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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 September 10, 2021. The next update will be made on September 17.

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

 #Short-tailed Hawk

#Whimbrel

 Sanderling

#Short-billed Dowitcher

#Ruddy Ground-Dove

#White-eared Hummingbird

#Berylline Hummingbird

#Eastern Kingbird

*ROSE-THROATED BECARD

#Louisiana Waterthrush

#Clay-colored Sparrow

#Painted Bunting

#Dickcissel

 

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

The most recent report of *ROSE-THROATED BECARDS about 0.7 miles north of the Tubac bridge was on 9/2 (Richard Fray).

An #EASTERN KINGBIRD was photographed along Palo Parado Rd just west of the bridge over the Santa Cruz River on 9/10 (Steven Farr) and continued throughout the day (m.ob.).

 

PATAGONIA

*ROSE-THROATED BECARDS continued at the Patagonia Roadside Rest Area this week (m.ob.). As a reminder, the property on the north side of the road, across from the Roadside Rest, is private. This is a particularly dangerous stretch of road; do not bird from the road. The “No stopping. No standing” signs were placed there for your safety. You can cross the road, but you must not trespass by crossing the fence. You cannot access the creek, though it is nearby.

A *ROSE-THROATED BECARD continued along Blue Haven Rd on 9/6 (Thad Roller) between the Paton Center and the entrance to the Patagonia- Sonoita Creek Preserve.

A #RUDDY GROUND-DOVE was reported again in Patagonia, this time at the Paton Center for Hummingbirds on 9/5 (Ken Blankenship) where up to three were reported through 9/10 (m.ob.). A #PAINTED BUNTING was reported at the Paton Center on 9/6 and 9/9 (m.ob.).

 

GRAHAM COUNTY

A light morph #SHORT-TAILED HAWK was reported again on Mt. Graham, this time at Heliograph Peak on 9/5 (Casey & Camden Bruner).

A Sanderling was photographed at the Reay Lane WTP in Thatcher on 9/8 (Jeff Coker) and continued through 9/10 (m.ob.).

WILLCOX

A #WHIMBREL continued at Lake Cochise by the Twin Lakes Golf Course in Willcox on 9/6 (Bobby Figarotta). A Sanderling was reported on 9/5 (Lee Bush).

 

ARIVACA & BUENOS AIRES NWR

At Aguirre Lake in Buenos Aires NWR a #SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER continued through 9/7 (Tim Burkhardt). Aguirre Lake (which is largely dry) wraps around the north and west of Grebe Pond. Up to three #DICKCISSELS continued this week (m.ob.).

A female #PAINTED BUNTING continued at Carpenter Tank on 9/7 (Tim Burkhardt).

 

 

SIERRA VISTA & the HUACHUCAS

In Miller Canyon, a #WHITE-EARED HUMMINGBIRD continued this week (m.ob.). 

A #BERYLLINE HUMMINGBIRD continued to be seen at the Ramsey Canyon Inn this week (m.ob.).

A #DICKCISSEL was reported along 3 Canyons Blvd on 9/8 (Ron Beck).

 

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

A #BERYLLINE HUMMINGBIRD continued along Crystal Cave Trail (http://www.chiricahuatrails.com/trails/crystal-cave-trail-382) on FR 42A just west of the Southwestern Research Station through 9/9 (m.ob.).

 

DOUGLAS area

A #LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSH and a #PAINTED BUNTING were reported on San Bernardino NWR on 9/6 (Richard Webster). Annotated map: https://goo.gl/uX96Pw

A #DICKCISSEL was reported at Leslie Canyon NWR on 9/7 (Richard Webster).

 

TUCSON area

A #CLAY-COLORED SPARROW was photographed at SHARP (Southeast Houghton Area Recharge Project, https://ebird.org/hotspot/L11172420) on 9/6 (Adam Dudley).

 

GREEN VALLEY & the SANTA RITAS

At Canoa Ranch a #DICKCISSEL was reported on 9/6 (Laurens Halsey) and was photographed on 9/9 (Shawn Cooper); one continued on 9/10 (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 6:30-9:00 am 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. See https://www.tucsonaz.gov/water/sweetwater-wetlands

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”.

GREEN VALLEY WRF – Apparently now open after a long closure due to COVID19 restrictions – hours are either 7am-2pm or 7am-3pm and it is open daily instead of weekends only as before. 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 if protocol allows. 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 – open dawn to dusk EXCEPT Thursday, when open noon to dusk. Parking is limited; please carpool whenever possible. No need to call ahead.

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 phone 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 (REAL ID compliant; see https://www.dhs.gov/real-id-public-faqs for details) for everyone in the vehicle at the entrance, and possibly your vehicle registration and insurance as well. In the past, foreign nationals needed an approved military escort; if this policy is reinstated, 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 https://home.army.mil/huachuca/ – 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 and opens at 5:00 am. https://home.army.mil/huachuca/index.php/about/Garrison/DES/physical-security/access-control

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

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

color_square_face_right

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

color_square_face_right

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