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October 11th, 2013
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Heermann's Gull, Northern Parula, Sinaloa Wren, Rufous-capped Warbler

A memorable day of target birding and bird finding with John Cobb from Denver. 81 species in total.

Reid Park, Tucson:
No sign of the Rufous-backed Robin in a brief search of the rose garden/dog park area, but a moment of real action as a RED-TAILED HAWK swooped down at first light and came within inches of taking a BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON’S head off, the heron hurling itself straight into the pond and squawking loudly in protest.

Huachuca City:
Two VAUX’S SWIFTS heading west.

Huachuca Canyon:
The continuing SINALOA WREN was found quickly just downstream from the bridge and was tracked quite easily by its explosive ratchet call, but proved typically difficult to get prolonged views of.
An angry flock nearby seemed to be mobbing an invisible intruder, concentrating on an apparently empty hole in a sycamore. I was pleased to find a NORTHERN PARULA, plus several BLACK-THROATED GRAY, a YELLOW and a nice TOWNSEND’S WARBLER, a couple of PAINTED REDSTARTS, HUTTON’S and at least five PLUMBEOUS VIREOS, along with the obligatory BEWICK’S WRENS and BRIDLED TITMICE. Once the flock had dispersed I looked back at the hole a few minutes later, and the intruder became visible, a sleepy WESTERN SCREECH-OWL.
Also in the area, ARIZONA WOODPECKER, RED-NAPED SAPSUCKER and HEPATIC TANAGER.

Western-Screech-Owl-Huachuca-Canyon-13-1011-02

Western-Screech-Owl-Huachuca-Canyon-13-1011-05

Florida Canyon:
We didn’t hold out much hope, arriving at midday, but it didn’t take long to find a singing RUFOUS-CAPPED WARBLER, which started on the hillside south of the East Bend on Andrew Core’s map and soon came down towards the stream, giving superb close views. This was a fitting way for John to celebrate his 500th Lower 48 species of the year – congratulations John!
We heard gnatcatchers in three spots between the parking lot and the big water tank, at least two of which sounded like BLACK-CAPPED GNATCATCHERS, but frustratingly, all of them evaded our prying eyes.
Also there, several BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLERS, a HEPATIC TANAGER, and a few BLUE GROSBEAKS and LAZULI BUNTINGS.

Florida-Canyon-13-1011-01

Florida-Canyon-13-1011-02

Amado Pond:
We arrived at 4:50 p.m. and were treated to a nice surprise, a non-breeding adult HEERMANN’S GULL, which was placidly loafing with 21 BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCKS. Also there, three EARED GREBES, a GREEN HERON (my first here) and three BRONZED COWBIRDS.

Heermann's-Gull-Amado-Pond-13-1011-07

Heermann's-Gull-Amado-Pond-13-1011-11

Montosa Canyon:
A brief, gnatcatcher-less visit produced WESTERN SCRUB-JAY and HERMIT THRUSH.

Amado Pond again:
The HEERMANN’S GULL was still present at 6:10 p.m.

 

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