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March 25th, 2015
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Nesting Black-capped Gnatcatchers

A productive and very pleasant morning of birding in the Green Valley area and Santa Rita Mountains, with 62 species in just a few hours.

Continental:
The LEWIS’S WOODPECKER continues in the pecans at the park in Madera Highlands, on the west side of S. Campbell Avenue.

Lewis's Woodpecker

A good selection of desert species was found at S. Camino De La Canoa, just south of Madera Canyon Rd, including ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER, BLACK-TAILED GNATCATCHER, ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER, RUFOUS-WINGED SPARROW, and PYRRHULOXIA.

Ash-throated Flycatcher

Ash-throated Flycatcher

Ash-throated Flycatcher

Black-tailed Gnatcatcher

Black-tailed Gnatcatcher

Pyrrhuloxia

Pyrrhuloxia

Florida Canyon:
A pair of BLACK-CAPPED GNATCATCHERS was tending the previously-reported nest at the side of the road between the concrete creek crossing just before the parking area, and the parking area itself, about midway between the two, on the left as you approach the parking area. It shouldn’t need to be said, but I’ll say it anyway: please have a little patience, and behave responsibly with these rare breeding birds. You can watch and photograph them from the road perfectly well, without crashing around in the undergrowth or resorting to playing tapes. The gnatcatchers go very quiet around the nest site, so it’s likely you’ll have to find them by sight rather than sound.

Black-capped Gnatcatcher

Black-capped Gnatcatcher

Stops along the road in the mile before the parking area produced a flyover GOLDEN EAGLE, COSTA’S HUMMINGBIRD, NORTHERN BEARDLESS-TYRANNULET, GRAY FLYCATCHER, CASSIN’S VIREO, HERMIT THRUSH, GREEN-TAILED, SPOTTED and CANYON TOWHEES, and RUFOUS-WINGED, BREWER’S and BLACK-THROATED SPARROWS.

Golden Eagle

Black-throated Sparrow

Black-throated Sparrow

Rufous-winged Sparrow

Madera Canyon:
Great birding from comfortable chairs at Santa Rita Lodge, with WILD TURKEY, ANNA’S, BLACK-CHINNED and loads of BROAD-BILLED HUMMINGBIRDS, and what seemed like a million PINE SISKINS, plus loads more good stuff. Please make a donation towards the cost of bird feed.

Broad-billed Hummingbird

Mexican Jay

Arizona Gray Squirrel

Likewise at Madera Kubo Cabins, where MAGNIFICENT HUMMINGBIRDS were coming in, one of which was a striking leucistic bird with a big white collar and irregular white patches on the mantle, rump and wings.

Leucistic Magnificent Hummingbird

Leucistic Magnificent Hummingbird

Elsewhere in the canyon, PAINTED REDSTARTS are singing and calling all over, and a pair of HEPATIC TANAGERS were at the Madera Picnic Area.

 

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