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

California Gulch, Arivaca Lake

A lovely day in the Pajarito Wilderness with some of my favorite clients and some of my favorite birds.

Ruby Rd:

Driving in from the Arivaca direction, we encountered SWAINSON’S HAWK, GREATER ROADRUNNER, and LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE, as well as both BLACK-TAILED and ANTELOPE JACKRABBITS.

Swainson's Hawk [1]

Close to the Warsaw Canyon turnoff we paused to look at a HOODED ORIOLE, and it proved to be a very productive spot. Over the next ten minutes we found BLACK-CHINNED, COSTA’S, and BROAD-BILLED HUMMINGBIRDS, NORTHERN BEARDLESS-TYRANNULET, and DUSKY-CAPPED and ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHERS.

Canyon Wren [2]

Canyon Wren [3]

Canyon Wren [4]

Oro Blanco Mine:

I was delighted to see a CRISSAL THRASHER fly across the road, and after a while we eventually tracked down a pair of these elusive thrashers.

Crissal Thrasher [5]

Crissal Thrasher [6]

Crissal Thrasher [7]

Crissal Thrasher [8]

Crissal Thrasher [9]

A pair of COMMON GROUND-DOVES was in the same area.

Common Ground-Dove [10]

Common Ground-Dove [11]

Confluence of California Gulch & Warsaw Canyon:

A pair of BLACK-CAPPED GNATCATCHERS were fairly easy to find in the usual hackberry and acacia thicket.

Black-capped Gnatcatcher [12]

Black-capped Gnatcatcher [13]

Black-capped Gnatcatcher [14]

Black-capped Gnatcatcher [15]

Black-capped Gnatcatcher [16]

Black-capped Gnatcatcher [17]

We couldn’t find a Five-striped Sparrow in the heat of the day, but did see BROWN-CRESTED FLYCATCHER, BLACK-TAILED GNATCATCHER, YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT, RUFOUS-WINGED SPARROW, SUMMER TANAGER, and VARIED BUNTING.

California Gulch [18]

Ruby Lakes (aka California Gulch Dam):

We lingered here for a while as it was very pleasant and birdy. Sightings included ‘MEXICAN’ MALLARD, PIED-BILLED GREBE, GRAY HAWK, WHITE-THROATED SWIFT, VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW, YELLOW WARBLER, SUMMER TANAGER, BLUE GROSBEAK, VARIED BUNTING, and BRONZED COWBIRD.

Blue Grosbeak [19]

Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet [20]

Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet [21]

Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet [22]

Summer Tanager [23]

Summer Tanager [24]

Summer Tanager [25]

Varied Bunting [26]

White-throated Swift [27]

White-throated Swift [28]

American Bullfrog [29]

Ruby Lakes [30]

Ruby Lakes [31]

Arivaca Lake:

A smart male INDIGO BUNTING came in to drink, my first of the year. We also found GREAT BLUE & GREEN HERONS, BLACK VULTURE, TROPICAL KINGBIRD, BLUE GROSBEAK, and VARIED BUNTING. BOTTERI’S SPARROWS were singing along the entrance road.

Indigo Bunting [32]

Great Blue Heron [33]

Arivaca Lake [34]

Arivaca Lake [35]

Arivaca Lake Rd [36]

Arivaca Rd:

A LESSER NIGHTHAWK flew over the road as we headed home.