Date: 6/24/18 7:36 pm From: Homer Hansen <hhansen...> Subject: [AZNMbirds] CEAZ: Boyce Thompson Arboretum Bird Walk
The bird walk for Boyce Thompson Arboretum started at 6:30 am to help avoid the heat; however, overall the morning was quite pleasant beneath the many trees along the creek. Before we started we were treated to spectacular looks at Hooded Oriole and Yellow-breasted Chat as they helped themselves to saguaro fruit atop a saguaro right next to the visitors center. Then off to Ayer Lake to look for Purple Martins, which did not disappoint with one striking male giving close flybys at the right angle to appreciate the purple in its name. While standing and watching, an immature Zone-tailed Hawk fly in an perch on a rock outcrop across the lake giving nice views. A couple Black Phoebes, Common Yellowthroats, and a Song Sparrow rounded out most of the species at the lake.
Heading down to the shade of the trees along the creek, we paused for looks at Broad-billed Hummingbirds, Verdins, and tantalizing chats and Bell's Vireos. Nearly 30 Turkey Vultures found a nice thermal to ride and a single adult Zone-tailed Hawk was among them, flying lower than most in the kettle. Not long after, a bit farther down the trail, a single Turkey Vulture flew over with two adult Zone-tailed Hawks, so we definitely saw three, and possibly four, Zone-tailed Hawks during the walk. Not be outdone, an immature Cooper's Hawk, possibly the oldest of the batch of four that have fledged at BTA, had half of an apparent Desert Spiny in its talon as we watched each other across the creek.
Where the arboretum meets the desert on the west end we watch Phainopeplas and Lucy's Warblers in desert willow and tracked down a female and immature male Blue Grosbeak. The Demonstration Garden provided decent looks at Bell's Vireo and very nice looks at a Brown-crested Flycatcher. We finished the morning with a list of 32 thoroughly enjoyed birds. Full species list on ebird: