This update of Tucson Audubon Society's Rare Bird Alert for Southeast
Arizona was made on January 6, 2017; the next update will be made on
January 13. Phone your reports to 520-629-0510 X 3, or email to
rarebirdalert AT tucsonaudubon.org.
SEVERAL IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENTS follow the sightings, including information
on temporary closures and rules for access to other important birding
areas. Abbreviation "m.ob." =3D multiple observers. An asterisk (*)
preceding a species name in the list indicates that it merits careful, full
documentation. A pound sign (#) indicates that brief corroborating details
are warranted. Documentation and photos of review species may be submitted
Where directions are not given, they can be found in the most recent
edition of Tucson Audubon's "Finding Birds in Southeast Arizona". More
information including updates may be found here:
http://tucsonaudubon.org/what-we-do/publications/fbi.html. For additional
sightings in the region, please see the The Arizona-New Mexico Birding
For more information about Tucson Audubon field trips, lectures and
educational opportunities, please see www.tucsonaudubon.org.
SPECIES MENTIONED IN THIS REPORT INCLUDE:
#"Harlan's" Red-tailed Hawk
#"Red" Fox Sparrow
A *NUTTING'S FLYCATCHER was photographed and heard calling south of the
confluence of California Gulch and Warsaw Canyon on 1/2 (David Stejskal)
and continued on 1/6 (m.ob.). #BLACK-CAPPED GNATCATCHERS were in the area
as well (m.ob.). GPS: 31.3989, -111.2475 and annotated map:
A *LEAST GREBE was photographed at Bear Grass Tank on 1/2 (Paul Suchanek,
An #EASTERN PHOEBE was reported from the ghost town of Ruby on 1/1 and 1/2
An #EASTERN PHOEBE was photographed from the Oro Blanco Wash along Ruby Rd
on 12/31 and 1/2 (Bill Lisowsky).
#BLACK-CAPPED GNATCATCHERS were photographed in Chimney Canyon (south of
ARivaca Lake, 31.50577,-111.24909) on the Atascosa CBC on /2 (Rich Hoyer).
A *RUFOUS-CAPPED WARBLER was reported from Tonto Canyon on 1/2 (Charles
Corson, John Reuland). This area is rough and not for the unprepared; the
bird was on Trail #45 (#40 on some maps) halfway between Border Tank and
Manzanita Springs at GPS: 31.3761, -111.19556. Map:
TUBAC area (annotated map: http://goo.gl/maps/yDqi0)
A male *ROSE-THROATED BECARD was photographed along the de Anza Trail south
of the Tubac Bridge on 1/3 (Rob Rutledge, ph. Judy Ellyson et al) and
continued through 1/6 (Tobias Rohmer). The bird was originally seen in a
small open area near the kiosk; you pass through two gates to get there
from the bridge. GPS: 31.605859, -111.043010 but the bird has ranged widely
since. An #EASTERN PHOEBE was reported on 1/3 and continued on 1/5 (m.ob.).
A second *ROSE-THROATED BECARD was reported north of the bridge on 1/6 (Kay
Carter) =E2=80=93 this one was a female or immature male about 2/3 of the w=
the golf course. GPS: 31.618725,
A #BROWN THRASHER continued at Santa Gertrudis Lane on 1/6 (Keith Kamper);
it was across from #12. Remember to park along the frontage road and walk
in. A #RUFOUS-BACKED ROBIN continued along the de Anza Trail north of the
crossing on 1/3 (Thor Manson).
Two *RUFOUS-CAPPED WARBLERS, seven #BLACK-CAPPED GNATCATCHERS and a
Five-striped Sparrow were photographed in Rock Corral Canyon on 1/2 (Sean
Fitzgerald, Chris McCreedy) west of Santa Gertrudis Lane. A high clearance,
four-wheel drive vehicle is recommended; the birds were all within the
first mile up canyon from the corral. 2 #BLACK-CAPPED GNATCATCHERS
continued on 1/3 (David Yeamans).
PORTAL & the CHIRICAHUAS (annotated map: http://goo.gl/maps/XfXfX)
A *STREAK-BACKED ORIOLE continued to be seen daily at the Foothills Road
(aka Rodrigues yard) feeders as of 1/6 (John Biddick).
