Tuesday, April 1, 2014

AZ Big Year - Week Thirteen

26 March 2014 Wednesday: Out again with John.  This morning we headed up to Florida Canyon for the oblivious.  We found the Rufous-capped Warblers at 08:30 and spent a large amount of time trying to line up for good photographic opportunities.  Uncharacteristically the two warblers did not cooperate, they did everything in their power to make photography difficult.  We did however come away with a few good shots each.  Almost back at the parking lot we found an entertaining pair of Bewick’s Wrens filling a knot hole cavity with grass and twigs, I suppose nest building.  While John took their pictures, I watched for trogons.  Next we went up to Madera Canyon to watch the feeders. The big news there was two female Cassin’s Finches at the lodge where there had been only one seen previously. Not every spring day will hold a year bird for me - shucks.
27 March 2014 Thursday: I scouted Montosa Canyon this morning before the strong winds set in.  I was hoping to get some photographs of the reported pair of Black-capped Gnatcatchers, I settle with hearing one.  I also heard my first Scott’s Oriole for the year. 
28 March 2014 Friday:  I guided Sharon & Phil and four friends around Madera Canyon this morning.  We spent most of our time walking along the Proctor Road trail.  I did not bring my camera today because of the large number of people – therefore we had up close and personal looks at a Zone-tailed Hawk over a thirty-minutes period, a pair of Northern Beardless Tyrannulets foraging at close range with no viewing obstructions, and a pair of Bell’s Vireos doing the same. Had I brought the camera, none of that would have happened.  We also heard at least one singing Scott’s Oriole and up to three Montezuma Quail calling.  Up at Madera Kubo, most of us saw a male Blue-throated Hummingbird.  At the Santa Rita Lodge, one of the female Cassin’s Finches remains and a male Black-headed Grosbeak was heard singing but not seen. 
29 March 2014 Saturday: With the exception of about 45 seconds, I did not watch birds today.  During the morning hours I was at the Friends of Madera Canyon volunteer appreciation breakfast and for the rest of the day I was replacing the kitchen sink and faucet.  As I was unloading the new sink from my truck, I heard a call that I’ve not heard for several months – a Hooded Oriole.  I got my binoculars and was fortunate to see a wonderfully plumaged male fly into the Palo Verde tree in the front.  Number 286.
Immature Harris's Hawk - Green Valley
30 March 2014 Sunday: No birding, completed a faucet replacement project.
31 March 2014 Monday:  I was out with Sharon & Lois this morning.  Sharon had a few lifers she wanted to see and unfortunately still has.  We first tried for the Sinaloa Wren in Tubac.  Though we heard it rather well several times, we were not able to see any movement from this bird. Next was Montosa Canyon for the Crissal Thrasher.  Similar story, we heard one thrasher singing way up on the hillside (south slope of canyon) and we were not able to put binoculars on it.  A last minute decision paid off, a second year Harris’s Hawk perched atop an Agave stalk in a Green Valley neighborhood.


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