This update of Tucson Audubon Society's Rare Bird Alert for Southeast
Arizona was made on March 24, 2017; the next update will be made on March
31. Phone your reports to 520-629-0510 X 3, or email to rarebirdalert AT
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:
#"Yellow-shafted" Northern Flicker
SIERRA VISTA & the HUACHUCAS
In upper Ramsey Canyon, a *TUFTED FLYCATCHER continued on 3/20 (Theresa
Lawson) about 2 miles up the Hamburg Trail from the Ramsey Canyon Preserve
Visitor Center, about 1/3 mile past the junction with the Brown Canyon
Trail. This is an occasionally steep 4 mile round trip hike at 6,000 ft
elevation to reach this location; take plenty of water (several quarts) and
be prepared for very hot dry days or sudden monsoon storm activity. The map
here shows the location: https://goo.gl/aMh1ke
In Carr Canyon, a pair of *TUFTED FLYCATCHERS were reported (and one
photographed) at Reef Townsite CG on 3/20 (Owen Strickland) and at least
one continued though 3/23 (Deanna Mac Phail). Originally seen in the middle
of the campground, they were subsequently seen near the restroom and up the
old road across from site #9.
A *RUFOUS-CAPPED WARBLER was reported from Miller Canyon at Split Rock
(about a mile from the parking area) on 3/17 (Erika Wilson, Ron Beck).
In Hunter Canyon (https://goo.gl/CR4YXm), *RUFOUS-CAPPED WARBLERS continued
on 3/22 (Ron Beck) 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.
A #LUCIFER HUMMINGBIRD was reported at Ash Canyon B&B on 3/20 (Tony
Battiste) and continued through 3/23 (m.ob.).
A #LUCIFER HUMMINGBIRD was reported from a yard in Stump Canyon on 3/19
At the San Pedro House, a #CLAY-COLORED SPARROW was reported on 3/22 (fide
John Broz) on the west side of Kingfisher Pond.
*BUFF-COLLARED NIGHTJARS were reported on 3/19 (Melody Kehl) at the south
end of California Gulch at the confluence with Warsaw Canyon. Annotated
PORTAL & the CHIRICAHUAS (annotated map: http://goo.gl/maps/XfXfX)
A *STREAK-BACKED ORIOLE continued to be seen daily (though sporadically =E2=
morning seems best) at the Foothills Road (aka Rodrigues yard) feeders as
of 3/22 (Mark & Lois Ports).
A #GRAY CATBIRD continued in Portal on 3/19 (Mark Mutchler) at Cave Creek
A #LUCIFER HUMMINGBIRD was reported at a private residence in Portal on
3/19 (David Johnson).
GREEN VALLEY & the SANTA RITAS
In Florida Canyon (annotated map: http://goo.gl/AAzD6), *RUFOUS-CAPPED
WARBLERS continued on 3/24 (Joanie & Mark Hubinger) 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), #BLACK-CAPPED GNATCATCHERS
continued along Proctor Rd this week (m.ob.).
At Patagonia Lake (annotated map: http://goo.gl/GgNvs), #GREATER SCAUP
continued this week (m.ob.). A #WINTER WREN, #"YELLOW-SHAFTED" NORTHERN
FLICKER and #BLACK-CAPPED GNATCATCHERS all continued along the Birding
Trail at the east end of the lake this week (m.ob.). Observers are
encouraged to note or record the calls of the wren to help separate the
Winter Wren from the very similar Pacific Wren.
TUBAC area (annotated map: http://goo.gl/maps/yDqi0)
#BLACK-CAPPED GNATCATCHERS were photographed in Rock Corral Canyon on 3/18
(Richard Fray) 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.
A #BROWN THRASHER was photographed again at Cienega Creek Preserve (permit
required) on 3/24 (Paul Suchanek) at the Colossal Cave Rd entrance where
the power lines cross in the middle of a cottonwood grove. NOTE: A special
advance permit is required to visit this preserve; see:
http://webcms.pima.gov/cms/one.aspx?portalId=3D169&pageId=3D1515 and annota=
The male #BALTIMORE ORIOLE continued at Sweetwater Wetlands this week on
3/22 (m.ob.); one wintered in the area the last two years but ranged widely=
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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