Date: 3/3/17 11:42 pm From: Andrew Core <tucsonrba...> Subject: [AZNMbirds] RBA Tucson, AZ - 3 March 2017
This update of Tucson Audubon Society's Rare Bird Alert for Southeast
Arizona was made on March 3, 2017; the next update will be made on March
10. Phone your reports to 520-629-0510 X 3, or email to rarebirdalert AT
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. Documentation and photos of review species may be submitted
For more information about Tucson Audubon field trips, lectures and
educational opportunities, please see www.tucsonaudubon.org.
SPECIES MENTIONED IN THIS REPORT INCLUDE:
#"Harlan's" Red-tailed Hawk
#"Red" Fox Sparrow
PORTAL & the CHIRICAHUAS (annotated map: http://goo.gl/maps/XfXfX)
A *STREAK-BACKED ORIOLE continued to be seen daily (though sporadically) at
the Foothills Road (aka Rodrigues yard) feeders as of 3/3 (m.ob.).
A #GRAY CATBIRD continued in Portal on 2/25 (m.ob.) at Cave Creek Ranch.
A #BROWN THRASHER continued along Prickly Pear Ln north of the Portal Store
on 3/2 (Rick Plage).
A #"RED" FOX SPARROW continued in Whitetail Canyon on 3/1 (Rick Taylor).
A *YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER was photographed again in Patagonia City Park on
2/27 (Donald Sutherland); last year one wintered near the gazebo.
At Patagonia Lake (annotated map: http://goo.gl/GgNvs), #GREATER SCAUP
continued this week (m.ob.); 2 #HEERMANN'S GULLS were photographed on 2/28
(David Yeamans). A #GREEN KINGFISHER, #EASTERN PHOEBE, #WINTER WREN,
#BLACK-CAPPED GNATCATCHERS and a #GRAY CATBIRD all continued along the
Birding Trail at the east end of the lake this week (m.ob.). observers are
encouraged to note or record the calls of the wren to help separate this
from the very similar Pacific Wren.
GREEN VALLEY & the SANTA RITAS
In Florida Canyon (annotated map: http://goo.gl/AAzD6), *RUFOUS-CAPPED
WARBLERS continued on 2/27 (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. #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.
In Madera Canyon (map: http://goo.gl/dXBYP), #BLACK-CAPPED GNATCATCHERS
continued along Proctor Rd on 3/3 (m.ob.).
A #BROWN THRASHER was photographed at Cienega Creek Preserve (permit
required) on 2/27 (Paul Suchanek) at the Colossal Cave Rd entrance where
the power lines cross in the middle of a cottonwood grove. NOTE: A special
advance permit is required to visit this preserve; see:
http://webcms.pima.gov/cms/one.aspx?portalId=169&pageId=1515 and annotated
WILLCOX & the SULPHUR SPRINGS VALLEY
A male #EURASIAN WIGEON continued at Lake Cochise by the Twin Lakes Golf
Course on 3/3 (David Dunford).
A waterthrush photographed at Sam Lena Park on 2/20 (Brian Nicholas) turned
out to be a NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH (Gary Rosenberg) and continued on 2/28
(Ken Cooper); there a very few winter records of this species in Arizona.
Enter from Country Club Rd entrance on the east side, and you'll pass a
small pond on the north side of Sam Lena Rd. Walk north on the paved path
toward the blue-roofed ramadas and the bird was in a hidden pond on the
right. A #GREATER SCAUP continued with several Lesser Scaup in the main
pond in the south part of the park on 3/1 (m.ob.).
The male #BALTIMORE ORIOLE was spotted at Christopher Columbus Park this
week on 2/26 (Ken Cooper, Mary Creager); one wintered in the area the last
two years but ranged widely, and is occasionally seen at Sweetwater
SANTA CRUZ FLATS
A #"HARLAN’S" RED-TAILED HAWK was reported again near the intersection of
Green Reservoir Rd and Curry Rd on 2/26 (Claudia Kirscher). Another one was
reported along E Phillips Rd about 1/4 mile west of S Barrett Rd.
A #LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSH continued along the Santa Cruz River south of
Sasco Rd on 2/27 (Leo Miller).
Two #RUDDY GROUND-DOVES continued along the De Anza Trail in Rio Rico about
200-300 yards southeast of the Guy Tobin Trailhead on 3/2 (m.ob.). A bright
blue plastic water bottle and an old refrigerator are good landmarks for
A #WINTER WREN was recorded from the Cluff Pond #3 nature trail at Cluff
Ranch WMA on 2/26 (Jeff Coker), along the inlet creek near the old cattle
TUBAC area (annotated map: http://goo.gl/maps/yDqi0)
A #RUFOUS-BACKED ROBIN continued along the de Anza Trail north of the Santa
Gertrudis Lane crossing on 2/25 (m.ob.). Remember to park along the
frontage road and walk in.
SIERRA VISTA & the HUACHUCAS
At the San Pedro House, a #LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSH continued along the San
Pedro River on 3/1 (m.ob.); last year one frequented the area between trail
markers #7 and #8. A #CLAY-COLORED SPARROW was reported on 3/2 (m.ob.), and
an #EASTERN PHOEBE was reported on 3/3 (m.ob.).
EL RIO OPEN SPACE PRESERVE/COACHLINE GRAVEL PIT - park in the paved lot in
the southwest corner or along the south edge near the berm. Construction
may hinder access for the next few months. Annotated map:
RAMSEY CANYON - Ramsey Canyon Preserve is closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
ASH CANYON B&B: open dawn to dusk EXCEPT Wednesday, when open noon to dusk.
Parking is limited; please carpool whenever possible. No need to call ahead.
BENSON - the Benson Birding Trail is no longer accessible as the property
is under new ownership.
FORT HUACHUCA - access requirements are posted on its official webpage at
http://www.huachuca.army.mil/pages/des/accesscontrol.html. The Visitor
Control Center is located at the Van Deman Gate on Hwy 90. The fort 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 must pass a background
check and 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. ACCESS NOTE: apparently some states
driver's licenses do not meet federal requirements for base entry (KY, ME,
MT, PA, SC, MN, MO, and WA); see https://www.dhs.gov/real-id-public-faqs or
http://huachuca-www.army.mil/pages/des/visitoraccess.html for details.
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."
AVRA VALLEY WRF: Gates open 7AM and close PROMPTLY at 2PM (do not linger,
you will be locked inside).
GREEN VALLEY WRF: under construction, access uncertain. When open, use the
call box at the gate, sign in and out at the office, and stay away from
buildings and construction equipment.