Birding Blog Archives

May 2nd, 2015
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Five-striped Sparrow

An excellent day of birding in Santa Cruz County, with a cool 95 species.

Peña Blanca Canyon:

We failed to detect a trogon, unfortunately, and had to be content with a migrant SHARP-SHINNED HAWK, GRAY HAWK, ARIZONA WOODPECKER, BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER, TOWNSEND’S and WILSON’S WARBLERS, RUFOUS-WINGED SPARROW, HEPATIC and SUMMER TANAGERS, and a fairly early female BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK.

Bushtit

Hepatic Tanager

Rufous-crowned Sparrow

Summer Tanager

Peña Blanca Canyon

Ruby Rd:

OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER, ‘AZURE’ EASTERN BLUEBIRD, BOTTERI’S SPARROW, LAZULI BUNTING, and HOODED ORIOLE were all found at various points along the road.

'Azure' Eastern Bluebird

Greater Roadrunner

I was pleased to find a WESTERN PATCH-NOSED SNAKE on the road, in almost the same spot I saw an Eastern Patch-nosed Snake a couple of weeks ago.

Western Patch-nosed Snake

Western Patch-nosed Snake

Western Patch-nosed Snake

California Gulch:

A couple of pairs of FIVE-STRIPED SPARROW were disputing a territory, which meant close views for us.

Five-striped Sparrow

Five-striped Sparrow

Also in the gulch, NORTHERN BEARDLESS-TYRANNULET, WARBLING VIREO, BLACK-TAILED GNATCATCHER, ORANGE-CROWNED and WILSON’S WARBLERS, SUMMER TANAGER, and HOODED ORIOLE.

Arizona Rainbow Hedgehog Cactus

Montaña Peak, from California Gulch Rd

California Gulch

A couple of female BLACK-CHINNED HUMMINGBIRDS have nests in the gulch. This one has very small young.

Black-chinned Hummingbird on nest

Whereas this one has picked a bad place for a nest, on the end of a branch that sticks right out into the trail. There’s no way of getting down canyon without disturbing her from her nest. I had a quick look and she currently has one egg. At least she comes back within seconds of being flushed, but I do worry that she’ll get too much disturbance, inadvertently, from daytime birders heading for the sparrows, nighttime human traffic in a border canyon like this, plus cattle barging past. I hope she’s successful, but I don’t hold out much hope.

Black-chinned Hummingbird on nest

Black-chinned Hummingbird nest

Arivaca Lake:

The THICK-BILLED KINGBIRD pair continues, along with ‘MEXICAN’ MALLARD, GRAY HAWK, COMMON GROUND-DOVE, NORTHERN BEARDLESS-TYRANNULET, YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT, and SUMMER TANAGER.

Amado Pond:

A quick stop produced ‘MEXICAN’ MALLARD, NEOTROPIC CORMORANT, SPOTTED SANDPIPER, WILSON’S PHALAROPE, and ‘MEXICAN’ CLIFF SWALLOW under the nearby I-19 bridge.

Rio Rico Ponds:

BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCKS, BLACK VULTURE, SWAINSON’S and GRAY HAWKS, TROPICAL KINGBIRD, CEDAR WAXWING, LARK SPARROW, and BULLOCK’S ORIOLE.

Black-bellied Whistling-Duck

Tubac:

The Sinaloa Wren was a no-show, but we did watch more ‘MEXICAN’ CLIFF SWALLOWS under the I-19 bridge.

 

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