazing birding at times, and yet, somehow, this has been allowed to happen. Apparently, everyone is claiming it’s someone else’s problem, which is sadly typical. Tucson should be ashamed of itself!
Seven hummingbird species at Santa Rita Lodge, including the continuing PLAIN-CAPPED STARTHROAT and ALLEN’S HUMMINGBIRD. The starthroat was seen periodically throughout the day.
Also, ARIZONA WOODPECKER, PAINTED REDSTART, HEPATIC TANAGER, and BLACK-HEADED and BLUE GROSBEAKS, while the WHISKERED SCREECH-OWL continued at Madera Kubo.
Many thanks to Steve at Santa Rita Lodge and Cora at Madera Kubo. Both sites accept donations towards the high cost of bird food; please put a few bucks in the boxes to help keep these wonderful places open to the birding public.
We encountered two BLACK-CAPPED GNATCATCHERS mid-afternoon, both along the entrance road (we didn’t venture up the trail). One was midway between the intersection of FR481 and FR62A and the concrete creek crossing, the other by the gate between the concrete creek crossing and the trailhead parking area. Both were in ‘non-breeding-male’ plumage.
Also, NORTHERN BEARDLESS-TYRANNULET, RUFOUS-WINGED and BOTTERI’S SPARROWS, WESTERN TANAGER, VARIED BUNTING, and HOODED ORIOLE.
A pair of SCALED QUAIL by the side of Mt Hopkins Rd, and multiple VARIED BUNTINGS singing in the canyon. We hoped to get lucky with a late afternoon Black-capped Gnatcatcher and maybe a Five-striped Sparrow, but we had to settle for BLACK-TAILED GNATCATCHER and BLACK-THROATED SPARROW instead. Some days you’re hot, other days… well, they’re both nice birds…
LAZULI BUNTINGS have reappeared in force, with at least two dozen bouncing around in the vegetation along the shore. A diligent viewer with more time than we had will probably pick out a Painted Bunting here soon, with patience.
Also, the continuing RING-NECKED DUCK (rare in July), a surprise EARED GREBE (equally rare in July), and three NEOTROPIC CORMORANTS.