This update of Tucson Audubon Society's Rare Bird Alert for Southeast
Arizona was made on December 2, 2016; the next update will be made on
December 9. 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:
#"Yellow-shafted" Northern Flicker
PORTAL & the CHIRICAHUAS (annotated map: http://goo.gl/maps/XfXfX)
A *STREAK-BACKED ORIOLE continued at the Foothills Road (aka Rodrigues
yard) feeders on 12/1 (Bob Rodrigues).
A #GRAY CATCBIRD was photographed at Willow Tank on 12/1 (Luke Tiller).
A #BROWN THRASHER was reported in a yard in Portal on 11/28 and 11/30 (Rick
GREEN VALLEY & the SANTA RITAS
In Florida Canyon (annotated map: http://goo.gl/AAzD6), *RUFOUS-CAPPED
WARBLERS continued on 11/29 (Laurens Halsey) in the West Fork past the dam.
One was between the dam and the East Bend, and two were at the Oak Grove
well up the canyon. 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 on 11/29 (Laurens Halsey); they've
been seen near the Florida Canyon parking area and a short distance up the
Three #GREATER SCAUP were photographed at the Amado STP on 11/27 (Laurens
Halsey); two continued on 11/28 (David Whittier).
At Patagonia Lake (annotated map: http://goo.gl/GgNvs), a #GREEN KINGFISHER
continued at the east end on 11/29 (Jesse Rubenstein); perhaps the same
bird was seen on 11/26 (Brian Jones) in the northwest part of the lake, so
it may be moving around. A #"YELLOW-SHAFTED" NORTHERN FLICKER continued on
12/1 and an #EASTERN PHOEBE on 12/2 (David Yeamans). A #PACIFIC WREN and
#BLACK-CAPPED GNATCATCHERS were reported on 11/26 (m.ob.). A Brown Pelican
was reported on 11/29 (m.ob.).
SANTA CRUZ FLATS
A #HORNED GREBE was reported at Arizona City Lake on 11/26 (Gordon Karre)
and continued on 11/29 (Doug Jenness).
A #LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSH was reported on 11/21 (Doug Jenness) along the
Santa Cruz River just south of Sasco Rd. One was present here last winter.
A #YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER continued at Palo Verde Park (Broadway/Kolb
area) on 11/27 (Mark Stevenson, Molly Pollock).
A #YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER as photographed on private property along the
Tanque Verde wash off Redington Rd on 11/27 (Paul Suchanek, Brian Nicholas).
A #RUFOUS-BACKED ROBIN was photographed at Catalina State Park on 11/27
(James Hoagland) and continued on 11/21 (m. ob.). It was seen at the
intersection of the Canyon Loop and Sutherland Trails. An #EASTERN PHOEBE
was reported on 12/2 (Michael Welch). Catalina State Park annotated map:
A #LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSH was reported from the Santa Cruz river between
Cortaro and Ina Rds on 11/26 (Mark Stevenson, Molly Pollock). It was south
of the two culverts at the south end of Crossroads Park.
At Sweetwater Wetlands, the male #BALTIMORE ORIOLE continued this week
(m.ob.); one wintered here the last two years but ranged widely.
A #YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER continued at Roper Lake SP on 12/2 (Jeff
At Pena Blanca Lake (annotated map: http://goo.gl/zBbzl), a #RED=BREASTED
SAPSUCKER was reported on 11/27 and 12/1 (Betsy Checchia, Charles Corson).
It has been seen in the large cove in the northwest part of the lake, about
1/3 mile north of the large boat ramp area in the Rock Water Cove. An
#EASTERN PHOEBE was reported on 12/1 as well.
A #WINTER WREN was reported from San Bernardino NWR on 11/26 (Richard
Webster) along Black Draw about 100 yards north of the border. An #EASTERN
PHOEBE was at House Pond at nearby Slaughter Ranch.
SIERRA VISTA & the HUACHUCAS
At the San Pedro House, a #LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSH continued along the San
Pedro River on 11/30 (Mike Butterfield, John Broz); last year one
frequented the area between trail markers #7 and #8.
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:
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 dirt lot
along the south edge near the berm, not in the neighborhood to the west.
Annotated map: http://goo.gl/5vIQSb
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 (IL, MN,
MO, NM, and WA); see https://www.dhs.gov/real-id-public-faqs 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: 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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