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April 6th, 2015
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Rufous-capped Warbler & Black-capped Gnatcatcher

A great day of spring birding, from Green Valley to the Santa Rita Mountains, with 85 species and loads of photos.

Continental:
The LEWIS’S WOODPECKER continues at Madera Highlands, in pecans in the park to the west of S. Campbell Ave (there are two parks). Also there, both CASSIN’S and newly-arrived WESTERN KINGBIRDS, and HOODED ORIOLE.

Lewis's Woodpecker

The fruit on the mulberry trees to the southwest of Madera Canyon/Whitehouse Canyon Rd, just west of the railroad, are ripening, and hosted 50+ CEDAR WAXWINGS. It will be fun to keep on eye on these trees for the next few weeks.
BLACK-TAILED GNATCATCHER and RUFOUS-WINGED SPARROW popped up in the desert south of Madera Canyon Rd.

Black-tailed Gnatcatcher

Black-throated Sparrow

Rufous-winged Sparrow

Green Valley:
Three NEOTROPIC CORMORANTS flew over, heading somewhere or other. At the southern end of S. La Canada Drive, we found HARRIS’S HAWK and GILDED FLICKER, and more desert species.

Ash-throated Flycatcher

Phainopepla

Phainopepla

Florida Canyon:
The female BLACK-CAPPED GNATCATCHER was on the nest between the parking area and the concrete creek crossing just down the road. The hackberries have really leafed out in the past few days, but the nest is still just about visible from the road.

Black-capped Gnatcatcher

A pair of RUFOUS-CAPPED WARBLERS was up canyon, above the oak grove about 0.75 miles from the parking area.

Rufous-capped Warbler

Rufous-capped Warbler

Also in the canyon, GRAY HAWK, COSTA’S and RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRDS, HAMMOND’S, GRAY and PACIFIC-SLOPE FLYCATCHERS, CASSIN’S VIREO, a surprise TOWNSEND’S SOLITAIRE, HERMIT THRUSH, BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLER, GREEN-TAILED TOWHEE, LAZULI BUNTING, and HOODED ORIOLE.

Hammond's Flycatcher

Florida Canyon

Florida Canyon

The female BROAD-BILLED HUMMINGBIRD that was just starting to build her nest on March 23rd is now sitting on a fully formed nest. As with the gnatcatchers, the hackberries are leafing out, making the nest more difficult to see.

Broad-billed Hummingbird

There was lots of other cool wildlife in the canyon.

Common Buckeye

Red Rock Skimmer

The best was saved for our drive out around lunchtime, when we found two gorgeous SONORAN GOPHERSNAKES on the road. The first one was one of the largest snakes I’ve ever seen in Arizona, a good seven feet long at least.

Sonoran Gophersnake

Sonoran Gophersnake

Sonoran Gophersnake

Sonoran Gophersnake

Sonoran Gophersnake

Madera Canyon Rd:
A BOTTERI’S SPARROW was carrying nesting material at mile marker 9, but it looked more like it was smoking something!

Botteri's Sparrow

Madera Canyon:
At Santa Rita Lodge, a female CASSIN’S FINCH, plus WILD TURKEY, MAGNIFICENT HUMMINGBIRD, RED-NAPED SAPSUCKER, and ARIZONA WOODPECKER, among the excellent feeder action.

Cassin's Finch

This silhouetted image really shows the shape of Cassin’s Finch as opposed to the more familiar House Finch, especially the large, pointed, straight-edged bill.

Cassin's Finch

Magnificent Hummingbird

Magnificent Hummingbird

The WILD TURKEY flock that lives around Santa Rita Lodge were at their most entertaining, the males starting to get very frisky. The slow, coordinated displays are fun to watch, as are the fights that break out afterwards!

Wild Turkey

Wild Turkey

Wild Turkey

Metalmarks seem to be one family of butterflies which really like hummingbird feeders, this ZELA METALMARK proving the point.

Zela Metlamark

Madera Picnic Area produced BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLER, PAINTED REDSTART, and HEPATIC TANAGER, as well as good views of several cute and vocal CANYON TREEFROGS, which were bleating like goats, as they do.

Canyon Treefrog

Canyon Treefrog

Canyon Treefrog

 

3 comments to Rufous-capped Warbler & Black-capped Gnatcatcher

  • Sandy

    I love all your photos we live up here in payson been here for a year and enjoying our nature and it helps us to identify what we’re looking at through your photos so thank you have a great day

  • Gordon & Lori

    Thanks for a giving us a great day of birding, Richard. Your post will serve as a great reminder to us of a wonderful and bird-filled experience!

  • Richard

    Thanks Sandy. And thanks Gordon and Lori, what a fun day! Looking forward to birding with you again next time.

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