Date: 4/20/17 11:59 am From: Gordon Karre <karhop1...> Subject: [AZNMbirds] CEAZ: Superstition Mountain Wilderness
This morning I decided to hike the Dutchman's Trail that can be accessed from the First Water Trailhead on the northwest flank of the Superstition Mountains. The First Water Trailhead is located in Maricopa County off Hwy 88, and some of the trails that can be accessed here are totally in Maricopa County. However, when taking the Dutchman's Trail, after about a mile of hiking it crosses over into Pinal County. I was surprised at the lush habitat in the first mile and equally surprised at some of the birds that I ran across in this area as this leads to dry desert washes. Even had many pools of water in places along the stream bed. Certainly had the expected desert birds, but when one of my first birds was a SUMMER TANAGER male, it already had a great start. Not the place I expected to see this bird as FOY. Shortly after, I also had a WOODHOUSE'S SCRUB JAY. While probably not considered rare by any means, this location was closer the the urban sprawl of Phoenix and its suburbs than I have ever had before. I see a few sporadic reports of this bird in the past on eBird near this location. Will be interesting to see if they might become a regular in this location.
Other birds of interest were a CASSIN'S VIREO, 2 GRAY VIREOS, 3 GRAY FLYCATCHERS, a HAMMOND'S FLYCATCHER, BELL'S VIREOS, 3 GREEN-TAILED TOWHEES, and a LAZULI BUNTING female. Had 3 wren species, ROCK, CACTUS, and CANYON, 4 species of sparrows, BREWER'S, BLACK-THROATED, LARK, and LINCOLN'S. NORTHERN CARDINALS, PHAINOPEPLA, and GAMBEL'S QUAIL were probably the most common. Total of 35 species which is not bad for a desert canyon wash area.
A nice cool start and started to warm up and then the reptiles and butterflies and insects became very active. A place I need to return to in the future.