A #GRAY CATBIRD was continued at Cave Creek Ranch on 1/5 (m.ob.); one was
seen near the post office on 1/4 (m.ob.).
A #BROWN THRASHER continued along Prickly Pear Ln north of the Portal Store
on 12/31 (Rick Plage).
A #"RED" FOX SPARROW continued in Whitetail Canyon on 1/6 (Rick Taylor,
GREEN VALLEY & the SANTA RITAS
In Florida Canyon (annotated map: http://goo.gl/AAzD6), *RUFOUS-CAPPED
WARBLERS continued on 1/2 (m.ob.) in the West Fork past the dam.
Directions: About 400 yards from parking lot is a metal gate, and just past
the gate the canyon forks. The main trail follows the East Fork, but most
sightings have been in the West Fork to the right. About 125 yards up the
rough trail in the West Fork is a large water tank and a low dam. The oak
grove is about 1/3 mile past the dam. Note: The trail for the West Fork can
be difficult to find, and is steep and rough in places. If you see the sign
with distances to Florida Saddle, Madera Canyon, etc you've missed the
turn. It is not necessary, recommended or permissible to enter the research
station to see these birds.
In Madera Canyon (map: http://goo.gl/dXBYP), a #YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER
was photographed between Proctor Rd and Whitehouse picnic area on 1/2
A #PALM WARBLER continued at Quail Creek Veterans Municipal Park on 1/6
(m.ob.). It seems to travel with (or associate with) the Mountain Bluebirds=
SIERRA VISTA & the HUACHUCAS
In Hunter Canyon (https://goo.gl/CR4YXm), *RUFOUS-CAPPED WARBLERS continued
on 1/3 (m.ob.) in the upper canyon about 0.7 miles up the trail from the
end of Hunter Canyon Road just as the trail enters the grove of trees.
An #EASTERN PHOEBE continued at the Hereford Bridge over the San Pedro on
1/6 (Erika Wilson); a male #GREEN KINGFISHER was photographed on 12/31
At the San Pedro House, a #LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSH was seen again along the
San Pedro River on 1/4 (John Broz, et al); last year one frequented the
area between trail markers #7 and #8.
An interesting report of 9 Vaux's Swifts on 1/3 (Matt Brown) came from near
Canelo on the west slope of the Huachucas; there are no documented winter
sightings of this species in the state.
WILLCOX & the SULPHUR SPRINGS VALLEY
A male #EURASIAN WIGEON continued at Lake Cochise by the Twin Lakes Golf
Course on 1/6 (m.ob.). A #RED PHALAROPE was reported on 1/2 (Curtis
Marantz, Jim Lomax).
A #"HARLAN=E2=80=99S" RED-TAILED HAWK was reported along Hwy 191 just south=
border patrol checkpoint on 1/3 (Chris Benesh, et al) and north of it on
1/5 (Diane Touret).
A #GREATER SCAUP continued at the Amado STP on 1/4 (Keith Kamper).
At Patagonia Lake (annotated map: http://goo.gl/GgNvs), a #GREATER SCAUP
continued through 1/6 (m.ob.).. Male and female #GREEN KINGFISHERS
continued a short distance up Sonoita Creek from the east end of the lake
on 1/6 (m.ob.). An #EASTERN PHOEBE continued at the east end on 1/6 (Will
Russell). #BLACK-CAPPED GNATCATCHERS and a #GRAY CATBIRD continued along
the Birding Trail this week (m.ob.). A #WINTER WREN continued on 1/6
(m.ob.); observers are encouraged to note or record the calls to help
separate this species from the very similar Pacific Wren.
SANTA CRUZ FLATS
At the intersection of Wheeler and Baumgartner Rds. two #RUFOUS-BACKED
ROBINS and two #RUDDY GROUND-DOVES continued on 12/31 (m.ob.); one Ruddy
Ground-Dove continued through 1/5 (Richard Fray). They have been seen near
the tan house on Wheeler, which is possibly occupied (please be sensitive
to any potential occupants or neighbors); the pomegranate tree is a good
place to start looking.
