An excellent day of birding in the Santa Cruz Valley and Santa Rita Mountains, with 85 species.
Esplendor Resort, Rio Rico:
Female HOODED ORIOLE still at this traditional breeding site.
Rio Rico Pond:
25 BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCKS, a couple of SPOTTED and a single LEAST SANDPIPER, TROPICAL KINGBIRDS feeding young.
The continuing family of eight BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCKS, and continuing RING-NECKED DUCK.
A couple of LUCY’S WARBLERS linger, on S Camino De La Canoa.
Santa Rita Lodge, Madera Canyon:
The female WHITE-EARED HUMMINGBIRD came to the Tree Feeder a few times, but we did NOT see a Plain-capped Starthroat in two visits totaling nearly three hours. There may still be one (or more) around, but no luck for us today.
A complete surprise, another birder alerted us to a juvenile ELEGANT TROGON perched in the trees behind and to the right of the deck feeder. It showed for maybe ten seconds and then headed towards the creek.
Also, ARIZONA WOODPECKER, and PAINTED REDSTART.
Madera Canyon Rd, mile 9:
A GREEN-TAILED TOWHEE was by the roadside, calling. Plenty of BOTTERI’S SPARROWS and a single singing CASSIN’S SPARROW.
Florida Canyon (only around the parking area and entrance road):
GRAY HAWK, BLACK-TAILED (but no Black-capped) GNATCATCHER, NASHVILLE WARBLER, and a female/immature VARIED BUNTING.
Thanks to Charles Melton for pointing out another ELF butterfly, by the first creek crossing. Charles said there were more up canyon.
We eventually found an adult female BLACK-CAPPED GNATCATCHER with half a tail due to heavy molt. It was by the sweat lodge, which is a few hundred yards up canyon from the culvert. We found BLACK-TAILED GNATCATCHERS down canyon.
Also, PACIFIC-SLOPE and DUSKY FLYCATCHERS, and more female/immature VARIED BUNTINGS (the adult males seem to have departed).