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October 16th, 2013
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Santa Cruz Flats, Sweetwater Wetlands

Great birding today in Pima and Pinal counties with Darryl Eggins from Newcastle, Australia. 89 species in all.

South Tucson:
BURROWING OWLS continue at the previously reported location off Lisa Frank Ave.

Santa Cruz Flats:
The area along Pretzer Rd between Picacho Highway and Sunshine Blvd was productive as usual, with the highlights being a nice male YELLOW-SHAFTED form of NORTHERN FLICKER and a cooperative BENDIRE’S THRASHER.
Another BURROWING OWL was seen, and two roosting BARN OWLS were a nice surprise.
An OSPREY was eating a fish atop a telephone pole next to the small pond west of Tweedy, just north of Ellis.
We only found one CRESTED CARACARA, a distant flying bird north of Baumgartner Rd, east of Wheeler Rd.
PRAIRIE FALCONS were found near the Red Rock feedlot and along Pretzer Rd, west of Sunshine Blvd.
Also, a couple of WHITE-WINGED DOVES, several COMMON GROUND-DOVES, three GREATER ROADRUNNERS, a smattering of TREE, VIOLET-GREEN and BARN SWALLOWS, plenty of AMERICAN PIPITS, etc.

Hotel in NW Tucson:
We added a pair of GREAT HORNED OWLS for a three owl day, plus superb close views of COSTA’S HUMMINGBIRD.

Sweetwater Wetlands:
Ten duck species, c.20 EARED GREBES, dozens of SORAS calling (five seen), five BLACK-NECKED STILTS, etc. At dusk we had THE most incredible sighting: three BOBCATS together, watched at length down to about ten feet, in mesquites at the eastern end of the complex. The best views I’ve ever had of these wonderful animals, and a fitting way to end a memorable day.

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