Birding Blog Archives

May 17th, 2015
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Caps Lock! Plain-capped Starthroat, Rufous-capped Warbler, and Black-capped Gnatcatcher

Day three of the tour gave us some excellent rarities in the wonderful Santa Rita Mountains.

Florida Canyon:

A couple of RUFOUS-CAPPED WARBLERS were above the oak grove in the usual area. One bird was singing almost constantly from the moment we arrived until we left. I’ve never heard one be quite so vocal. I can only assume there’s been a recent change in their breeding status (young just fledged?)

Rufous-capped Warbler

A female-type BLACK-CAPPED GNATCATCHER was between the metal gate and the big water tank. Also in the canyon, calling MONTEZUMA QUAIL, the nesting pair of GRAY HAWKS, NORTHERN BEARDLESS-TYRANNULET, PACIFIC-SLOPE and a migrant CORDILLERAN FLYCATCHER (both calling), AMERICAN ROBIN, WESTERN TANAGER, HOODED and SCOTT’S ORIOLES, and perhaps the most exciting ‘trifecta’ of them all, singing male LAZULI, INDIGO and VARIED BUNTINGS – just stunning!

Gray Hawk

Scott's Oriole

I also got a new butterfly, a Goatweed Leafwing.

Goatweed Leafwing

Madera Canyon:

The PLAIN-CAPPED STARTHROAT that was reported earlier came in to the feeders at Santa Rita Lodge multiple times between 12:00 and 2:00 p.m. It came to the deck feeders once, but more often to feeder #10.

Plain-capped Starthroat

Plain-capped Starthroat

Other hummers included excellent views of MAGNIFICENT, ANNA’S, BLACK-CHINNED, BROAD-TAILED and BROAD-BILLED HUMMINGBIRDS. Also at the lodge, WILD TURKEY, ARIZONA WOODPECKER, HEPATIC TANAGER, and BLUE GROSBEAK. Steve at Santa Rita Lodge is doing a really great job with the feeders – thanks Steve! Please leave a donation in the green box.

Hepatic Tanager

Amado Pond:

Several LESSER NIGHTHAWKS were hunting low over the water before dusk, giving fabulous views. Also there, an unseasonal RING-NECKED DUCK, NEOTROPIC CORMORANT, and ‘MEXICAN’ CLIFF SWALLOWS.

Rio Rico:

A few BLACK VULTURES and a SWAINSON’S HAWK were seen from I-19, and GREAT HORNED OWL was roosting at the Esplendor Resort.

Undisclosed site:

We were passing by, so checked in on the roosting BARN OWL, which continues.

Madera Canyon again:

Night birding was fairly productive without being brilliant, with ELF OWL and WHISKERED SCREECH-OWL both seen at Santa Rita Lodge, COMOMN POORWILL, MEXICAN WHIP-POOR-WILL heard calling, and WESTERN SCREECH-OWL calling at Proctor Rd.


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