An outstanding morning of target birding in the Atascosa Highlands, with several big highlights.
A quick stop at dawn produced ‘MEXICAN’ MALLARD, NEOTROPIC CORMORANT, and good views of LESSER NIGHTHAWK.
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!
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.
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!
Also along Ruby Rd, BLACK VULTURE, GRAY HAWK, GREATER ROADRUNNER, LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE, HEPATIC TANAGER, and BLUE GROSBEAK.
We found our main target bird, half a dozen FIVE-STRIPED SPARROWS, without too much fuss.
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.
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.
A BARN OWL continues at the regular roost site.