- Southeast Arizona Birding Guide, Richard Fray - https://arizonabirder.com -

California Gulch, Ruby Rd, Oro Blanco Wash, Arivaca Lake

A pleasant and successful morning of sparrow-finding, from Arivaca to California Gulch, with 67 species.

Ruby Rd:

Along the road we saw GREATER ROADRUNNER, LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE, and heard BOTTERI’S, CASSIN’S, CHIPPING, and LARK SPARROWS.

Confluence of California Gulch and Warsaw Canyon:

The main target was FIVE-STRIPED SPARROW, and we managed to find a few for some close looks.

Five-striped Sparrow [1]

Five-striped Sparrow [2]

Five-striped Sparrow [3]

The BLACK-CAPPED GNATCATCHERS continue. I’m not sure how many are there, but I keep seeing different configurations and distinctive birds with partial tails. I reckon there are a minimum of five individuals in the area.

Also there, GRAY HAWK, YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO, PACIFIC-SLOPE, ASH-THROATED and BROWN-CRESTED FLYCATCHERS, BELL’S VIREO, ‘DESERT’ PURPLE MARTIN, BLACK-TAILED GNATCATCHER, NASHVILLE and BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLERS, YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT, RUFOUS-CROWNED, RUFOUS-WINGED and BLACK-THROATED SPARROWS, a 100+ flock of LARK BUNTINGS, SUMMER and WESTERN TANAGERS, BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK, VARIED BUNTING, and HOODED and BULLOCK’S ORIOLES.

Ash-throated Flycatcher [4]

Varied Bunting [5]

Elegant Earless Lizard [6]

Empress Leilia [7]

Empress Leilia [8]

Oro Blanco Wash:

We stopped briefly for poor views of BOTTERI’S and good views of CASSIN’S SPARROW.

Arivaca Lake:

Along the entrance road we encountered this rather scary bee swarm in a mesquite tree. I jumped out of the car for a couple of quick photos, but I was on my toes, as this is exactly when they can be dangerous.

Bee swarm [9]

Bee swarm [10]

The lake had good general birding without anything spectacular, the highlights being BLACK VULTURE, GRAY HAWK, COMMON GROUND-DOVE, YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO, TROPICAL KINGBIRD, SUMMER TANAGER, BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK, LAZULI BUNTING, and HOODED ORIOLE.

Summer Tanager [11]

Tropical Kingbird [12]