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Southeast Arizona Rare Bird Alert

This update of Tucson Audubon Society’s Rare Bird Alert for Southeast Arizona was made on May 18, 2018. The next update will be made on May 25.

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.

 

SPECIES MENTIONED IN THIS REPORT INCLUDE:

*LEAST GREBE
Common Tern
*BUFF-COLLARED NIGHTJAR
#Lucifer Hummingbird
#Green Kingfisher
*TUFTED FLYCATCHER
*ROSE-THROATED BECARD
*SINALOA WREN
#Black-capped Gnatcatcher
#Rufous-backed Robin (no reports this week)
#Tennessee Warbler
*SLATE-THROATED REDSTART
*RUFOUS-CAPPED WARBLER
*FLAME-COLORED TANAGER

PATAGONIA
At Patagonia Lake (annotated map: http://goo.gl/GgNvs), a *LEAST GREBE continued in the cove just southeast of the spillway and dam, and a #COMMON TERN was reported at the east end of the lake on 5/13 (John Hirth). #BLACK-CAPPED GNATCATCHERS and a #GREEN KINGFISHER continued this week (m.ob.) at the east end along the Birding Trail.

NOGALES area
*BUFF-COLLARED NIGHTJARS and #BLACK-CAPPED GNATCATCHERS continued this week (m.ob.) at the south end of California Gulch at the confluence with Warsaw Canyon. Annotated map: http://goo.gl/wSr0mi

PORTAL & the CHIRICAHUAS (annotated map: http://goo.gl/maps/XfXfX)
A *SLATE-THROATED REDSTART continued in Pinery Canyon in the area just downhill from the campground this week thorugh 5/18 (m.ob.). This is the same place as the 2016 and 2017 birds and is about 2.4 miles west of Onion Saddle (and, from the west, 9.4 miles east of the turnoff) where a small, mostly dry creek crosses under the road.

SIERRA VISTA & the HUACHUCAS
In upper Ramsey Canyon, at least one of the *TUFTED FLYCATCHERS continued this week (m.ob.). The flycatchers are being seen about 2 miles up the Hamburg Trail from the Ramsey Canyon Preserve Visitor Center, about 1/3 mile past the Brown Canyon trail junction. A *FLAME-COLORED TANAGER continued in the same area this week through 5/17 (m.ob.), the tanager being closer to the overlook and the first stream crossing. 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 Ramsey Canyon Preserve is closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
In Hunter Canyon (https://goo.gl/CR4YXm), *RUFOUS-CAPPED WARBLERS continued this week through 5/17 (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.
#LUCIFER HUMMINGBIRDS continued at Ash Canyon B&B this week (m.ob.).

TUBAC area (annotated map: http://goo.gl/maps/yDqi0)
A *SINALOA WREN continued sproadically this week through 5/18 (Dave Stejskal) along the De Anza Trail south of Santa Gertrudis Lane. It has been seen south of the old cars and a child’s tricycle about 1/2 mile south of the crossing. The last report of the #RUFOUS-BACKED ROBINS was on 5/10 (m.ob.). Remember to park along the frontage road and walk in.
A pair of *ROSE-THROATED BECARDS continued about 3/4 mile north of the Tubac bridge this week (m.ob.).

TUCSON area
A #TENNESSEE WARBLER was recorded in Summerhaven across from the Cookie Cabin on 5/16 (Nathan Farnau et al).

GREEN VALLEY & the SANTA RITAS
In Madera Canyon (map: http://goo.gl/dXBYP), #BLACK-CAPPED GNATCATCHERS continued along Proctor Rd this week (m.ob.).
#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, and at the old corral at FR488 & 62A.

Good birding!
-Andrew Core, Rare Bird Alert Compiler

 

Directions to Birding Sites
Where directions are not given, they can be found in the newest edition of Finding Birds in Southeast Arizona, published by and available from Tucson Audubon Nature Shop.

Methodology of this Report
The sequence of sightings in this report is not random. Species are listed by order of overall rarity within locality. The first locality mentioned contains the rarest species seen during the reporting period. Within that locality, species are mentioned in relative-rarity order or in taxonomic order, if relative rarity is the same, within sub-locality. When the sightings for a locality are complete, the rarest remaining species dictates which locality is mentioned next, and so forth. At any point when 2 or more species are of the same relative rarity, taxonomic order then determines the sequence in which the localities are covered. Consequently, the order in which localities are mentioned will vary from one report to the next.

Contributors are listed in the text. The spelling of names given over the phone is not guaranteed to be accurate. Any errors or omissions are unintentional.

