This update of Tucson Audubon Society's Rare Bird Alert for Southeast
Arizona was made on February 10, 2017; the next update will be made on
February 17. 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." = 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:
*"EURASIAN" GREEN-WINGED TEAL
#"Red" Fox Sparrow
A *NUTTING'S FLYCATCHER continued south of the confluence of California
Gulch and Warsaw Canyon on 2/4 (Melody Kehl). It has ranged along about 1/2
mile of the wash, from GPS: 31.3989, -111.2475 to 31.39837, -111.24355.
#BLACK-CAPPED GNATCATCHERS were reported on 2/9 (Tim Helentjaris).
Annotated map: http://goo.gl/wSr0mi
Three #RUDDY GROUND-DOVES continued along the De Anza Trail in Rio Rico
about 200-300 yards southeast of the Guy Tobin Trailhead on 2/10 (Ethan
Goodman). A bright blue plastic water bottle and an old refrigerator are
good landmarks for the spot.
An #EASTERN PHOEBE was photographed along Ruby Rd three miles east of
Arivaca on 2/5 (Steve Hampton).
WILLCOX & the SULPHUR SPRINGS VALLEY
A *"EURASIAN" GREEN-WINGED TEAL was reported from Whitewater Draw on 2/8
(Bill Shuste). Documentation for this review species is solicited.
A male #EURASIAN WIGEON continued at Lake Cochise by the Twin Lakes Golf
Course on 2/6 (m.ob.).
A *YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER was reported in Patagonia City Park on 2/9
(Michael Welch); last year one wintered near the gazebo.
At Patagonia Lake (annotated map: http://goo.gl/GgNvs), #GREATER SCAUP
continued through 2/5 (m.ob.). A #GREEN KINGFISHER was reported at the east
end of the lake on 2/8 (m.ob). An #EASTERN PHOEBE, #WINTER WREN,
#BLACK-CAPPED GNATCATCHERS and a #GRAY CATBIRD all continued along the
Birding Trail this week (m.ob.). observers are encouraged to note or record
the calls of the wren to help separate this from the very similar Pacific
TUBAC area (annotated map: http://goo.gl/maps/yDqi0)
A female *ROSE-THROATED BECARD continued along the De Anza Trail at
Tumacacori on 2/6 (Roger Dietrich); from the trailhead just north of the
mission, head east to the kiosk. There is a short spur to the river just
east of here, and the bird has been seen in this area (occasionally high in
An #EASTERN PHOEBE continued along the De Anza Trail between the Tubac
Bridge and Clark Crossing Road on 2/8 (Al Ports). An #OVENBIRD was reported
about 150 yards north of the two memorial benches on 2/6 (Karen Kluge). A
beautiful and unseasonal male Varied Bunting was photographed again, this
time on the north side of the bridge on 2/6 (Matthew Igleski) and 2/8
A #BROWN THRASHER continued at Santa Gertrudis Lane this week (m.ob.)
across from #12. Remember to park along the frontage road and walk in.
A pair of # BLACK-CAPPED GNATCATCHERS was reported again at Puerto Spring
northwest of Tubac on 2/3 (Keith Kamper). From I-19, take the Chaves Siding
exit (#40) and turn right/west and then immediately right/north onto the
frontage road. In about 0.2 miles, turn left/west onto the good dirt
road. This takes you along Puerto Canyon and in 5.2 miles to Puerto
Spring. The gnatcatchers were at mile 4.5. There are no signs along the
way to Puerto Spring, but staying on the main road should get you there.
PORTAL & the CHIRICAHUAS (annotated map: http://goo.gl/maps/XfXfX)
A *STREAK-BACKED ORIOLE continued to be seen daily (though sporadically) at
the Foothills Road (aka Rodrigues yard) feeders as of 2/9 (Ken Poerner).
A #BROWN THRASHER continued along Prickly Pear Ln north of the Portal Store
on 2/9 (Rick Plage).
A #GRAY CATBIRD continued in Portal on 2/7 (m.ob.); one has been reported
at Cave Creek Ranch and near the library the last few weeks.
A #"RED" FOX SPARROW continued in Whitetail Canyon on 2/7 (John Yerger).
GREEN VALLEY & the SANTA RITAS
In Florida Canyon (annotated map: http://goo.gl/AAzD6), *RUFOUS-CAPPED
WARBLERS continued on 2/8 (Ken Poerner) 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. #BLACK-CAPPED GNATCATCHERS continued in Florida
Canyon this week (m.ob.); they've been seen near the Florida Canyon parking
area and a short distance up the trail.
In Madera Canyon (map: http://goo.gl/dXBYP), a #YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER
was photographed along Proctor Rd on 2/7 (Laurens Halsey). #BLACK-CAPPED
GNATCATCHERS continued on 2/9 (Sonja Sorbo).
A #PALM WARBLER continued at Quail Creek Veterans Municipal Park on 2/9
(m.ob.). This week it has been seen around the dog park, and west of the
ball fields in the basin lined with crushed pecan shells.
In Montosa Canyon (annotated map: http://goo.gl/8L8tv) #BLACK-CAPPED
GNATCATCHERS were reported on 2/8 (Jean Siesener, Sandy Fabritius) near the
culvert, upstream of the concrete stream crossing.
SANTA CRUZ FLATS
At the intersection of Wheeler and Baumgartner Rds. a #RUFOUS-BACKED ROBIN
continued through 2/9 (m.ob.) and a #RUDDY GROUND-DOVE continued through
2/8 (David Ayer). 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.
A #LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSH continued along the Santa Cruz River at Sasco Rd
on 2/10 (m.ob.).
An #YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER continued at Roper Lake SP on 2/9 (William &
An #EASTERN PHOEBE continued at Yellowstone Tank along Redington Pass Rd on
2/7 (Paul Suchanek).
At Sweetwater Wetlands, the male #BALTIMORE ORIOLE continued on 2/6
(Stephen & Ruth Russell); one wintered here the last two years but ranged
An unseasonal Gray Vireo was reported from Three Tank Trail in Saguaro NP
(East) on 2/7 (Mark Stevenson).
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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