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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 November 16, 2018. The next update will be made on November 23.

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:

#Cackling Goose
#”Harlan’s” Red-tailed Hawk
#Green Kingfisher
#Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
*ROSE-THROATED BECARD
#Black-capped Gnatcatcher
#Harris’s Sparrow

TUBAC area (annotated map: http://goo.gl/maps/yDqi0)
A male *ROSE-THROATED BECARD was photographed on 11/16 (Chris Benesh) at Rancho Santa Cruz, a new birding spot (https://ebird.org/hotspot/L7698893) along the Santa Cruz River south of Tubac and north of the Palo Parado Bridge.
#BLACK-CAPPED GNATCATCHERS continued in Rock Corral Canyon on 11/12 (Richard Fray, Jennie McFarland) west of Santa Gertrudis Lane. A high clearance, four-wheel drive vehicle is recommended; the birds have been between the corral and the unofficial campground.

TUCSON area
Two #CACKLING GEESE were photographed along the Santa Cruz River south of Valencia Rd on 11/12 (Brian Nicholas) and continued on 11/13 (Matt Griffiths). They were seen in a gravel pit at the south end of Renaissance Dr on the west bank of the river. Map: http://ebird.org/ebird/hotspot/L2821911
They were also seen at the intersection of South Indian Agency Rd & Los Reales Rd on 11/13 (Jim & Cynthia Krakowski) , where they continued through 11/16 (m.ob.).
A #YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER continued in the Lakes at Castle Rock area in northeast Tucson on 11/11 (Bob & Lenore Perna).

SANTA CRUZ FLATS
#”HARLAN’S” RED-TAILED HAWKS were reported from the intersection of Green Reservoir Rd and Tweedy Rd and from the intersection of Sunshine and Phillips this week (Doug Jenness).

PATAGONIA
At Patagonia Lake (annotated map: http://goo.gl/GgNvs), a #GREEN KINGFISHER and a #BLACK-CAPPED GNATCATCHER continued this week (m.ob.) at the east end along the Birding Trail.
A #YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER continued at the Paton Center for Hummingbirds on 11/11 (m.ob.).

SIERRA VISTA & the HUACHUCAS
A #GREEN KINGFISHER was reported at the Hereford Bridge over the San Pedro on 11/6 (Peter Siminski).
A #HARRIS’S SPARROW was photographed at a small pond on Ft Huachuca on 11/16 (Stuart Healy, Ron Beck). Directions (from Stuart Healy): To reach the reservoir from Van Deman (old Main) gate, follow Winrow which turns into Squier which in turn becomes Allison. Turn left off Allison onto Lawton into the Army Billeting (housing) area. In two hundred yards you will see the reservoir on the left. Map: https://goo.gl/maps/PpLCeBi27bp

 

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.

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. 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

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