Southeastern Arizona Field Trip Report

Posted by David Bradford Field Trip Reports, News 0
Southeastern Arizona Field Trip

RRAS Southeastern Arizona Field Trip

May 13 – 18, 2016

Five of us made a whirlwind trip of this primo birding area:  Jack Ruckdeschel, Dave Bradford, Doug Chang, Diane Morgan and Charles Stegner.  On Day 1 we departed Las Vegas at 6:00 am and drove to Sierra Vista.  Jack, Doug & Dave visited Ramsey Canyon and birded up to the Overlook point, then went to Ash Canyon B&B in the evening to enjoy their diverse feeders.  Diane and Charles visited Kartchner Caverns State Park.  Bird highlights included species new or rarely seen for several of us, such as Magnificent and Broad-billed Hummingbirds, Elegant Trogon, Arizona Woodpecker, Greater Peewee, Mexican Jay, Bridled Titmouse, Grace’s Warbler, Hepatic Tanager, and Pyrrhuloxia.  The Ash Canyon B&B feeders alone yielded 25 bird species.

On day 2 we birded at San Pedro House Visitor Center and the San Pedro River.  Highlights included two Gray Hawks, a Western Screech Owl sitting in tree hole, many Gila Woodpeckers, several Summer Tanagers, and Canyon and Abert’s Towhees together.  We then went on to Huachuca Canyon and Garden Canyon areas on Fort Huachuca, where we first endured a comical ordeal at the entrance station where a tour group of older women were not happy but very expressive about the security process.  The Fort did not pan out as we hoped, so we headed to Beatty Guest Ranch (hummingbird feeders), and back to Ash Canyon B&B to get Lucifer’s Hummingbird.  At dusk we went to Battiste B&B to witness a pair of elf owls at their nest hole in an old telephone pole, both appearing on cue as elf owls have done here for the past 40 years.

On day 3 we drove to Patagonia and birded at Paton Center for Hummingbirds, Patagonia-Sonoita Creek Preserve, and the Patagonia Roadside Rest.  Notable birds included Black Vulture, Violet-crowned Hummingbird, numerous Vermillion Flycatchers, Dusky-Capped Flycatcher, Brown-Crested Flycatcher, Thick-billed Kingbird, Chihuahuan Raven, and Northern Cardinal.  In late afternoon we returned to Ramsey Canyon Visitor’s Center, then drove to Portal, AZ, where we stayed at Four Bar Cottages.  En route we encountered several Lesser Nighthawks and two Barn Owls.

On day 4 we birded in the morning at Four Bar Cottages and Cave Creek South Fork. We then went to the Southwest Research Station where Diane was abandoned and the rest of us went up to higher elevation to bird at Rustler Park, Barfoot Park, and the Pinery Canyon stakeout for the rare Slate-throated Redstart.  We failed at the State-throated Redstart but found Painted Redstart, Yellow-eyed Juncos and an Olive Warbler.  We then visited Cave Creek Ranch’s feeders and had dinner at Portal Lodge and Café.  Jack, Dave and Doug birded the Ranger Station and South Fork trailhead.  A few other birds of the day were Blue-throated Hummingbird, Cordilleran Flycatcher, and six species of warblers other than the Olive Warbler.

On day 5, we birded Four Bar Cottages and drove to Tucson.   Charles and Diane visited the Arizona/Sonoran Desert Museum, while Dave and Doug dropped Jack off at the airport and went on to bird the I-19 Corridor.  We first birded the Santa Rita Experimental Range and Florida Canyon.  We parked at the Madera Picnic area and walked up to the Santa Rita Lodge and feeders.  We birded up the Old Baldy Trail and encountered an Elegant Trogon perching and foraging within 20 feet of us for 10 minutes, posing for numerous photographs.  We then returned to Tucson in and checked out the Sweetwater Wetlands.  Some birds seen today and not listed above included Neotropic Cormorant, Acorn Woodpecker, Cassin’s Kingbird, Bell’s Vireo, Plumbeous Vireo, Bank Swallow, Bushtit, Curve-billed Thrasher, Blue Grosbeak, Indigo Bunting, and Scott’s Oriole.

On day 6, we drove back to Las Vegas.  We observed a total of 122 bird species during the trip.

Magnif HB SE AZ Jack Ruckdeschel    Arizona WP SE AZ Jack Ruckdeschel    DSCN3055a

Broad billed HB SE AZ Jack Ruckdeschel      DSCN3069a  Elegant Trogon Madera Cyn SE AZ 2016-05-17


SE AZ May 13-18, 2016 Species Observed (123 species)

