Birding Blog Archives

March 18th, 2015
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Santa Cruz Valley, Santa Rita Mountains

A difficult but successful day of target birding and dodging showers in SE Arizona, with 84 species in total.

No migrants were flying between 9:00 and 10:30 as the rain came down at Ron Morriss Park, although four BLACK-NECKED STILTS were a surprise. We decided to head along the Anza Trail to the wren site, but did see a COMMON BLACK HAWK fly low over the trees on our way. The SINALOA WREN gave a couple of bursts of song south of the power line cut at around 11:45, but we didn’t get a look at it. We also encountered vocal GRAY HAWKS, INCA DOVE, HAMMOND’S, GRAY and PACIFIC-SLOPE FLYCATCHERS, CASSIN’S KINGBIRD, singing BELL’S, PLUMBEOUS and CASSIN’S VIREOS, and ORANGE-CROWNED, LUCY’S, YELLOW, YELLOW-RUMPED and BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLERS.
Back at the park, the action finally got underway and we watched several more COMMON BLACK HAWKS join the TURKEY and BLACK VULTURES heading north.

Common Black Hawk

Common Black Hawk

Hammond's Flycatcher

Clark Crossing Rd, Carmen:
Thanks to Gavin Bieber, we easily saw the GREATER PEWEE that he’d found earlier, where the trail opens out slightly, just beyond the gate as you head north on the Anza Trail. Also there, another flyover COMMON BLACK HAWK, more vocal GRAY HAWKS, a nice ZONE-TAILED HAWK, BROWN CREEPER, and PAINTED REDSTART.

Greater Pewee

Greater Pewee

Greater Pewee

Zone-tailed Hawk

An adult GOLDEN EAGLE flew over between Tubac and Amado, maybe the one that has been frequenting the hawk watch lately.

Amado Pond:
We didn’t locate a Redhead, but did see the continuing PACIFIC LOON early afternoon. Also, three NEOTROPIC CORMORANTS.

Pacific Loon

The LEWIS’S WOODPECKER continues in the Madera Highlands development, along with a GREAT HORNED OWL roosting in a really obvious place in a pecan tree.

Great Horned Owl

Florida Canyon:
The weather caught up with us by late afternoon, and our bid to find Black-capped Gnatcatchers came up short. Frustratingly, we did find a male BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER at the FR 481 / 62A intersection, and we heard a probable Black-capped Gnatcatcher calling just beyond the metal gate, but were unable to get a visual in the rain. We also heard a calling male MONTEZUMA QUAIL, and singing PAINTED REDSTART and HUTTON’S VIREO.

Santa Rita Lodge, Madera Canyon:
More PAINTED REDSTARTS were singing and calling when we arrived just before dark. After dark, multiple WHISKERED SCREECH-OWLS and ELF OWLS were calling, and I got a brief view of one ELF OWL.


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