This update of Tucson Audubon Society's Rare Bird Alert for Southeast
Arizona was made on January 27, 2017; the next update will be made
on February 3. Phone your reports to 520-629-0510 X 3, or email to
rarebirdalert AT tucsonaudubon.org.
SEVERAL IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENTS follow the sightings, including information
on temporary closures and rules for access to other important birding
areas. Abbreviation "m.ob." = multiple observers. An asterisk (*)
preceding a species name in the list indicates that it merits careful, full
documentation. A pound sign (#) indicates that brief corroborating details
are warranted. Documentation and photos of review species may be submitted
Where directions are not given, they can be found in the most recent
edition of Tucson Audubon's "Finding Birds in Southeast Arizona". More
information including updates may be found here:
http://tucsonaudubon.org/what-we-do/publications/fbi.html. For additional
sightings in the region, please see the The Arizona-New Mexico Birding
For more information about Tucson Audubon field trips, lectures and
educational opportunities, please see www.tucsonaudubon.org.
SPECIES MENTIONED IN THIS REPORT INCLUDE:
#"Yellow-shafted" Northern Flicker
A *NUTTING'S FLYCATCHER continued south of the confluence of California
Gulch and Warsaw Canyon on 1/26 (Erika Wilson). It has ranged along about
1/2 mile of the wash, from GPS: 31.3989, -111.2475 to 31.39837, -111.24355.
A *RUFOUS-CAPPED WARBLER was reported from the confluence on 1/26 (Scott
Dirks). A #BLACK-CAPPED GNATCATCHER was reported on 1/25 (Aaron Keller).
Annotated map: http://goo.gl/wSr0mi
Three #RUDDY GROUND-DOVES were photographed along the De Anza Trail in Rio
Rico about 200-300 yards south of the Guy Tobin Trailhead on 1/24 (Bill
Lisowsky) and continued on 1/25 (m.ob.). A bright blue plastic water bottle
is a good landmark for the spot.
At Pena Blanca Lake (annotated map: http://goo.gl/zBbzl), an #EASTERN
PHOEBE was reported again on 1/24 (Vicki Dern) in the large cove in the
northwest part of the lake, about 1/3 mile north of the boat ramp.
TUBAC area (annotated map: http://goo.gl/maps/yDqi0)
A male *ROSE-THROATED BECARD continued along the De Anza Trail between the
Tubac Bridge and Clark Crossing Road on 1/21 (Kim Eckert). The bird was
originally seen in a small open area near the kiosk; from the bridge, you
pass through two gates to get there from the bridge. GPS: 31.605859,
-111.043010 but the bird has ranged widely since, even to 350 yards south
of the powerline cut.
Another *ROSE-THROATED BECARD continued along the De Anza Trail at
Tumacacori on 1/27 (m.ob.); from the trailhead just north of the mission,
head east to the kiosk. There is a short spur to the river just east of
here, and the bird has been seen in this area.
A #BROWN THRASHER continued at Santa Gertrudis Lane on 1/27 (m.ob.) across
from #12. Remember to park along the frontage road and walk in. A
#RUFOUS-BACKED ROBIN continued along the De Anza Trail at the crossing on
1/23 (Bill Lisowsky).
PORTAL & the CHIRICAHUAS (annotated map: http://goo.gl/maps/XfXfX)
A *STREAK-BACKED ORIOLE continued to be seen daily at the Foothills Road
(aka Rodrigues yard) feeders as of 1/27 (m.ob.).
A #GRAY CATBIRD continued in Portal on 1/23 (Demetri Lafkas); one has been
reported at Cave Creek Ranch and near the library the last few weeks.
SIERRA VISTA & the HUACHUCAS
In Hunter Canyon (https://goo.gl/CR4YXm), *RUFOUS-CAPPED WARBLERS continued
on 1/20 (m.ob.) in the upper canyon about 0.7 miles up the trail from the
end of Hunter Canyon Road just as the trail enters the grove of trees.
An #EASTERN PHOEBE continued just north of the Hereford Bridge over the San
Pedro on 1/26 (Ken Blankenship).
In Huachuca Canyon a #WINTER WREN was recorded just beyond the loop parking
area on 1/22 (Ken Blankenship) and continued on 1/26 (Michael Kerwin).
A #BROWN THRASHER was reported at a residence in lower Miller Canyon on
1/21 (Ron Beck).
A #CLAY-COLORED SPARROW was reported from Casa de San Pedro B&B on 1/25
GREEN VALLEY & the SANTA RITAS
In Florida Canyon (annotated map: http://goo.gl/AAzD6), *RUFOUS-CAPPED
WARBLERS continued on 1/25 (David Whittier) in the West Fork past the dam.
Directions: About 400 yards from parking lot is a metal gate, and just past
the gate the canyon forks. The main trail follows the East Fork, but most
sightings have been in the West Fork to the right. About 125 yards up the
rough trail in the West Fork is a large water tank and a low dam. The oak
grove is about 1/3 mile past the dam. Note: The trail for the West Fork can
be difficult to find, and is steep and rough in places. If you see the sign
with distances to Florida Saddle, Madera Canyon, etc you've missed the
turn. It is not necessary, recommended or permissible to enter the research
station to see these birds. #BLACK-CAPPED GNATCATCHERS continued in Florida
Canyon this week (m.ob.); they've been seen near the Florida Canyon parking
area and a short distance up the trail.
A #PALM WARBLER continued at Quail Creek Veterans Municipal Park on 1/27
(m.ob.). It seems to travel with (or associate with) the Mountain Bluebirds.
