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Despite strong winds, we managed an impressive 72 species on the ‘Atascosa Loop’ with some memorable sightings.
Peña Blanca Canyon:
At the entrance to the canyon, we watched a pair of GRAY HAWKS, presumably nesting nearby, furiously attacking a passing RED-TAILED HAWK.
A pair of ZONE-TAILED HAWKS are also nesting in the canyon.
We heard a pair of RUFOUS-CAPPED WARBLERS chattering away, but it was hard to get good views.
We were keen to see ELEGANT TROGONS, and found several.
Also in the canyon, GRAY HAWK, HAMMOND’S, DUSKY-CAPPED and ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHERS, BUSHTIT, HERMIT THRUSH, LUCY’S, NASHVILLE, BLACK-THROATED GRAY, TOWNSEND’S, and WILSON’S WARBLERS, PAINTED REDSTART, RUFOUS-WINGED SPARROW, HEPATIC TANAGER, and HOODED and SCOTT’S ORIOLES.
As we drove back out of the canyon we saw another male ELEGANT TROGON from the car. Trogons are shy, sensitive creatures, but this male was far less concerned about our presence in the car than he would have been if we were on foot. We were able to follow him for several minutes as he continued feeding on large hairy caterpillars. I took these photos through my sunroof!
A SONORAN WHIPSNAKE dashed across the road, but was too quick for everyone to get a view.
We stopped in at the parking area and, despite the wind, we were able to locate a few ‘AZURE’ EASTERN BLUEBIRDS, including a probable nest. They were keeping down in the trees, instead of their usual high perches. A SUMMER TANAGER was also calling here.
Arivaca Lake Rd:
The road to the lake proved to be very productive, with excellent views of a couple of SWAINSON’S HAWKS, an equally good look at a LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE, plus loads of LUCY’S WARBLERS and a BLACK-TAILED JACKRABBIT.
It was very pleasing to see so much water in the lake. We found NEOTROPIC CORMORANT, BLACK VULTURE, OSPREY, GRAY HAWK, ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER, CASSIN’S and WESTERN KINGBIRDS, BELL’S VIREO, LUCY’S and YELLOW WARBLERS, GREEN-TAILED TOWHEE, and RUFOUS-WINGED SPARROW.
This splendid RED-TAILED HAWK posed for us near Arivaca for some nice photos.
As we headed back towards Green Valley, we added GREATER ROADRUNNER and PYRRHULOXIA to the list to end a fantastic day in this wonderful part of the world.