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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 March 15, 2019. The next update will be made on March 22.

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:

#Eurasian Wigeon
#”Harlan’s” Red-tailed Hawk
#Rough-legged Hawk
#Ruddy Ground-Dove
#Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
*ROSE-THROATED BECARD
#Black-capped Gnatcatcher
#Varied Thrush
#Tennessee Warbler
#Louisiana Waterthrush
#Rufous-capped Warbler
#”Red” Fox Sparrow
#Golden-crowned Sparrow

TUBAC area (annotated map: http://goo.gl/maps/yDqi0)
A female *ROSE-THROATED BECARD continued about 1/4 mile north of the Tubac bridge this week (m.ob.).
A male *ROSE-THROATED BECARD continued along the De Anza Trail at Tumacacori this week on 3/14 (Laurens Halsey); from the trailhead just north of the mission and opposite the post office, head east to the kiosk. There is a short spur to the river just east of here, and they have been seen in this area and just to the north.

GREEN VALLEY & the SANTA RITAS
In Florida Canyon (annotated map: http://goo.gl/AAzD6), #RUFOUS-CAPPED WARBLERS continued (m.ob.) in the West Fork above 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, and at the old corral at FR488 & 62A. A #VARIED THRUSH continued near the parking area on 3/14 (Charlie Chase).

WILLCOX
A #EURASIAN WIGEON continued at Lake Cochise by the Twin Lakes Golf Course in Willcox this week (m.ob.).

SANTA CRUZ FLATS
A #”HARLAN’S” RED-TAILED HAWK continued this week (Holly Sweeney) near the intersection of Pretzer and Tweedy Rds.
At the intersection of Wheeler and Baumgartner Rds. a #RUDDY GROUND-DOVE continued this week (m.ob.). They have been seen near the tan house north of the intersection 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.

SONOITA & LAS CIENEGAS NCA
A #ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK continued this week along Highway 82 east of Sonoita between mile markers 35 and 36 (m.ob.) on both side of the road.

TUCSON area
A #YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER continued at Gordon Hirabayashi Recreation Area on Mt Lemmon on 3/10 (m.ob.).
A #TENNESSEE WARBLER was photographed in Sabino Canyon in the willows above the dam on 3/9 (Bill Higgins).

SIERRA VISTA & the HUACHUCAS
At the San Pedro House, a #LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSH continued this week (m.ob.) along the San Pedro River. The waterthrush is often between posts #6 and #8. A #GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROW was reported near marker #4 on 3/11 (Susan Allerton). It was seen at the house feeders on 3/14 and 3/15 (m.ob.).

PORTAL & the CHIRICAHUAS (annotated map: http://goo.gl/maps/XfXfX)
A #”RED” FOX SPARROW continued at Cave Creek Ranch this week (m.ob.).
A #”RED” FOX SPARROW continued this week in a yard in Whitetail Canyon (Rick Taylor).
A #GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROW was photographed in Dave Jasper’s new yard (http://ebird.org/ebird/hotspot/L3642537) on 3/10 (Sherry Kelter).

PATAGONIA
A #”RED” FOX SPARROW continued at the Paton Center for Hummingbirds this week (m.ob.).

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.

 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.

The gravel pit at the south end of Renaissance Ave may be viewed from outside the fence, but do not enter the pit. Similarly, the fields at the intersection of nearby Indian Agency Rd/Los Reales Rd. may be viewed from the road, but the pit is posted “No Trespassing”.

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 WRF – Under construction, access on weekends only for now. Protocol for visiting when open: use the call box at the gate, sign in at the office on the west side of the complex before birding, and stay away from buildings and construction equipment. If gate is open, proceed to office to sign in. Sign out when finished. If you’d like to call ahead, you can try at 520-625-0025. Map: https://goo.gl/FA2TVJ

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

Madera Canyon annotated map: http://goo.gl/dXBYP
Florida Canyon annotated map: http://goo.gl/AAzD6
Green Valley WRF: https://goo.gl/FA2TVJ

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

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!

Finding Birds in Southeast Arizona

Revised 8th Edition, 2015: SOLD OUT
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

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!

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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