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

Patagonia Lake, Paton Center, Las Cienegas

An excellent day of winter birding around Patagonia and Sonoita, with 79 species.

Patagonia Lake:

A pair of BLACK-CAPPED GNATCATCHERS was in the thick mesquite and hackberry bosque leading to Nutting’s Wash.¬†We saw a few more continuing rarities in the first quarter mile of the Birding Trail: a WINTER WREN, a WHITE-THROATED SPARROW, and an EASTERN PHOEBE.

Winter Wren [1]

Winter Wren [2]

Winter Wren [3]

Also at the lake, MEXICAN MALLARD, BUFFLEHEAD, COMMON MERGANSER, PIED-BILLED GREBE, NEOTROPIC CORMORANT, GREAT EGRET, WILSON’S SNIPE, GRAY and DUSKY FLYCATCHERS, HUTTON’S VIREO, CANYON, HOUSE, MARSH and BEWICK’S WRENS for a five-wren morning, BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER, and RUFOUS-WINGED SPARROW.

Mexican Duck (Mexican Mallard) [4]

Mexican Duck (Mexican Mallard) [5]

Rufous-winged Sparrow [6]

Rufous-winged Sparrow [7]

Probably the most unusual sighting, however, was this COCKRUM’S GRAY SHREW which we found running along in a bit of a daze, then climbing the trunk of a cottonwood tree! I didn’t realize that seeing a live shrew was such a rare event, and while this species is known from Arizona, there are no previous records in iNaturalist. Wow!

Cockrum's Gray Shrew (Notiosorex cockrumi) [8]

A quick stop at Mayas Ct. on the way out of the park produced both BOTTERI’S and CASSIN’S SPARROWS with relative ease.

Tucson Audubon’s Paton Center for Hummingbirds, Patagonia:

Still fabulous, despite the current construction work. We were entertained by close views of WHITE-WINGED and INCA DOVES, ANNA’S HUMMINGBIRD, GREEN-TAILED and ABERT’S TOWHEES, LARK and LINCOLN’S SPARROWS, and much more.

Gambel's Quail [9]

Inca Dove [10]

Ladder-backed Woodpecker [11]

Lincoln's Sparrow [12]

Las Cienegas:

A drive through the grasslands in the afternoon added GREATER ROADRUNNER, HORNED LARK, WESTERN BLUEBIRD, CHESTNUT-COLLARED LONGSPUR, and both WESTERN and ‘LILIAN’S’ EASTERN MEADOWLARKS.

S. River Rd, Nogales:

A GREAT HORNED OWL on wires by the road at dusk ended the day in style.

Great Horned Owl [13]