More successful target birding with Richard Bonser, from the Santa Rita to the Huachuca Mountains.
GILDED FLICKER at the very southern end of S La Canada Drive.
RUFOUS-CAPPED WARBLERS were surprisingly hard to come by this morning, and it took us four hours to locate a singing male. We eventually scored way up canyon, beyond the oak grove and past the point that the trail ends and the rock-hopping and bushwhacking commences. Visiting this area is NOT for the feint of heart!
Two BLACK-CAPPED GNATCATCHERS were vocal and showy, just beyond the metal gate.
Also, a silent Western-type Flycatcher, NORTHERN BEARDLESS-TYRANNULET, VARIED BUNTING, and HOODED ORIOLE.
Las Cienegas, southern entrance:
More GRASSHOPPER, BOTTERI’S and CASSIN’S SPARROWS.
We surprised a Pronghorn that was relaxing in the shade of a roadside mesquite, but for once, it didn’t bolt and decided we were OK. This allowed for my best ever photo opportunities with a Pronghorn, thanks to Rich, who slipped out of the passenger seat and around to the back of the car to retrieve my camera.
The two juvenile SPOTTED OWLS were on the south (left) side of the trail about 200 yards above split rock, roosting in a thin pine right by the trail. I saw them in this same tree a couple of weeks ago, but this time we couldn’t locate the adults. Tom Snr has placed a cairn in the trail, on top a flat rock, at the appropriate point.
Beatty’s Guest Ranch:
The lovely male WHITE-EARED HUMMINGBIRD showed at the CAS after about 40 minutes, at the nearest feeder (no. 4), and then went to the trees just behind and to the left of that feeder, where it sat quietly for another 30 minutes at least. If you’re looking for this hummer, check these trees carefully to see if it’s hiding there between feeds.
Also, a female CALLIOPE HUMMINGBIRD, as well as ANNA’S, BLACK-CHINNED, BROAD-BILLED, BROAD-TAILED, MAGNIFICENT and RUFOUS for an impressive total of eight hummingbird species. Thanks to Edith and Tom Snr, as always, for their excellent help and advice.
Ash Canyon B&B:
A male LUCIFER HUMMINGBIRD came in to feeder 7 in the evening, while the ‘Costifer’ Hummingbird (COSTA’S x LUCIFER hybrid) continues to confuse, and many more birds continue to dazzle and delight. Thanks to Mary Jo for her cheerful dedication to the birding community; it’s greatly appreciated.
And big thanks for Rich for really fun times and stories of the good old days, back in Blighty. I hope you visit again soon, mate!