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May 27th, 2015
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California Gulch at Night

Eight happy birders enjoyed another successful trip to the confluence of California Gulch and Warsaw Canyon.

The first BUFF-COLLARED NIGHTJAR began calling/singing at 7:36 p.m. and we saw it soon after, singing from an exposed twig on the edge of a mesquite. A female joined him briefly, while at least one other male began calling in the distance. It was difficult to track numbers efficiently as the birds were moving around, so two males and one female is a conservative minimum. They were heard/seen at various points – up the road from the campsite, the eastern slope of California Gulch to the north of the confluence, and also to the south of the confluence.

Buff-collared Nightjar

It was an real honor to help Monte Taylor finally get a photo of this species, a bird he first saw in the 80s. Monte has photographed far more species in the ABA area than anyone else. I think this was #846! A remarkable achievement. No doubt the nightjar photo will appear on Monte’s website soon.

Buff-collared Nightjar © Monte M. Taylor

Also there, I was delighted to see a pair of FIVE-STRIPED SPARROWS right at the confluence at dusk. They’re not always at this point, but it makes it theoretically possible to see Five-striped Sparrow from or very close to your car, a rare opportunity for those with mobility issues. A COMMON POORWILL was seen on the road after dark.

We stopped at the parking area for SYCAMORE CANYON briefly and had good views of ELF OWL, with a minimum of three birds present, plus calling WHISKERED SCREECH-OWL and distant calling COMMON POORWILL.

 

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