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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 June 16, 2017. The next update will be made on June 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:

 *BUFF-COLLARED NIGHTJAR

#White-eared Hummingbird

#Lucifer Hummingbird

#Green Kingfisher

*TUFTED FLYCATCHER

#Scissor-tailed Flycatcher

*ROSE-THROATED BECARD

*RED-EYED VIREO

*PHILADELPHIA VIREO (possible)

#Black-capped Gnatcatcher

#Brown Thrasher

#Hooded Warbler

*SLATE-THROATED REDSTART

*RUFOUS-CAPPED WARBLER

*FLAME-COLORED TANAGER

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

SIERRA VISTA & the HUACHUCAS

In upper Ramsey Canyon, a *TUFTED FLYCATCHER continued this week (m.ob) 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. A *RED-EYED VIREO was photographed in the same area on 6/12 (John Patten Moss). A *FLAME-COLORED TANAGER continued on the Hamburg Trail between the overlook and the first stream crossing this week (m.ob.). The map here shows the location: https://goo.gl/aMh1ke  

In Carr Canyon, at least one *TUFTED FLYCATCHER continued on 6/10 (Janine McCabe) at the Reef Townsite CG near the campsite 13. 

In Hunter Canyon (https://goo.gl/CR4YXm), *RUFOUS-CAPPED WARBLERS continued on 6/15 (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. 

A #WHITE-EARED HUMMINGBIRD continued in Miller Canyon on 6/16 (m.ob.).

#LUCIFER HUMMINGBIRDS continued at Ash Canyon B&B this week (m.ob.) – dusk is the best time to see them.

TUBAC area (annotated map: http://goo.gl/maps/yDqi0)

Two*ROSE-THROATED BECARDS continued along the De Anza Trail at Tumacacori on 6/16 (m.ob.); from the trailhead just north of the mission, 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 (occasionally high in the cottonwoods). There is an old nest over the river just north of here they occasionally visit to gather material. A #HOODED WARBLER was photographed here on 6/13 (Curtis Smith).

PORTAL & the CHIRICAHUAS (annotated map: http://goo.gl/maps/XfXfX)

A *SLATE-THROATED REDSTART continued in Pinery Canyon just downhill from the campground this week (m.ob.). This is the same place as 2016 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 the road. Best views have been from the road.

GREEN VALLEY & the SANTA RITAS

In Florida Canyon (annotated map: http://goo.gl/AAzD6), *RUFOUS-CAPPED WARBLERS continued this week (m.ob.) 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. 

In Madera Canyon (map: http://goo.gl/dXBYP) #BLACK-CAPPED GNATCATCHERS continued along Proctor Rd this week (m.ob.).

A #SCISSOR-TAILED FLYCATCHER was reported at Continental road just east of I-19 on 6/10 (Richard Fray).

TUCSON area

A probable *PHILADELPHIA VIREO was recorded singing at Sweetwater Wetlands on 6/11 (Molly Pollock, Mark Stevenson).

PATAGONIA

At Patagonia Lake (annotated map: http://goo.gl/GgNvs), a #GREEN KINGFISHER continued on 6/10 (Richard Fray) at the east end along the Birding Trail.

DUDLEYVILLE

A #BROWN THRASHER was reported along the San Pedro River just south of Dudleyville on 6/11 (Cassidy Ruge).

 Good birding!

-Andrew Core, Rare Bird Alert Compiler

  

 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 – REOPENED March 2017. 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

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

BENSON – the Benson Birding Trail is no longer accessible as the property is under new ownership.

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 new 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: Closed though July 1 for construction.
  • 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 annotated map: https://goo.gl/uX96P

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.

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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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 throughout southeast Arizona. New for the Revised Eighth Edition:

  • New birding sites across Southeast Arizona
  • New maps and updated older maps
  • Updated contact information and web addresses
  • Updated information on existing site locations
  • Updated information on entering Mexico
  • Updated IBA (Important Bird Areas) information, including sites
  • Updated bar graphs and species accounts for all species

Learn more and purchase your copy today!

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