An excellent morning of birding the Tubac area, with 70 species.
Anza Trail, Tubac:
We started the day by watching a group of JAVELINA (Collared Pecary) from the bridge. Always fun to watch.
Sadly, we also found a dead juvenile HARRIS’S HAWK under the bridge, directly below some low-slung wires. As I mentioned last month, Harris’s Hawk is a rarity in Santa Cruz County and I’ve only seen two previously, both also juveniles. The one I saw last month was flying high over the bridge, so unless it turned around and came back, it presumably wasn’t that one. But it was a sad sight nonetheless.
We found a good assortment of birds around the bridge, along the Anza Trail and in Ron Morriss Park, including BLACK VULTURE, GRAY HAWK, NORTHERN BEARDLESS-TYRANNULET, GRAY and VERMILION FLYCATCHERS, CASSIN’S KINGBIRD, BELL’S VIREO, NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW, LUCY’S and YELLOW WARBLERS, GREEN-TAILED and ABERT’S TOWHEE, RUFOUS-WINGED, LARK, SONG, LINCOLN’S and a ‘MOUNTAIN’ subspecies WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW, and PINE SISKIN.
Gulls are always a surprise find in the Arizona desert. RING-BILLED GULL is the commonest, but still unusual.
Otherwise the pond was quiet, with just RING-NECKED DUCK, TREE and BARN SWALLOWS, and LAZULI BUNTING being of note.
Rock Corral Canyon:
We started along the bumpy dirt road and saw a ZONE-TAILED HAWK near the freeway.
At this point my camera battery died and I didn’t have my spare (schoolboy error) so I was reduced to photos with my phone.
Several BLACK-TAILED GNATCATCHERS were noisily calling in the desert approaching the canyon, as was a GREATER ROADRUNNER, and BREWER’S and BLACK-THROATED SPARROWS.
We birded quite a way up canyon. Our best find was a pair of BLACK-CAPPED GNATCATCHERS about a half mile beyond the rock corral.
The canyon also produced BLACK VULTURE, SHARP-SHINNED and GRAY HAWKS, WHITE-THROATED SWIFT, COSTA’S HUMMINGBIRD, NORTHERN BEARDLESS-TYRANNULET, CASSIN’S KINGBIRD, BELL’S and HUTTON’S VIREOS, HERMIT THRUSH, LUCY’S and NASHVILLE WARBLERS, RUFOUS-CROWNED and RUFOUS-WINGED SPARROWS, and ‘OREGON’ and PINK-SIDED’ forms of DARK-EYED JUNCO.
It’s a shame it’s such a rough road to get to the canyon which requires a brave truck-owner to reach. It really is a beautiful place.