Date: 6/16/18 2:13 pm From: Brian Nicholas <weehawker2...> Subject: [AZNMbirds] SEAZ Avra Valley WWTP Least Bittern (heard)
While birding the Avra Valley WWTP today I thought heard the song (listed as a coo, coo, coo call) of a Least Bittern at one of the outer ponds, the one with all the tamarisk on its west shoreline. The marsh grasses in this pond have grown fairly high and could easily conceal this bird. It only sang once even after waiting for ten minutes. A storm was rolling in so I had to leave but came back at about 12:30. I decided to walk the west bank behind the tamarisk. About 15 yards down the stretch I heard 3 more song verses appearing to eminate from the thick stand of tamarisk, but it stopped before I could record it. I thought it strange hearing it call from the tamarisk but there are a lot of large bullfrogs along this edge, so perhaps it is feeding on some tadpoles there. Later I thought I might have heard a few Grah,ah,ah calls from the marsh grass but it was too faint to confirm). Storms forced me to leave the area again.
Since this is rare in Pima County it would be nice if someone else was able to find it, and hopefully provide documentation. I don't hear Least Bitterns often, but the song is fairly distinctive and I can't think of anything else it would be.
Does anyone know when the gates are normally unlocked at Avra Valley WWTP. Since this species is more vocal early in the morning I'd like to try as early as possible tomorrow.
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