#CACKLING GEESE were reported at the Benson STP on 1/24 (Ron Beck).
WILLCOX & the SULPHUR SPRINGS VALLEY
A male #EURASIAN WIGEON continued at Lake Cochise by the Twin Lakes Golf
Course on 1/26 (m.ob.).
At Patagonia Lake (annotated map: http://goo.gl/GgNvs), a #GREATER SCAUP
continued this week (m.ob.). A #GREEN KINGFISHER continued a short distance
up Sonoita Creek from the east end of the lake on 1/27 (Jon Mann). A
#"YELLOW-SHAFTED" NORTHERN FLICKER was reported along the Birding Trail on
1/24 (m.ob.). An #EASTERN PHOEBE, #WINTER WREN, #BLACK-CAPPED GNATCATCHERS
and a #GRAY CATBIRD all continued along the Birding Trail this week
(m.ob.). observers are encouraged to note or record the calls of the wren
to help separate this from the very similar Pacific Wren.
SANTA CRUZ FLATS
A #LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSH continued along the Santa Cruz River at Sasco Rd
on 1/21 (James McKay).
At the intersection of Wheeler and Baumgartner Rds. a #RUFOUS-BACKED ROBIN
and a #RUDDY GROUND-DOVE continued through 1/27 (m.ob.). They have been
seen near the tan house on Wheeler, which is possibly occupied (please be
sensitive to any potential occupants or neighbors); the pomegranate tree is
a good place to start looking.
A #WINTER WREN was photographed and recorded again at Cienega Creek
Preserve (permit required) on 1/27 (Rich Hoyer, Keith Kamper). about 200
yards upstream of the confluence with Davidson Canyon on the north side of
the creek. NOTE: This area is accessible from the Gabe Zimmerman Davidson
Canyon Trailhead. A special advance permit is required to visit this
preserve; see: http://webcms.pima.gov/cms/one.aspx?portalId=169&pageId=1515
and annotated map: http://goo.gl/8DrrSk
At Sweetwater Wetlands, the male #BALTIMORE ORIOLE continued on 1/24 (Peggy
Wang); one wintered here the last two years but ranged widely.
A #YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER was photographed at Slaughter Ranch on 1/26
An #OVENBIRD was reported at Roper Lake SP on 1/27 (John Barthelme); it was
feeding along the shoreline near the island.
The revised 8th edition of Tucson Audubon's Finding Birds in Southeast
Arizona is available here: http://www.tucsonaudubon
.org/what-we-do/publications/fbi.html and updates to the 8th edition can be
found here: http://www.tucsonaudubon.org/what-we-do/publications/
TUCSON - Mosquito control operations are scheduled at Sweetwater Wetlands
from 6:30-8:30am on Mondays during the warmer months (usually March -
November). The gate will open when operations are finished. Due to
long-term construction, Roger Road WRF is closed. See our Sweetwater page (
or http://cms3.tucsonaz.gov/water/sweetwater for details.
The Pima County Regional Wastewater Reclamation Department security
procedures are subject to change any time. Please see the "bird watching"
link on this page for important information regarding access:
EL RIO OPEN SPACE PRESERVE/COACHLINE GRAVEL PIT - park in the paved lot in
the southwest corner or along the south edge near the berm. Construction
may hinder access for the next few months. Annotated map:
RAMSEY CANYON - Ramsey Canyon Preserve is closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
ASH CANYON B&B: open dawn to dusk EXCEPT Wednesday, when open noon to dusk.
Parking is limited; please carpool whenever possible. No need to call ahead.
BENSON - the Benson Birding Trail is no longer accessible as the property
is under new ownership.
FORT HUACHUCA - access requirements are posted on its official webpage at
http://www.huachuca.army.mil/pages/des/accesscontrol.html. The Visitor
Control Center is located at the Van Deman Gate on Hwy 90. The fort is an
active military installation and will suspend your driving privileges on
Post for 30 days on your first offense for talking or using a cell phone
while driving. You MUST use a hands free device. Current entry requirements
(subject to change without notice): US citizens must pass a background
check and should be prepared to show photo ID for everyone in the vehicle
at the entrance, and possibly your vehicle registration and insurance as
well. Foreign nationals must be accompanied by an approved military escort;
contact the base (520.533.7111), or possibly the Sierra Vista Visitor's
Bureau (520.417.6960) well in advance. ACCESS NOTE: apparently some states
driver's licenses do not meet federal requirements for base entry (KY, ME,
MT, PA, SC, MN, MO, and WA); see https://www.dhs.gov/real-id-public-faqs or
http://huachuca-www.army.mil/pages/des/visitoraccess.html for details.
SANTA CRUZ FLATS: Management at the Evergreen Turf Sod Farm has asked
birders not to drive into the property (i.e., the 2750 road); birding from
perimeter roads (i.e., Tweedy or Pretzer) is still fine.
BAIRD'S SPARROW HILL AND THE VACA RANCH CORRAL in the San Rafael Valley is
off limits to birders due to the thoughtless actions of a few birders. DO
NOT ENTER THE PROPERTY. A sign has been posted previously stating that
"stopping within 0.25 mile of the corral is prohibited."
AVRA VALLEY WRF: Gates open 7AM and close PROMPTLY at 2PM (do not linger,
you will be locked inside).
GREEN VALLEY WRF: under construction, access uncertain. When open, use the
call box at the gate, sign in and out at the office, and stay away from
buildings and construction equipment.
ROGER ROAD WRF: Closed.
CORONA DE TUCSON WRF: Closed.
NOGALES STP: Closed.
SEAZ RBA Compiler - Tucson, AZ
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