Mallard – Anas platyrhynchos
Gambel’s Quail – Callipepla gambelii
Wild Turkey – Meleagris gallopavo
Pied-billed Grebe – Podilymbus podiceps
Neotropic Cormorant – Phalacrocorax brasilianus
Black Vulture – Coragyps atratus
Turkey Vulture – Cathartes aura
Cooper’s Hawk – Accipiter cooperii
Gray Hawk – Buteo plagiatus
Red-tailed Hawk – Buteo jamaicensis
American Coot – Fulica americana
Killdeer – Charadrius vociferus
Spotted Sandpiper – Actitis macularius
Rock Pigeon – Columba livia
Eurasian Collared-Dove – Streptopelia decaocto
Inca Dove – Columbina inca
White-winged Dove – Zenaida asiatica
Mourning Dove – Zenaida macroura
Greater Roadrunner – Geococcyx californianus
Barn Owl – Tyto alba
Western Screech-Owl – Megascops kennicottii
Great Horned Owl – Bubo virginianus
Elf Owl – Micrathene whitneyi
Lesser Nighthawk – Chordeiles acutipennis
White-throated Swift – Aeronautes saxatalis
Magnificent Hummingbird – Eugenes fulgens
Blue-throated Hummingbird – Lampornis clemenciae
Lucifer Hummingbird – Calothorax lucifer
Black-chinned Hummingbird – Archilochus alexandri
Anna’s Hummingbird – Calypte anna
Broad-tailed Hummingbird – Selasphorus platycercus
Broad-billed Hummingbird – Cynanthus latirostris
Violet-crowned Hummingbird – Amazilia violiceps
Elegant Trogon – Trogon elegans
Acorn Woodpecker – Melanerpes formicivorus
Gila Woodpecker – Melanerpes uropygialis
Ladder-backed Woodpecker – Picoides scalaris
Hairy Woodpecker – Picoides villosus
Arizona Woodpecker – Picoides arizonae
Northern Flicker – Colaptes auratus
American Kestrel – Falco sparverius
Greater Pewee – Contopus pertinax
Western Wood-Pewee – Contopus sordidulus
Dusky Flycatcher – Empidonax oberholseri
Cordilleran Flycatcher – Empidonax occidentalis
Black Phoebe – Sayornis nigricans
Say’s Phoebe – Sayornis saya
Vermilion Flycatcher – Pyrocephalus rubinus
Dusky-capped Flycatcher – Myiarchus tuberculifer
Ash-throated Flycatcher – Myiarchus cinerascens
Brown-crested Flycatcher – Myiarchus tyrannulus
Cassin’s Kingbird – Tyrannus vociferans
Thick-billed Kingbird – Tyrannus crassirostris
Western Kingbird – Tyrannus verticalis
Loggerhead Shrike – Lanius ludovicianus
Bell’s Vireo – Vireo bellii
Plumbeous Vireo – Vireo plumbeus
Hutton’s Vireo – Vireo huttoni
Warbling Vireo – Vireo gilvus
Steller’s Jay – Cyanocitta stelleri
Mexican Jay – Aphelocoma wollweberi
Chihuahuan Raven – Corvus cryptoleucus
Common Raven – Corvus corax
Horned Lark – Eremophila alpestris
Northern Rough-winged Swallow – Stelgidopteryx serripennis
Tree Swallow – Tachycineta bicolor
Barn Swallow – Hirundo rustica
Bridled Titmouse – Baeolophus wollweberi
Verdin – Auriparus flaviceps
Bushtit – Psaltriparus minimus
White-breasted Nuthatch – Sitta carolinensis
Brown Creeper – Certhia americana
House Wren – Troglodytes aedon
Bewick’s Wren – Thryomanes bewickii
Cactus Wren – Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher – Polioptila caerulea
Ruby-crowned Kinglet – Regulus calendula
Hermit Thrush – Catharus guttatus
American Robin – Turdus migratorius
Curve-billed Thrasher – Toxostoma curvirostre
Northern Mockingbird – Mimus polyglottos
European Starling – Sturnus vulgaris
Phainopepla – Phainopepla nitens
Olive Warbler – Peucedramus taeniatus
Lucy’s Warbler – Oreothlypis luciae
Common Yellowthroat – Geothlypis trichas
Yellow Warbler – Setophaga petechia
Yellow-rumped Warbler – Setophaga coronata
Grace’s Warbler – Setophaga graciae
Black-throated Gray Warbler – Setophaga nigrescens
Townsend’s Warbler – Setophaga townsendi
Wilson’s Warbler – Cardellina pusilla
Painted Redstart – Myioborus pictus
Yellow-breasted Chat – Icteria virens
Chipping Sparrow – Spizella passerina
Black-throated Sparrow – Amphispiza bilineata
Lark Sparrow – Chondestes grammacus
Dark-eyed Junco – Junco hyemalis
Yellow-eyed Junco – Junco phaeonotus
White-crowned Sparrow – Zonotrichia leucophrys
Song Sparrow – Melospiza melodia
Canyon Towhee – Melozone fusca
Abert’s Towhee – Melozone aberti
Spotted Towhee – Pipilo maculatus
Hepatic Tanager – Piranga flava
Summer Tanager – Piranga rubra
Western Tanager – Piranga ludoviciana
Northern Cardinal – Cardinalis cardinalis
Pyrrhuloxia – Cardinalis sinuatus
Black-headed Grosbeak – Pheucticus melanocephalus
Blue Grosbeak – Passerina caerulea
Lazuli Bunting – Passerina amoena
Indigo Bunting – Passerina cyanea
Red-winged Blackbird – Agelaius phoeniceus
Western/Eastern Meadowlark – Sturnella neglecta/magna
Great-tailed Grackle – Quiscalus mexicanus
Brown-headed Cowbird – Molothrus ater
Bullock’s Oriole – Icterus bullockii
Scott’s Oriole – Icterus parisorum
House Finch – Haemorhous mexicanus
Pine Siskin – Spinus pinus
Lesser Goldfinch – Spinus psaltria
House Sparrow – Passer domesticus

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