Date: 2/6/18 3:35 pm From: Eric Hough <thebirdwhisperer22...> Subject: [AZNMbirds] SAZ: Ajo SANDERLINGS, Organ Pipe, Kitt Peak
Feb. 6, 2018
I just finished scoping the Ajo sewage ponds (Pima County) where I found two SANDERLINGS in the first pond. There were also about a dozen Least and a few Spotted Sandpipers that the Sanderlings kept bullying and chasing away. Half a dozen ducks also. See eBird for complete list.
The past couple of days (Feb. 4-6) I spent camping and hiking at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument (Pima Co.). Overall the desert is very dry and quiet, although the Costa’s Hummingbirds, Cactus Wrens, and Black-tailed Gnatcatchers seemed to be setting up territories and attracting mates. Highlights included a HUTTON’S VIREO, a BLACK-CHINNED SPARROW, a ‘SLATE-COLORED’ FOX SPARROW, and a SPOTTED TOWHEE in upper Arch Canyon, a SAGE THRASHER at Quitobaquito Spring and two more along the border fence east of there. Three VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOWS were flying low among the saguaros and xeroriparian desert-scrub along Aguajita Wash just northeast of Quitobaquito Spring, which could be notable if they are arriving breeding residents rather than migrants (during the Breeding Bird Atlas, the brachyptera subspecies of VGSW was found breeding at Organ Pipe). I camped one night each at Alamo Canyon and the main campground near the visitor center, and the only night birds heard were Great Horned and Western Screech-Owls.
On Feb. 4 I made my first ever visit to Kitt Peak in the late morning/early afternoon. At the upstream side of the drainage just past mile marker 6 on the road up Kitt Peak, I had a MONTEZUMA QUAIL (heard only), two ARIZONA WOODPECKERS, a DUSKY FLYCATCHER, and a male TOWNSEND’S WARBLER among other expected species. At the observatory grounds there were two ARIZONA WOODPECKERS, a Red-naped Sapsucker, a few ‘Gray-headed’ and one ‘Pink-sided’ Dark-eyed Juncos. Lots of Mexican Jays were around the picnic tables. The lower slopes were dry and mostly quiet.
On the way to Kitt Peak on Feb. 4 I spotted a flyover CRESTED CARACARA on I-10 southeast of Picacho just before mile marker 214.