A fine day of target birding in the Santa Rita Mountains.
RUFOUS-CAPPED WARBLER singing about 150 yards beyond the oak grove, which is the point the trail ends and the scrambling up the now flowing creek begins. It’s worth the effort, but it’s not a hike that is suitable for everyone.
Four BLACK-CAPPED GNATCATCHERS, a pair (male in non-breeding plumage) on the way up canyon, and two more, which looked like juveniles, on the way back down. Both sightings were between the metal gate and the big water tank before you reach the dam. The second two individuals were joined by a BLACK-TAILED GNATCATCHER for a good comparison.
A WILLOW FLYCATCHER up canyon, near the warbler.
Also, GRAY HAWK, RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD, ARIZONA WOODPECKER, a couple of PACIFIC-SLOPE FLYCATCHERS, SUMMER and WESTERN TANAGERS, a couple of singing BLACK-CHINNED SPARROWS up canyon, VARIED BUNTING, and HOODED ORIOLE.
In a reverse of our previous gnatcatcher tally, we found one BLACK-CAPPED GNATCATCHER in the company of three BLACK-TAILED GNATCATCHERS about 75 yards southeast of the big culvert, with more BLACK-TAILED throughout the canyon, along with singing VARIED BUNTINGS. Mt Hopkins Rd was thick with singing RUFOUS-WINGED SPARROWS all the way from Elephant Head Rd to the Whipple Observatory.
Most birds continuing, including eight BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCKS (pair with six young), RING-NECKED DUCK, two NEOTROPIC CORMORANTS, another (or the same, now long-staying) BANK SWALLOW, and a few LAZULI BUNTINGS in the lush vegetation around the edge of the pond.