Date: 1/27/18 5:29 pm
From: Jody Williams <fisherwoods...>
Subject: [AZNMbirds] Marana Burrowing Owls, TV
Went back to the water plant in north Marana to scope some of the sparrows… they are not very cooperative… but maybe it was because of the two Northern Harriers, the Merlin, and two American Kestrels coursing the area. Anyway, noticed two rounded bumps sticking up so put the scope on then and quickly saw four eyes looking back… around 180-200 yards from the road.

Walked the dogs along the road and spotted a Turkey Vulture to the south over the Santa Cruz River corridor by Marana Road.
In the area were blackbird flocks; today only around 3,000-4,000 total, and about 50-50% Red-winged and Yellow Headed. There were a few dozen Brewer’s mixed in at one point. The plowed field didn’t have any Crested Cara Caras today, but a couple immature plumage Red-tailed Hawks and 36 Common Ravens were gleaning the field.
Sparrows:
Mostly Savannah and White-crowned. Did find two Lincoln’s and a Vespers as well as 50-60 House Finches. The area contained at least 100 sparrows.
The sparrows are using an area owned by Tucson, south of the road and west of the plowed field.
The fence line around the area is posted, so all birding is from the road.
Owl viewpoint:
From the corner of the Tucson lot, go to the white standing pipe with the “Gas line” warning, north side of the road. On the fence near opposite, south side of the road, are a pair of warning signs. From the left hand sign, look at the three radio towers to the far south. To the right of the center tower is a utility pole. The owls were in line with that pole, near a couple weedy clusters, again, 180-200 yards. Weak view with binoculars, good view with a scope.

Harrowing has started on the north side in sorghum stubble so gleaners may return in numbers while that is occurring. The Water Plant road is off N. Luckett Road, off of Marana Rd near the Santa Cruz River bridge.

John R Williams
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