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A thoroughly enjoyable cuckoo survey at Pesqueira Canyon near Nogales. Jennie and I found 43 species, including the main target, a YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO. We also found a rare butterfly.
Also in the canyon this morning, lots more birds feeding on the abundant insect life. Three BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCKS flew over, and we also encountered two MONTEZUMA QUAIL, four GRAY HAWKS, COMMON GROUND-DOVE, five GREATER ROADRUNNERS, five migrant GRAY FLYCATCHERS, BROWN-CRESTED FLYCATCHER, CRISSAL THRASHER, MacGILLIVRAY’S WARBLER, RUFOUS-WINGED, BOTTERI’S, CASSIN’S, BLACK-THROATED, LARK, and RUFOUS-CROWNED SPARROWS, SUMMER TANAGER, BLUE GROSBEAK, VARIED BUNTING, HOODED and BULLOCK’S ORIOLES, and BRONZED COWBIRD.
Of the abundant insects, one stood out as the highlight – in fact, highlight of the day, and one of the best things I’ve found all year. I spotted a ‘patch’ butterfly and something struck me as being different from the regular Bordered Patch and worthy of further investigation. I got a documentary photo and later realized it was worth a second look, as it was a rare Mexican vagrant, a ROSITA PATCH, which has only been recorded in Arizona a handful of times.