Date: 3/5/17 12:18 pm
From: melius <mmelius...>
Subject: [AZNMbirds] Cassin's Kingbird & other Sahuarita birds
I found two Cassin's Kingbirds this morning in a pecan grove, south of
Sahuarita Road just east of Nogales Hwy. It's a lifer for me; having
known Western's all my life it's good to see that Cassin's, at least
in spring plumage, are quite different, head to tail.
Speaking of pecan groves, they are a place where I've reliably found
multiple Yellow-rumped Warblers, including this morning. This has
happened several times in the past two months, and contrasts with the
one or two YRWA I've found at a time in other habitats. These pecan
groves are quite extensive "forests" and I wonder if they are good for
other warblers and spring migrants? They are private land, so you have
to look in from the edges, but you can get pretty close that way.
Red-tailed Hawks are nesting on a powerline pole up Twin Buttes Road.
I've also been seeing a Cooper's Hawk in my neighborhood that may be
at a nest site, a stick nest in some large trees in a neighbor's yard.
I'll keep my eye on it.
At the Sahuarita Rd. bridge over the Santa Cruz I've found Savanna,
Lark, & Lincoln's Sparrows, and a Northern Harrier several times, most
recently this morning. There's been a flock of about 30 W. Meadowlarks
south of the bridge, visible from La Villita Rd. I've never been able
to get close to them--apparently winter flocks are more wary and
elusive than they are on their breeding grounds? This morning they
were singing.
I've enjoyed bicycling up Twin Buttes Rd. this winter, as it quickly
takes me into desert scrub habitat on a road with very little traffic.
It's possible to make a loop via Mission Rd. and Helmet Peak Rd. I'd
recommend this loop to any visitor looking for a quick trip into that
habitat, with easy access off I-19 via Sahuarita Rd. Highlight birds
I've seen on the loop this winter include Harris' Hawk, Crested
Caracara, and Green-tailed Towhee.
Michael Melius
Hermosa, SD
 In Sahuarita thru March

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