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 ANNOUNCEMENTS

The revised 8th edition of Finding Birds in SE Arizona (2015) is the current edition. Addendum to the revised 8th edition is available at: tucsonaudubon.org/addendum

TUCSON – Mosquito control operations are scheduled at Sweetwater Wetlands from 6:30-8:30am on Mondays.  The gate will open when operations are finished. Roger Road WRF was closed as of 1/10/2014 and it is uncertain when access will be allowed again.

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

GREEN VALLEY WWTP – Protocol for visiting: use the call box at the gate, sign in and out at the office, and stay away from buildings and construction equipment. If gate is open, proceed to office to sign in.

ASH CANYON – Ash Canyon B&B is open dawn to dusk EXCEPT Wednesday, when open noon to dusk; parking is limited to six spots.

PATAGONIA – Patagonia Ranch Estates has posted signs that say “No Hunting – No Camping – No Parking” but birders may continue to look along Circulo Montana for grassland sparrows according to Alan Schmierer (July 2017). This is the neighborhood on the west side of the Patagonia Lake State Park entrance road.

FORT HUACHUCA – 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 pne while driving. You MUST use a hands free device. Current entry requirements (subject to change without notice): US citizens 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.

IMPORTANT: Ft. Huachuca has posted information on access requirements on its official webpage at www.huachuca.army.mil – look for the “Gate Information” tab on the left side of the homepage. Read the information at the “Visitors Access” button. If you click the “Installation Access Forms” button, you can see the information you’ll have to provide to get access. The Visitor Control Center is located at the Van Deman Gate on Hwy 90. http://www.huachuca.army.mil/pages/des/visitoraccess.html

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.

ACCESS NOTE: Despite the signage, as of March 2016 Garden Canyon was indeed now open to vehicles up to the upper picnic area and foot traffic beyond this. As of late July 2016, it was reported that it was open all the way to the top.

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.”

The Regional Wastewater Reclamation Department’s  security procedures and rules are subject to change any time. Please see this link for important information regarding access: http://www.pima.gov/wwm/about/pdf/birdwatching.pdf. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated.

  • AVRA VALLEY WRF: Gates open at 6AM and close PROMPTLY at 2PM (do not linger, you will be locked inside). UPDATE: under construction; if the gate is locked, use the call box to request access (not guaranteed). Due to ongoing construction, birders are advised to call ahead at 520-577-7341 to check on access.
  • ROGER ROAD WRF: closed
  • NOGALES STP: closed
  • CORONA DE TUCSON WRF: closed

ANNOTATED MAPS

 

NOGALES area

California Gulch annotated map: http://goo.gl/wSr0mi

 

SIERRA VISTA & the HUACHUCAS

Ramsey Canyon: https://goo.gl/aMh1ke

Hunter Canyon https://goo.gl/CR4YXm

 

PORTAL & the CHIRICAHUAS

Portal annotated map: http://goo.gl/maps/XfXfX

 

GREEN VALLEY & the SANTA RITAS

Florida Canyon annotated map: http://goo.gl/AAzD6

 

PATAGONIA

Patagonia Lake annotated map: http://goo.gl/GgNvs

Patagonia-Sonoita Creek Preserve annotated map: http://goo.gl/maps/0pXsd

 

TUBAC area

Tubac annotated map: http://goo.gl/maps/yDqi0

Puerto Canyon map: http://goo.gl/fRAa4A

 

DOUGLAS area

Slaughter Ranch and San Bernardino NWR annotated map: https://goo.gl/uX96Pw

Finding Birds in Southeast Arizona

Revised 8th Edition, 2015
Tucson Audubon’s updated edition brings together all the latest information on finding birds in southeast Arizona. This is your best source of detailed information that will help in planning bird watching adventures in the region.

Learn more and purchase a copy from our online Shop

Birding Southeast Arizona App

A great interactive companion to our Finding Birds in Southeast Arizona, our new app covers over 130 birding sites in six subregions in and around Tucson, all vetted by local experts. Search by nearest site, by bird, or by city and get exact directions! Keep track of your sightings and share with friends on Facebook.

Learn more and download now!

Sweetwater Wetlands

Sweetwater Wetlands is a gem of urban bird and wildlife activity right in urban Tucson. 306 bird species have been documented here. Join our weekly bird walks on Wednesdays and see what you can find!

Learn more

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Tucson Audubon Society
300 E University Blvd. #120 Tucson, AZ 85705

Mason Center
3835 W Hardy Rd.
Tucson, AZ 85742

Paton Center for Hummingbirds
477 Pennsylvania Ave.
Patagonia, AZ 85624
520 415-6447

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Tucson Audubon Society
300 E University Blvd. #120
Tucson, AZ 85705

Mason Center
3835 W Hardy Rd.
Tucson, AZ 85742

Paton Center for Hummingbirds
477 Pennsylvania Ave.
Patagonia, AZ 85624
520 415-6447