10 #McCOWN'S LONGSPURS were reported from a field adjacent to the Evergreen
Sod Farm on 12/31 (Virginia Fairchild, Robert Rackliffe); last year they
frequented the tilled dirt field on south side of Pretzer and east of
Tweedy Rd. Remember to bird from perimeter roads only.
At Sweetwater Wetlands, the male #BALTIMORE ORIOLE continued this week
(m.ob.); one wintered here the last two years but ranged widely.
An #EASTERN PHOEBE was photographed from Yellowstone Tank along Redington
Pass Rd on 1/5 (Paul Suchanek).
A #VARIED THRUSH was photographed at General Hitchcock Campground along Mt
Lemmon on 1/4 (Paul Suchanek).
The revised 8th edition of Tucson Audubon's Finding Birds in Southeast
Arizona is available here: http://www.tucsonaudubon
.org/what-we-do/publications/fbi.html and updates to the 8th edition can be
found here: http://www.tucsonaudubon.org/what-we-do/publications/
TUCSON - Mosquito control operations are scheduled at Sweetwater Wetlands
from 6:30-8:30am on Mondays during the warmer months (usually March -
November). The gate will open when operations are finished. Due to
long-term construction, Roger Road WRF is closed. See our Sweetwater page (
or http://cms3.tucsonaz.gov/water/sweetwater for details.
The Pima County Regional Wastewater Reclamation Department security
procedures are subject to change any time. Please see the "bird watching"
link on this page for important information regarding access:
EL RIO OPEN SPACE PRESERVE/COACHLINE GRAVEL PIT - park in the paved lot in
the southwest corner or along the south edge near the berm. Construction
may hinder access for the next few months. Annotated map:
RAMSEY CANYON - Ramsey Canyon Preserve is closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
ASH CANYON B&B: open dawn to dusk EXCEPT Wednesday, when open noon to dusk.
Parking is limited; please carpool whenever possible. No need to call ahead=
BENSON - the Benson Birding Trail is no longer accessible as the property
is under new ownership.
FORT HUACHUCA - access requirements are posted on its official webpage at
http://www.huachuca.army.mil/pages/des/accesscontrol.html. The Visitor
Control Center is located at the Van Deman Gate on Hwy 90. The fort is an
active military installation and will suspend your driving privileges on
Post for 30 days on your first offense for talking or using a cell phone
while driving. You MUST use a hands free device. Current entry requirements
(subject to change without notice): US citizens must pass a background
check and should be prepared to show photo ID for everyone in the vehicle
at the entrance, and possibly your vehicle registration and insurance as
well. Foreign nationals must be accompanied by an approved military escort;
contact the base (520.533.7111), or possibly the Sierra Vista Visitor's
Bureau (520.417.6960) well in advance. ACCESS NOTE: apparently some states
driver's licenses do not meet federal requirements for base entry (KY, ME,
MT, PA, SC, MN, MO, and WA); see https://www.dhs.gov/real-id-public-faqs or
http://huachuca-www.army.mil/pages/des/visitoraccess.html for details.
SANTA CRUZ FLATS: Management at the Evergreen Turf Sod Farm has asked
birders not to drive into the property (i.e., the 2750 road); birding from
perimeter roads (i.e., Tweedy or Pretzer) is still fine.
BAIRD'S SPARROW HILL AND THE VACA RANCH CORRAL in the San Rafael Valley is
off limits to birders due to the thoughtless actions of a few birders. DO
NOT ENTER THE PROPERTY. A sign has been posted previously stating that
"stopping within 0.25 mile of the corral is prohibited."
AVRA VALLEY WRF: Gates open 7AM and close PROMPTLY at 2PM (do not linger,
you will be locked inside).
GREEN VALLEY WRF: under construction, access uncertain. When open, use the
call box at the gate, sign in and out at the office, and stay away from
buildings and construction equipment.
ROGER ROAD WRF: Closed.
CORONA DE TUCSON WRF: Closed.
NOGALES STP: Closed.
SEAZ RBA Compiler - Tucson, AZ
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