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

Elegant Trogon, Five-striped Sparrow, Black-capped Gnatcatcher

My 15th and final visit of the month to the Atascosa Highlands and Pajarito Wilderness area, and a good one too, with 84 species.

Ruby Rd:

The usual roadside denizens included GRAY HAWK, GREATER ROADRUNNER, LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE, ‘AZURE’ EASTERN BLUEBIRD, LARK SPARROW, and a bonus SONORAN WHIPSNAKE. On the downside, we also found a dead COMMON POORWILL, obviously the victim of a vehicle collision.

Common Poorwill [1]

Peña Blanca Lake:

Again, I couldn’t locate a Green Kingfisher, but we did see BELTED KINGFISHER, HOUSE WREN, ORANGE-CROWNED and the continuing, getting latish, LUCY’S WARBLER, RUFOUS-WINGED SPARROW, an early LINCOLN’S SPARROW, LAZULI BUNTING, and HOODED ORIOLE.

Lucy's Warbler [2]

Rufous-winged Sparrow [3]

Vermilion Flycatcher and Rufous-winged Sparrow [4]

Pena Blanca Lake [5]

Peña Blanca Canyon:

As the morning warmed, bird activity began to drop, but we managed to find GRAY HAWK, a male ELEGANT TROGON, ARIZONA WOODPECKER, DUSKY, PACIFIC-SLOPE, and DUSKY-CAPPED FLYCATCHERS, HUTTON’S and WARBLING VIREOS, TOWNSEND’S WARBLER, PAINTED REDSTART, CHIPPING SPARROW, and a gorgeous, showy male VARIED BUNTING.

Varied Bunting [6]

Varied Bunting [7]

Varied Bunting [8]

Varied Bunting [9]

Confluence of California Gulch and Warsaw Canyon:

It took a while as we slogged through the heat of the afternoon, but we did eventually dig out a FIVE-STRIPED SPARROW.

Five-striped Sparrow [10]

The BLACK-CAPPED GNATCATCHERS continue to flit around, buzzing away, with their comedy molting tails.

Black-capped Gnatcatcher [11]

Also in the gulch, BELL’S VIREO, BLACK-TAILED GNATCATCHER, RUFOUS-WINGED SPARROW, SUMMER TANAGER, and VARIED BUNTING,.

Oro Blanco Wash:

A couple of CASSIN’S SPARROWS showed fairly well.

Arivaca Lake:

A migrant WILLOW FLYCATCHER was a treat.

Willow Flycatcher [12]

Also at the lake, great close views of a ZONE-TAILED HAWK, calling TROPICAL KINGBIRD, COMMON YELLOWTHROAT, MacGILLIVRAY’S and YELLOW WARBLERS, YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT, SUMMER TANAGER, and LAZULI BUNTING. BOTTERI’S and BLACK-THROATED SPARROWS were easily seen at the roadside as we left.

Amado Pond:

Quite an increase in activity from my last visit, with ‘MEXICAN’ MALLARD, BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCK, several NEOTROPIC and one juvenile DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT, GREAT BLUE and BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERONS, and migrating TREE and CLIFF SWALLOWS all present.

Sunset over Amado [13]