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June 21st, 2013
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Birding with Mark Avery

I had the good fortune to spend yesterday and this morning birding with Dr. Mark Avery, author, activist and former Conservation Director for the RSPB, the UK’s (and one of the world’s) largest birding and conservation organizations. I was able to find a couple of dozen new species for Mark among more than 120 species for the two days, as we sampled some of southeast Arizona’s finest birding sites.

Yesterday, Thursday June 20th:

Agua Caliente Park:
NORTHERN BEARDLESS-TYRANNULET by Rose Cottage. Two GREATER ROADRUNNERS continue near the bathrooms, giving close views and plenty of entertainment. Also near the park, RUFOUS-WINGED SPARROW, plenty of PURPLE MARTINS and a PEREGRINE FALCON on a telephone pole.

Molino Basin:
SUMMER TANAGER plus the HOODED, BULLOCK’S and SCOTT’S ORIOLE trifecta.

Middle Bear Canyon:
ARIZONA WOODPECKER, CORDILLERAN and DUSKY-CAPPED FLYCATCHERS, GRACE’S WARBLER, YELLOW-EYED JUNCO, HEPATIC TANAGER. A couple of BLACK-CHINNED SPARROWS were heard singing up slope somewhere.

Rose Canyon Lake:
PINE SISKIN, presumably a breeding bird. Also, GREATER PEWEE, CORDILLERAN and BUFF-BREASTED FLYCATCHERS, BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLER, GRACE’S WARBLER, PAINTED REDSTART, YELLOW-EYED JUNCO.

Incinerator Ridge Road:
Singing male OLIVE WARBLER, VIRGINIA’S WARBLER (my first here this year), BLACK-THROATED GRAY, GRACE’S and a dozen RED-FACED WARBLERS, PAINTED REDSTART, YELLOW-EYED JUNCO.

Bear Wallow Road:
Another male OLIVE WARBLER, GRACE’S WARBLER, YELLOW-EYED JUNCO. A somewhat harrowing moment when a STELLER’S JAY was seen to depart from a WESTERN TANAGER nest with a large chick, much to the distress of the adult tanagers.

Today, Friday June 21st…

My home in Rio Rico Northeast:
One male VARIED BUNTING continues at my feeders, and was this morning joined by a female, along with the usual RUFOUS-WINGED and BLACK-THROATED SPARROWS, CANYON TOWHEE, etc.
** Mark saw a ‘very large hummingbird with two prominent stripes on its head’ at my feeders at first light. We gave it an hour, and I again kept vigil from 4:15 p.m. until dusk, without success. I’ll keep everyone posted and invite visitors if it reappears and turns out to be a hummingbird with a dull cap but interesting throat…

Rio Rico Ponds:
BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCKS, a few in the fields north of Rio Rico Drive and another couple on the main pond. Also on the pond, a pair of CINNAMON TEAL, two GREAT and one SNOWY EGRET, BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON and two WHITE-FACED IBIS. SWAINSON’S and GRAY HAWKS, TROPICAL KINGBIRD, BRONZED COWBIRD and BULLOCK’S ORIOLE around the fields.

Patagonia Lake Road:
BOTTERI’S SPARROW.

Patagonia Roadside Rest:
THICK-BILLED KINGBIRD in the usual snag, GRAY HAWK calling and a singing VARIED BUNTING.

Between Patagonia and Sonoita:
Five WILD TURKEYS in a field near Sonoita. Always fun.

Sonoita:
BOTTERI’S SPARROW by the bathrooms.

Paton house, Patagonia:
BLACK VULTURE, GRAY HAWK, INCA DOVE, a couple of VIOLET-CROWNED HUMMINGBIRDS and lots more. Thanks Larry!

Ash Canyon B&B:
Many great birds in the most comfortable and welcoming of settings, including GRAY HAWK, BRONZED COWBIRD and SCOTT’S ORIOLE. Thanks Mary Jo!

 

3 comments to Birding with Mark Avery

  • […] Pretty soon Richard and I made contact and I told him about the hummer – and he got quite excited.  Whichever large species it was it was new for his ‘yard’ and on the basis of what I had said about it and time of year etc then it may have been a plain-capped starthroat which would be a rare bird.  But then again it might have been a ‘funny looking’ commoner species so we’ll never know- except I have a feeling Richard will be glancing at the hummingbird feeders even more often for the next f… […]

  • Nina Hansen

    Hope that “very large hummingbird with 2 prominent stripes on its head ” comes back! I got an okay picture of one at Mary Jo’s last summer, but you are much closer than she is! Besides, what a great boost it would be to your business. And it would make, what? 91 species?

    Nina

  • Richard

    It would… so I’m now on 90.5! Still no sign of it though, I’m afraid. I keep looking…

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