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July 6th, 2011
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Continental to Patagonia

I was joined by Jim, Sondra and Dona Speakman for a full day of birding. We began at Sweetwater Wetlands where, in a brief half circuit, we found several less usual summering birds: CINNAMON TEAL, NORTHERN SHOVELER and flyover DOUBLE-CRESTED and NEOTROPIC CORMORANTS. A few TROPICAL KINGBIRDS, were around, as were several HARRIS’S HAWKS. These included one or two naive juveniles which were being constantly harassed by smaller birds.

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Harris’s Hawk and Red-winged Blackbird

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Cinnamon Teal

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Black-crowned Night-Heron

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Red-winged Blackbird

We saw quite a few lizards of a variety of species, including a couple of handsome DESERT SPINY LIZARDS which were relatively tame for this often shy reptile. The BLUE DASHER dragonflies were also out in force.

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Desert Spiny Lizard

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Blue Dasher

A quick stop at Continental School gave us the hoped for BLACK-THROATED and RUFOUS-WINGED SPARROW, HOODED ORIOLE, PYRRHULOXIA and more desert species. An even quicker stop at Amado Pond revealed a lack of pelicans.

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Black-throated Sparrow

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Pyrrhuloxia

The wet fields and ponds along Rio Rico Drive were productive us usual at this time of year. We found BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCK, five GREAT EGRETS, GREEN HERON, GRAY HAWK, BRONZED COWBIRD, COMMON GROUND-DOVE, RUFOUS-WINGED SPARROW and more.

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Brown-crested Flycatcher

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Bronzed Cowbird

Next up was Patagonia Roadside Rest, which produced THICK-BILLED KINGBIRD and a gorgeous VARIED BUNTING. The rain came – welcome but not conducive to great birding – so we moved on.

I was delighted to see my first WILD TURKEYS along the Sonoita Creek, a group of five in the open area along Blue Haven Road near Salero Road. Also here were four COMMON GROUND-DOVES.

By now the rain was coming down hard. Another four COMMON GROUND-DOVES were at Paton’s in Patagonia, along with INCA, MOURNING, WHITE-WINGED and EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVE for a five-dove moment. VIOLET-CROWNED, BROAD-BILLED, BLACK-CHINNED and a female MAGNIFICENT HUMMINGBIRD added to the fun, along with HOODED ORIOLE, GRAY HAWK, YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT, etc. Everything was sopping wet but we were easily able to continue birding from under the canopy in the backyard.

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Hooded Oriole and Acorn Woodpecker

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Hooded Oriole

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Inca Dove

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Violet-crowned Hummingbird

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Violet-crowned Hummingbird

It was another great day in lowland SE Arizona with six pigeons/doves, three myiarchus flycatchers, four kingbirds and a total of 81 species, all done at a leisurely pace and with a generous lunch! Thanks to Dona, Sondra and Jim for their charming and cheerful company.

 

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