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August 6th, 2015
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Five-striped Sparrow, Black-capped Gnatcatcher, Rufous-capped Warbler

Lots of great birds today as we hit Florida Canyon early, then explored the Atascosa Highlands and Pajarito Wilderness.

Amado Pond:

A quick check on the pond produced BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCK, ‘MEXICAN’ MALLARD, NEOTROPIC CORMORANT, SPOTTED SANDPIPER, TROPICAL KINGBIRD, and ‘MEXICAN’ CLIFF SWALLOW.

Florida Canyon:

Our first target bird was BLACK-CAPPED GNATCATCHER, and we found one quickly near the parking lot.

Black-capped Gnatcatcher

Black-capped Gnatcatcher

We also noted GRAY HAWK here, but didn’t hang around as we had places to go…

Arivaca Lake:

The summering WESTERN GREBE continues, along with COMMON GROUND-DOVE, TROPICAL KINGBIRD, and SUMMER TANAGER.

Western Grebe

Summer Tanager

Summer Tanager

Arivaca Lake

Confluence of California Gulch and Warsaw Canyon:

Our main target here was FIVE-STRIPED SPARROW, which duly showed itself without too much trouble.

Five-striped Sparrow

We also found a couple more BLACK-CAPPED GNATCATCHERS, one of which was in tail molt, which sometimes makes for an interesting ID challenge.

Black-capped Gnatcatcher

Black-capped Gnatcatcher

Also in the area, calling MONTEZUMA QUAIL, COMMON GROUND-DOVE, NORTHERN BEARDLESS-TYRANNULET, PACIFIC-SLOPE and BROWN-CRESTED FLYCATCHERS, ‘DESERT’ PURPLE MARTIN, BLACK-TAILED GNATCATCHER, RUFOUS-WINGED SPARROW, VARIED BUNTING, SUMMER TANAGER and HOODED ORIOLE.

Varied Bunting

Varied Bunting

Varied Bunting

We enjoyed the other wildlife too, with a seemingly endless stream of small critters to study.

Empress Leilia

Pipevine Swallowtail cayerpillar

Dung Beetle sp.

Juvenile Giant Mesquite Bug

California Gulch

California Gulch

Ruby Rd:

Along the road we encountered ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER and LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE.

Peña Blanca Canyon:

A pair of RUFOUS-CAPPED WARBLERS was found quite easily, and we had the chance to follow them at close range for some time as they actively foraged along a fence line. It was interesting to see both birds at times carrying dried grass. That can only mean one thing, surely?

Rufous-capped Warbler

Rufous-capped Warbler

Rufous-capped Warbler

Rufous-capped Warbler

Rufous-capped Warbler

Also in the canyon, GRAY HAWK, ELEGANT TROGON, ARIZONA WOODPECKER, CORDILLERAN FLYCATCHER, HUTTON’S and WARBLING VIREOS, and VARIED BUNTING. John turned over a rock and found this big scorpion.

Scorpion sp.

My main highlight of the day wasn’t a bird, but a really fabulous snake. I’ve long wanted to see a TIGER RATTLESNAKE, and today I got the chance. Rare reptiles are under threat from collectors, so I won’t reveal at which site we found it, but it was a magical moment to come face-to-face with one of the rarer rattlesnakes of Arizona for the first time.

Tiger Rattlesnake

Tiger Rattlesnake

Tiger Rattlesnake

 

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