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February 9th, 2015
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The warbler, the wren, the loon, the sapsucker, and the gnatcatcher

A very pleasant day of birding in mostly Santa Cruz county, picking up several rarities among 77 species.

Rio Rico:
Pair of GREAT HORNED OWLS roosting at Esplendor Resort, plus BLACK-TAILED GNATCATCHER and RUFOUS-WINGED SPARROW. A couple of BLACK VULTURES by I-19.

Pena Blanca Lake:
The RUFOUS-CAPPED WARBLER continues in the previously-described location, the cove half way up on the west side of the lake, accessed by a rough trail leading north from the main parking lot/boat ramp area. It was again in the bulrushes/cattails on the northern side of the cove, in loose association with a male COMMON YELLOWTHROAT.
Also at the lake, COMMON MERGANSER, BELTED KINGFISHER, and a few NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOWS over.

Rufous-capped Warbler

Rufous-capped Warbler

This is the cove. The warbler was in the patch of reeds on the far shore on the right.

Pena Blanca Lake

Tubac:
The SINALOA WREN proved fairly easy to get brief glimpses of as it tended its nest a couple of times, but as usual only showed fleetingly otherwise. It called a few times, but didn’t sing while we were there. The location is by the power line cut along the Anza Trail, about 0.8 miles south of Bridge Rd in Tubac. The nest is a scruffy-looking gourd-shaped blob of dried grasses, about 30 yards south of the cut, 30 yards out, at about head height.
A calling WESTERN SCREECH-OWL and a few RUFOUS-WINGED SPARROWS were nearby.

Amado Pond:
The PACIFIC LOON continues, and was quite active today, spending more time under the water than above it.
Also, a few BROWN-HEADED and BRONZED COWBIRDS perched on the turquoise spinning aeration things (do they have a name?)

Pacific Loon

Green Valley:
COSTA’S HUMMINGBIRD, a couple of HARRIS’S HAWKS, GILDED FLICKER, BLACK-TAILED GNATCATCHER and RUFOUS-WINGED SPARROW at the southern end of S La Canada Dr.

Madera Canyon:
At Santa Rita Lodge, WILD TURKEYS, MAGNIFICENT, ANNA’S and BROAD-BILLED HUMMINGBIRDS, RED-NAPED SAPSUCKER (but no Williamson’s for us), and ARIZONA WOODPECKER, plus loads of other good stuff. Thanks to Steve and the staff for their excellent bird feeders and hospitality – they’re really getting it down now.
At Madera Kubo Cabins, the same three hummingbirds plus a couple of TOWNSEND’S WARBLERS high in the sycamores. Likewise, thanks to Cora for her commitment to birds and birders. Both sites accept donations, so please give a little to help them continue this great service.
The familiar old RED-BREASTED SAPSUCKER was back in what used to be his ‘normal tree’ at the Whitehouse Picnic Area, a beaten-up, skinny mesquite opposite the last parking space on the left (it’s a one way loop), and a little way in. However, we couldn’t see it from standing by the parking space, as it was clamped to some fresh wells low down on the right side of the tree (as you look from the parking space), so we had to move to the right and look back to see it.

Red-breasted Sapsucker

Red-breasted Sapsucker

Florida Canyon:
Presumably three different BLACK-CAPPED GNATCATCHERS near the FR481/62A intersection. We were watching a male (which was just starting to get a black cap) while other birders were watching a pair a hundred yards away.

Black-capped Gnatcatcher

 

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