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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.


Harris’s Hawk and Red-winged Blackbird


Cinnamon Teal


Black-crowned Night-Heron


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.


Desert Spiny Lizard


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.


Black-throated Sparrow



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.


Brown-crested Flycatcher


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.


Hooded Oriole and Acorn Woodpecker


Hooded Oriole


Inca Dove


Violet-crowned Hummingbird


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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