- Southeast Arizona Birding Guide, Richard Fray - http://arizonabirder.com -

Five-striped Sparrow, Rufous-capped Warbler

Target birding at its finest at two of our most fabulous canyons.

Rock Corral Canyon:

The desert grassland hillside en route gave us RUFOUS-WINGED, CASSIN’S, GRASSHOPPER, BREWER’S, and BLACK-THROATED SPARROWS.

Our main target was further up-canyon, and after a brief search of the same area as previous sightings, we found a FIVE-STRIPED SPARROW. Excellent!

Five-striped Sparrow [1]

The sparrows have found a really nice spot. This is their view of the upper canyon.

Rock Corral Canyon [2]

The canyon was lively, and we counted 45 species in five hours. The highlights were calling MONTEZUMA QUAIL, BLACK VULTURE, GOLDEN EAGLE, NORTHERN HARRIER, SHARP-SHINNED and GRAY HAWKS, COSTA’S and BROAD-BILLED HUMMINGBIRDS, NORTHERN BEARDLESS-TYRANNULET, DUSKY-CAPPED, ASH-THROATED and a ‘WESTERN’ type FLYCATCHER, five WREN species (ROCK, CANYON, HOUSE, BEWICK’S and CACTUS), CRISSAL THRASHER, ORANGE-CROWNED, LUCY’S and BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLERS, GREEN-TAILED TOWHEE, SUMMER TANAGER, and LAZULI BUNTING.

Ash-throated Flycatcher [3]

Golden Eagle [4]

Gray Hawk [5]

I also took the opportunity to study some butterflies and found a few nice ones, including an ERICHSON’S WHITE-SKIPPER, a new one for me.

Erichson's White-Skipper [6]

Erichson's White-Skipper [7]

Arizona Powdered-Skipper [8]

Bordered Patch [9]

Empress Leilia [10]

Giant Swallowtail [11]

Pipevine Swallowtail [12]

Spring Azure [13]

Green Valley:

The usual desert species were present, including GILDED FLICKER.

Continental Mulberry Trees:

This will soon be a great place to watch a wide range of species gorging on mulberries. Today, a lot of PHAINOPEPLAS were taking advantage of the early-ripening fruit, as were a flock of 30 CEDAR WAXWINGS.

Florida Canyon:

The pair of RUFOUS-CAPPED WARBLERS in the lower part of the canyon gave us great looks, and meant we didn’t have to climb further up-canyon – a win-win!

Rufous-capped Warbler [14]

Rufous-capped Warbler [15]

Rufous-capped Warbler [16]

Rufous-capped Warbler [17]

Hummingbird numbers are increasing, as is diversity, with six species feeding on the abundant flowers in the canyon: BLACK-CHINNED, ANAN’S, COSTA’S, BROAD-TAILED, RUFOUS, and many BROAD-BILLED HUMMINGBIRDS.

Despite being a warm afternoon, we totalled 40 species in under four hours in the canyon, including GREATER ROADRUNNER, NORTHERN BEARDLESS-TYRANNULET, four PACIFIC-SLOPE FLYCATCHERS, VERMILION, DUSKY-CAPPED and ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHERS, a calling BLACK-CAPPED GNATCATCHER, AMERICAN ROBIN, a ‘MYRTLE’ YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER, many ‘AUDUBON’S’ YELLOW-RUMPED, single BLACK-THROATED GRAY and WILSON’S WARBLERS, LINCOLN’S SPARROW, GREEN-TAILED TOWHEE, HEPATIC TANAGER, LAZULI BUNTING, and HOODED and SCOTT’S ORIOLES.

Hepatic Tanager [18]

Hooded Oriole [19]

Hooded Oriole [20]

Pacific-slope Flycatcher [21]

Another canyon, another new butterfly, this time a PYTHON SKIPPER.

Python Skipper [22]