Date: 2/27/17 2:28 pm
From: C kirscher <antclaudia2008...>
Subject: [AZNMbirds] AZ: Santa Cruz Flats February 26, 2017
Under cloudy skies, sporadic sprinkles, and midmorning gusty winds, our Sonoran Audubon field trip group worked hard for our species list, nothing unusual just the expected winter birds found in this area. Always fun and challenging to suss out the sparrows.  We failed to find our target birds of Rufous-backed Robin (tried twice, morning and afternoon), Mountain Plover or Crested Caracara.  In fact, overall raptor numbers seem to be decreased from last month. Time for them to head back north ?   The previously reported "Harlan's" Red-tailed Hawk continues near the intersection of Green Reservoir & Curry as well as the "Harlan's" along E. Phillips Rd about 1/4 mile west of S. Barrett Rd (seen in January and December also). Other highlights include Bendire's Thrasher, large mixed flocks of Red-winged and Brewer's Blackbirds swirling and foraging in desert scrub, lots of red with Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Northern Cardinals, and Vermillion Flycatchers, and a very light Ferruginous Hawk hunkered down low against the gusts of wind in a field.  We ended our day via Red Rock feed lot where we found a 200+ flock of Lark Buntings along Sasco Rd. All in all, an invigorating day to be out in the field.
Many thanks to all the sharp-eyed participants !
Claudia Kirscher, trip leaderGlendale, Az
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