Birding Blog Archives

May 24th, 2015
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Coachline Gravel Pit

The tenth and final day of our tour was a shorter one, with a trip to Coachline Gravel Pit, a nice lunch, and a final review of the list before we finished. Our final bird total was an impressive 187 species, with lots more exciting wildlife besides!

Coachline Gravel Pit (aka Lake Marana, El Rio Open Space, Marana Disc Golf Course, etc):

The first bird we noticed on our arrival was a big ole AMERICAN WHITE PELICAN, a very entertaining bird to watch.

American White Pelican

We had a good ‘field guide moment’ with side-by-side comparison of a bunch of NEOTROPIC and a single DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT.

Neotropic and Double-crested Cormorant, American White Pelican

Large wading birds were well represented, with GREAT EGRET, and GREAT BLUE, GREEN, and BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERONS. The only shorebirds were BLACK-NECKED STILTS and KILLDEERS. Also there, YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT, ABERT’S TOWHEE, and WESTERN TANAGER. We enjoyed watching the ROUND-TAILED GROUND-SQUIRRELS get up to their usual antics, and were treated to some nice reptiles and amphibians, which included SPINY SOFTSHELL TURTLE and ZEBRA-TAILED LIZARD.

Round-tailed Ground-Squirrel

Zebra-tailed Lizard

My highlight of the morning, however, was a brief view of a new lizard spcies for me, a superb DESERT IGUANA! I only had a two-second view, and thought I was going mad, but luckily my friend Melissa Willaims saw one in the same place a couple of days later, confirming that I had really seen what I thought I had. I didn’t see it as well as Melissa did, though – this is her fabulous photo.

Desert Iguana

Photo © Melissa Williams

Coachline Gravel Pit

Coachline Gravel Pit

Coachline Gravel Pit

Tucson Audubon’s Mason Center, NW Tucson:

Wanting to pick up Harris’s Hawk for the trip list, we swung by the Mason Center, but never did locate the hawks. We did see BROWN-CRESTED FLYCATCHERS, and several ‘DESERT’ PURPLE MARTINS as adequate compensation.

My thanks to Janet for putting up with me for ten days, and being a really great companion for the tour!


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