A very pleasant day of birding at some of the hottest sites in SE Arizona, with 72 species.
A morning walk along the Anza Trail, around the bridge and in Ron Morriss Park produced excellent views of GRAY HAWK, plus ‘MEXICAN’ MALLARD, NORTHERN BEARDLESS-TYRANNULET, VERMILION FLYCATCHER, CASSIN’S KINGBIRD, PLUMBEOUS VIREO, NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED and BARN SWALLOWS, LUCY’S and YELLOW WARBLERS, GREEN-TAILED TOWHEE, and SUMMER TANAGER.
Peña Blanca Canyon:
Our main target was ELEGANT TROGON and we managed to find a couple of males and a female.
Even though we didn’t arrive until late afternoon, there was still some good bird activity, including BLACK VULTURE, GRAY and ZONE-TAILED HAWKS (the latter with a nest), GREATER ROADRUNNER, ARIZONA WOODPECKER, HAMMOND’S, DUSKY-CAPPED and ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHERS, BUSHTIT, ROCK and CANYON WRENS, AMERICAN ROBIN, BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLER, PAINTED REDSTART, RUFOUS-CROWNED and RUFOUS-WINGED SPARROWS, and ‘GRAY-HEADED’ form DARK-EYED JUNCO.
The fruit on the mulberry trees by the railroad crossing are ripening, and starting to attract birds. There was a huge flock of PINE SISKINS, and a bunch of PHAINOPEPLAS, as well as several WESTERN KINGBIRDS, my first of the year.
The feeders at Santa Rita Lodge and Madera Kubo Lodge still had birds coming in, despite the mid-afternoon timing, including WILD TURKEY, MAGNIFICENT, BLACK-CHINNED, BROAD-TAILED and BROAD-BILLED HUMMINGBIRDS, YELLOW-EYED JUNCO, HEPATIC TANAGER, and SCOTT’S ORIOLE.
It was fun to watch a PAINTED REDSTART repeatedly feeding from a hummingbird feeder at Madera Kubo.
As we drove back out of the canyon, we had great views of a GRAY HAWK at the side of the road.
We ended a fine day by spending a few minutes around the parking area, finding GRAY HAWK, RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD, and BELL’S VIREO.
I quickly checked on the Black-capped Gnatcatcher nest that had been built right next to the trail. As I speculated a few days ago, the nest has been abandoned and has started to be picked apart, possibly by the gnatcatchers themselves, recycling the material as they build their new nest.