Date: 11/22/17 11:45 am
From: Tim Helentjaris <tnhelentjaris...>
Subject: [AZNMbirds] Santa Cruz Flats
Was out this morning with Kim Matsushino from Tucson Audubon, doing a little early winter searching to see what was around. As expected, a lot of raptors and this is a high point, getting to look at a lot of different forms of RED-TAILED HAWKS, usually sitting on poles and cooperating. Biggest surprise of the day for me was the HARLAN’S dark form of RED-TAILED HAWK, presumably the same individual from last year, at exactly the same location, even tree, at the intersection of Curry and Greene Reservoir Roads. I am always impressed when some of these species return to out-of-the-way locations, year after year, see Baltimore Oriole in Sweetwater or the Yellow-throated Warbler in Patagonia, again this year. We did pretty well, in fact we had our fifth falcon species before 8:30 this morning, a MERLIN sitting out on a low berm in a field. Before then, we happened on a large flock of CRESTED CARACARA’S along Wheeler, saw some again on Pearce in the southeast quadrant of the Flats.

Struck out on some of the other expected winter species, but suspect many of them are still there, including Mountain Plovers and Sagebrush Sparrows in their usual haunts. But there were plenty of species to spare and not too hard to accumulate an interesting bird list for this area by driving about.

Tim Helentjaris
Tucson, AZ

“Adventure is just bad planning.”
- Roald Amundsen, Arctic explorer

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