- Southeast Arizona Birding Guide, Richard Fray - https://www.arizonabirder.com -

Montezuma Quail, Five-striped Sparrow

An outstanding morning of target birding in the Atascosa Highlands, with several big highlights.

Amado Pond:

A quick stop at dawn produced ‘MEXICAN’ MALLARD, NEOTROPIC CORMORANT, and good views of LESSER NIGHTHAWK.

Arivaca Lake:

I’ve seen a WESTERN GREBE here several times this spring, but it was a great surprise to find it still present. There are only a handful of previous records of this species in SE Arizona in June. I took a record shot, from 0.4 miles away!

Western Grebe [1]

The THICK-BILLED KINGBIRDS continue at their nest.

Also at the lake, NEOTROPIC CORMORANT, GRAY HAWK, COMMON GROUND-DOVE, NORTHERN BEARDLESS-TYRANNULET, WESTERN WOOD-PEWEE, YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT, SUMMER TANAGER, BLUE GROSBEAK, and BRONZED COWBIRD. We found RUFOUS-WINGED and BOTTERI’S SPARROW along the entrance road, as well as several ANTELOPE JACKRABBITS.

Botteri's Sparrow [2]

Say's Phoebe [3]

Ruby Rd:

Another surprise, a pair of MONTEZUMA QUAIL appeared at the side of the road near the Warsaw Canyon turnoff, and proceeded to give us fantastic views from the car. What a treat!

Montezuma Quail [4]

Montezuma Quail [5]

Montezuma Quail [6]

Montezuma Quail [7]

Also along Ruby Rd, BLACK VULTURE, GRAY HAWK, GREATER ROADRUNNER, LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE, HEPATIC TANAGER, and BLUE GROSBEAK.

California Gulch:

We found our main target bird, half a dozen FIVE-STRIPED SPARROWS, without too much fuss.

Five-striped Sparrow [8]

Five-striped Sparrow [9]

Also in the gulch, GRAY HAWK, ‘DESERT’ PURPLE MARTIN, several BLACK-TAILED GNATCATCHERS (but we couldn’t rustle up a Black-capped today), YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT, BLUE GROSBEAK, and VARIED BUNTING.

Varied Bunting [10]

Varied Bunting [11]

Sycamore Canyon:

We stopped in briefly at the parking area to get our target bird, ‘AZURE’ EASTERN BLUEBIRD, and also picked up NORTHERN BEARDLESS-TYRANNULET, DUSKY-CAPPED FLYCATCHER, and YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT.

Undisclosed site:

A BARN OWL continues at the regular roost site.

Barn Owl [12]