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June 20th, 2015
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Tufted Flycatchers Again

Another trip to see the Tufted Flycatchers at Ramsey Canyon, with excellent results. I was accompanying my new English friend, Tony, who has rather sensibly bought a house in Tubac (although he won’t be living in it until he retires in a few years).

S. River Rd., Nogales:

A GRAY HAWK was by the roadside, a regular site for this increasing species.

Sierra Vista:

The usual SWAINSON’S HAWKS drifted around.

Ramsey Canyon Rd:

A SCALED QUAIL did its best to impale itself on the front of the car! Thankfully we were able to take avoiding action.

Ramsey Canyon:

Several WILD TURKEYS and a singing RUFOUS-CROWNED SPARROW greeted us in the parking lot.

As we paid our entrance fees, both MAGNIFICENT and VIOLET-CROWNED HUMMINGBIRDS popped up on the feeder through the window.

A BLACK-CHINNED HUMMINGBIRD nest was just beyond the visitor center, and a COOPER’S HAWK nest a little further up canyon.

Black-chinned Hummingbird nest

Cooper's Hawk

We hiked up to the famous spot a little over two miles up canyon and were rewarded with immediate views of both TUFTED FLYCATCHERS. The female was mostly on the nest.

Tufted Flycatcher on nest

The male, previously very hard to see, is now conspicuously perching nearby, guarding his mate.

Tufted Flycatcher

Tufted Flycatcher

Tufted Flycatcher

I even managed to get a shot of both birds… sort of.

Tufted Flycatchers

For anyone planning to go, this is the cut, fallen tree just before you arrive at the nest site.

Ramsey Canyon

And this pine (left of center) is where the nest is located.

Ramsey Canyon

As we were watching the Tufted Flycatchers, an ELEGANT TROGON flew past. A short way down from the flycatcher site, we watched a pair of RED-FACED WARBLERS collecting food and going to a nest on the ground. The distinctive sound of squeaking babies could be heard each time they entered. Back down canyon, at the Bledsoe Loop, we heard the male FLAME-COLORED TANAGER singing a few times, but it remained high in the canopy and frustratingly out of sight.

Also in the canyon, ARIZONA WOODPECKER, GREATER PEWEE, CORDILLERAN and DUSKY-CAPPED FLYCATCHERS, PLUMBEOUS and HUTON’S VIREOS, BROWN CREEPER, ‘BROWN-THROATED’ HOUSE WREN, BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER, HERMIT THRUSH, GRACE’S and BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLERS, PAINTED REDSTART, SPOTTED TOWHEE, YELLOW-EYED JUNCOS (including several streaky babies with dark eyes), HEPATIC and WESTERN TANAGERS, and lots of BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAKS.

Brown-throated House Wren

Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher

Yarrow's Spiny Lizard

Juvenile Yellow-eyed Junco

Huachuca City:

A CHIHUAHUAN RAVEN flew by.

Las Cienegas:

We noted HORNED LARK, ‘LILIAN’S’ EASTERN MEADOWLARK and a PRONGHORN as we drove along SR 82.

Rio Rico:

A BLACK VULTURE was picked out as we headed north along I-19 on our way back to Tubac.

 

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