Saturday, May 31, 2014

AZ Big Year - Week Nineteen

7 May 2014 Wednesday:  Second day with Susan & Warner, today we birded the Catalina Highway
Molino Basin – nesting Bell’s Vireo, 3 tanager species in one tree
Loma Linda Ext. intersection – Western Bluebirds, male Olive Warbler at eyelevel, Pygmy Nuthatch
Summerhaven – Evening Grosbeaks fly over
Marshall Gulch – Red-faced Warblers
Mt Lemmon – windy, Mountain Chickadees, Yellow-eyed Juncos
Rose Canyon Lake entrance – Virginia’s Warbler, nesting Pygmy Nuthatch, heard Grace’s Warbler,
Houghton Road near Price – Harris’s Hawk perched roadside
8 May 2014 Thursday: first of three days with Melanie & Velma, we birded the Catalina Highway again
Molino Basin – another Bell’s Vireo nest
Summerhaven – Band-tailed Pigeon, continuing late Red-naped Sapsucker, Townsend’s Warbler
Marshall Gulch – heard an Olive Warbler, saw a Virginia’s Warbler not so well, saw many Red-faced Warblers very well (and photographed)
Incinerator Ridge – more Red-faced Warblers, nice looks at Virginia’s Warbler, several Olive Warblers, Townsend’s, Hermit, & Grace’s Warblers
Green Valley – dipped on the Harris’s Hawk
9 May 2014 Friday: Day two with Melanie & Velma, birded Florida & Madera Canyons
Florida Canyon - perched second year Gray Hawk, okay looks but poor photo-ops on two Rufous-capped Warblers (nest appears to be abandoned), several Lucy’s Warblers, singing Indigo Buntings & Black-chinned Sparrows
Madera Canyon – Gray Hawks at nest over Madera Picnic Area
Carrie Nation Trail – three Arizona Woodpeckers, photographed an early Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher, multiple Black-throated Gray Warblers, Bronzed Cowbird at Madera Kubo
Evening alone at the Mt Wrightson Picnic Area – Mexican Whip-poor-will
Proctor Road – male Buff-collared Nightjar singing on territory.
10 May 2014 Saturday: A scheduled day off of guiding.
IMBD walk in Madera Canyon along the Proctor Trail.
Montosa Canyon – found BCGN nest with at least three nestlings, hope they hang in there until next Friday. I later learned that they fledged after my observation of them in the nest.
11 May 2014 Sunday: Birded lower Sabino Canyon with John Wittenberg.  Perhaps one of the most exciting observations this morning was a female Cooper’s Hawk consuming a Cactus Wren.  The hawk was probably the female of the breeding pair that is nesting nearby. We also saw a pair of very territorial Northern Beardless –Tyrannulets, eight Pacific-slope Flycatchers (all vocalizing), a female Black-tailed Gnatcatcher feeding a fledgling, and a full view of a Yellow-breasted Chat (that doesn’t happen very often).
12 May 2014 Monday: Back to the Huachuca Mountains, this time with Melanie & Velma for our third & final day together. 
Huachuca Canyon – We heard but were not able to see the Sinaloa Wren. We did see (and hear) many other migrant and breeding species at the lower picnic areas.  At and above the 1.7-mile picnic area, Velma found a Northern Pygmy-Owl perched out in the open being harassed by two nearby nesting Brown Creepers. We also had a singing male Elegant Trogon and three Sulphur-bellied Flycatchers (still on the early side).

Miller Canyon – Again we settled on seeing the female since the male could not be found. We also found another Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher, perhaps the FOS individual found last week.  While heading back down to the Beatty’s a very obliging Band-tailed Pigeon nervously perched about thirty feet away.  Quite unusual for this species to allow this close of an approach and not be on a feeder.  Towards the feeders, my first of the year White-eared Hummingbird posed for pictures along the path leading to the CAS feeders and then visited the feeders & perched nearby for most of our visit. 

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