Date: 3/16/17 11:02 am
From: Tim Helentjaris <tnhelentjaris...>
Subject: [AZNMbirds] Saguaro NP West
Yesterday, went down to Tubac at the invitation of Rich Glinski for a social breakfast than a stay at the local hawk watch. Had never been down to this one before, very nice to see so many folks, old friends and new. If COMMON BLACKHAWKS are your bird, well this is the place to check in. As the sun poked out from behind some clouds around 9:30, they and other raptors began to “boil up” from the cottonwoods to the south. I have noted a much broader area of riparian habitat just south of Tumacacori and I wonder if they are being funneled up the Santa Cruz and then dropping into it to roost for the night? Would be interesting to get into this area to check it out, who knows what else might be in there. Thanks for the invitation, Rich.

This morning out to Saguaro NP and hiking the Sweetwater Trail as part of a GILDED FLICKER survey for Jennie MacFarland and IBA. Very nice morning out there, particularly if you get an early start. LOTS of wildflowers blooming and everyone is singing up a storm, hard to miss any of the Sonoran species this time of year in habitat as good as this. Did exceptionally well with GiFl’s, but then this is probably as optimal a habitat as you can imagine for them. Did 10 points and had confirmed pairs at five of them and singletons, that might have been pairs, at two more. Wow, if all our surveys were this easy!

Also had the enjoyable experience of again showing some non-birders a new bird, in this case a GILDED FLICKER, which while “common” to us nevertheless is really a beautiful bird. Two ladies hiking the trail stopped to ask what I was doing and I explained about IBA, surveying, and GiFl’s. I had just seen one but it dropped down before they could get a good look at it. I played the call for them and it flew right by us, giving them a great look at its bright yellow wing linings and spotted white breast. They were amazed, as non-birders are who see this trick for the first time, thinking you’re a witch or something and probably in another age would want to burn you. Always a kick!

Tim Helentjaris
Tucson, AZ

"Well, nothing ever went
Quite exactly as we planned
Our ideas held no water
But we used them like a damn”
- Missed the Boat by Modest Mouse

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