Date: 3/7/17 12:48 pm
From: Lindsay Story <klstory...>
Subject: [AZNMbirds] CEAZ: mystery bird at Butcher Jones (NE of Mesa AZ)
I apologize for this late posting. Yesterday morning (Monday, 03-06-17), Poppa and I birded Butcher Jones Rec. Site. We had barely started out the trail when we briefly encountered a mystery bird. This was halfway between the beach trailhead and where the trail curves rather strongly right. Continuing past the curve, trees soon give way to reed bed and then lake. There was a small pocket of bird activity, with Yellow-rumped Warbler, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Northern Cardinal, Lincoln’s Sparrow, Song Sparrow, and the one bird I really wish I had identified. My thoughts were: (1) What is that? (2) It looks sort of like a Palm Warbler. (3) Ok, that’s not likely so what is it? At this point, the bird flew and was not reacquired. This posting is simply to tell fellow birders to spend a little extra time in this spot checking out All the birds.

My observations were not long and not fully in sunlight, but my mental picture suggests the following… warbler-type bird with bright yellow throat/or partial wrap around, bright yellow undertail coverts, yellow wash over most of the rest of the body (i.e., lighter yellow over belly-chest than that on throat & undertail coverts; yellowy overtone to brownish back), pale yellow wash or creamy supercilium, dark crown (not sure what color, brown maybe or chestnut), dark eye-line, dark streaking either down flanks or down most of front. I never got a total front view but the streaking was strong. In fact it was this streaking over yellowish base that first caught my eye. To me, the streaking was more pronounced than expected for a Palm Warbler, but I don’t have a lot of experience with the latter. Our bird was sort of beefy (i.e., not a small dainty warbler but warbler-like nonetheless). I did not get an impression of the tail. The bird was on one side of the trail, landed briefly in the trail, flew into a tree on the other edge of the trail, gave me a quick look, and left. I only had binoculars on it while it was in the last tree. All the birds flew at once, and I followed the wrong one naturally, so that’s all I have for a description.

Lindsay Story –Mesa AZ

Directions: “Saguaro Lake—Butcher Jones Beach” is the eBird designation for this site. It is NE of Mesa AZ, off Bush Hwy. The entry road to the site is between mile markers 33 & 34. From Mesa, go N on Ellsworth/Usery Pass Rd. Once over the hump and down the other side, turn right/E-NE at the 4-way stop. Butcher Jones is about a mile past the turn for Saguaro Lake/Saguaro del Norte. Also, it is the last recreation site before Beeline Hwy. Currently, there is road construction at the 4-way, and along much of Bush Hwy so the drive could be slightly slower than usual. Butcher Jones is a fee area, using any of the following: National Park Pass/Senior Pass, Tonto Discovery Pass, or Tonto Pass. The latter is a 24-hr scratch off pass available at many Mesa gas stations, CVS, Walgreens, Basha’s and the like. Cost for a day pass is $8. You cannot purchase a day pass at the site itself, and the fine is something like $75 if you are caught without one.

For reference, the beach is south of the Butcher Jones picnic area/mesquite woods. The cited trail is in the NE corner of the beach. It follows the lakeshore for a few miles. “Peregrine Point”, which appears in various eBird reports, is on this trail.
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