Another great day in Santa Cruz County, visiting two of the best birding canyons in Arizona.
Peña Blanca Canyon:
We were hoping to find the RUFOUS-CAPPED WARBLERS, and we did, although I didn’t get a photo today. I was pleased to find a couple of BLACK-CHINNED SPARROWS, a species that can be hard at the best of times. Even more surprising, at least four singing male CRISSAL THRASHERS were evident, and one even showed itself high on the slope, singing from an ocotillo.
The canyon was especially lively, and we enjoyed views of MONTEZUMA QUAIL, RED-NAPED SAPSUCKER, ARIZONA WOODPECKER, GRAY FLYCATCHER, HUTTON’S VIREO, CANYON WREN, BLACK-TAILED GNATCATCHER, HERMIT THRUSH, GREEN-TAILED, SPOTTED and CANYON TOWHEES, LINCOLN’S SPARROW, and a wintering HEPATIC TANAGER.
Along the way we saw GREATER ROADRUNNER, LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE, AMERICAN ROBIN, PHAINOPEPLA, and BLACK-THROATED SPARROW. A roadside cattle tank held a surprisingly good variety of ducks, including BUFFLEHEAD.
We didn’t have long and only walked the first half mile, but we still found ARIZONA WOODPECKER, BRIDLED TITMOUSE, ROCK WREN, and a splendid PAINTED REDSTART.
A couple of TREE SWALLOWS appeared alongside I-19.