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May 31st, 2016
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California Gulch, Arivaca Lake

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A lovely day in the Pajarito Wilderness with some of my favorite clients and some of my favorite birds.

Ruby Rd:

Driving in from the Arivaca direction, we encountered SWAINSON’S HAWK, GREATER ROADRUNNER, and LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE, as well as both BLACK-TAILED and ANTELOPE JACKRABBITS.

Swainson's Hawk

Close to the Warsaw Canyon turnoff we paused to look at a HOODED ORIOLE, and it proved to be a very productive spot. Over the next ten minutes we found BLACK-CHINNED, COSTA’S, and BROAD-BILLED HUMMINGBIRDS, NORTHERN BEARDLESS-TYRANNULET, and DUSKY-CAPPED and ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHERS.

Canyon Wren

Canyon Wren

Canyon Wren

Oro Blanco Mine:

I was delighted to see a CRISSAL THRASHER fly across the road, and after a while we eventually tracked down a pair of these elusive thrashers.

Crissal Thrasher

Crissal Thrasher

Crissal Thrasher

Crissal Thrasher

Crissal Thrasher

A pair of COMMON GROUND-DOVES was in the same area.

Common Ground-Dove

Common Ground-Dove

Confluence of California Gulch & Warsaw Canyon:

A pair of BLACK-CAPPED GNATCATCHERS were fairly easy to find in the usual hackberry and acacia thicket.

Black-capped Gnatcatcher

Black-capped Gnatcatcher

Black-capped Gnatcatcher

Black-capped Gnatcatcher

Black-capped Gnatcatcher

Black-capped Gnatcatcher

We couldn’t find a Five-striped Sparrow in the heat of the day, but did see BROWN-CRESTED FLYCATCHER, BLACK-TAILED GNATCATCHER, YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT, RUFOUS-WINGED SPARROW, SUMMER TANAGER, and VARIED BUNTING.

California Gulch

Ruby Lakes (aka California Gulch Dam):

We lingered here for a while as it was very pleasant and birdy. Sightings included ‘MEXICAN’ MALLARD, PIED-BILLED GREBE, GRAY HAWK, WHITE-THROATED SWIFT, VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW, YELLOW WARBLER, SUMMER TANAGER, BLUE GROSBEAK, VARIED BUNTING, and BRONZED COWBIRD.

Blue Grosbeak

Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet

Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet

Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet

Summer Tanager

Summer Tanager

Summer Tanager

Varied Bunting

White-throated Swift

White-throated Swift

American Bullfrog

Ruby Lakes

Ruby Lakes

Arivaca Lake:

A smart male INDIGO BUNTING came in to drink, my first of the year. We also found GREAT BLUE & GREEN HERONS, BLACK VULTURE, TROPICAL KINGBIRD, BLUE GROSBEAK, and VARIED BUNTING. BOTTERI’S SPARROWS were singing along the entrance road.

Indigo Bunting

Great Blue Heron

Arivaca Lake

Arivaca Lake

Arivaca Lake Rd

Arivaca Rd:

A LESSER NIGHTHAWK flew over the road as we headed home.

 

2 comments to California Gulch, Arivaca Lake

  • Looking for opportunities for photographing scaled and harlequin (Mearn’s) quail. I understand these may be found in Calif. Gulch but you don’t indicate them.

    • Richard

      Harlequin/Mearn’s Quail – official name Montezuma Quail – can be found at California Gulch and any of the border canyons, however they’ve very hard to see usually and you have to get lucky. Scaled Quail is a grassland species, so can be found at places like Buenos Aires, Las Cienegas, and around Sierra Vista, Willcox, etc.

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