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September 15th, 2014
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Atascosa Mountains, Green Valley, Mile Wide Rd

Great birding along the Ruby Rd/Arivaca Rd loop, then up to Tucson. 89 species.

Sycamore Canyon:
Male ELEGANT TROGON about half a mile down canyon.
Also, GRAY HAWK, BELTED KINGFISHER, RED-BREASTED SAPSUCKER, ARIZONA WOODPECKER, DUSKY-CAPPED FLYCATCHER, RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET, PAINTED REDSTART, RUFOUS-WINGED and LINCOLN’S SPARROWS, SUMMER and WESTERN TANAGERS, and LAZULI and VARIED BUNTINGS.

Elegant Trogon

Black-headed Grosbeak

Rufous-crowned Sparrow

Rufous-winged Sparrow

Elegant Earless Lizard

Flowers in Sycamore Canyon

Sycamore Canyon

Sycamore Canyon

Sycamore Canyon

Sycamore Canyon

Ruby Rd:
GRAY HAWK, ‘Azure’ EASTERN BLUEBIRDS, and singing BOTTERI’S SPARROW between Sycamore Canyon and California Gulch.

I was extremely excited to notice a BROWN VINESNAKE adopting a cryptic pose in the road. It remained while I took a few photos, but a car came so I shooed it off the road to safety. This exceptionally cool snake is primarily a tropical species and can only be found in the USA in the Atascosa and Patagonia Mountains. I’ve seen one before in Sycamore Canyon, but not up close and personal like this memorable encounter.

Brown Vinesnake

Brown Vinesnake

Brown Vinesnake

Brown Vinesnake

California Gulch:
Non-breeding-plumaged male BLACK-CAPPED GNATCATCHER at the 4th creek crossing, with a BLACK-TAILED GNATCATCHER.
FIVE-STRIPED SPARROWS appear to be in full-on winter mode, and proved very hard to find. It took three and a half hours to finally get a visual, but we did eventually see two pairs and hear another three or more.
Also, GRAY HAWK, PACIFIC-SLOPE and DUSKY-CAPPED FLYCATCHERS, BLACK-THROATED GRAY and TOWNSEND’S WARBLERS, SUMMER and WESTERN TANAGERS, VARIED BUNTING, and BULLOCK’S ORIOLE.

Black-capped Gnatcatcher

Five-striped Sparrow

Nashville Warbler

Pacific-slope Flycatcher

Pacific-slope Flycatcher

Wilson's Warbler

Wilson's Warbler

Arivaca Lake:
No Thick-billed Kingbirds today, but we did find YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT, GREEN-TAILED TOWHEE, RUFOUS-WINGED SPARROW, and SUMMER and WESTERN TANAGERS.

Amado Pond:
Four BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCKS, RING-NECKED DUCK, and NEOTROPIC CORMORANT.

Green Valley:
GILDED FLICKER at the south end of S La Canada Drive.

Mile Wide Rd Recharge Ponds (west of Tucson):
A juvenile GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE was a nice surprise. A BENDIRE’S THRASHER showed well on the fences, and a HARRIS’S HAWK nearby.

Greater White-fronted Goose

 

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