Date: 11/13/19 1:24 pm From: Lindsay Story <lsbirder...> Subject: [AZNMbirds] CEAZ possible Red-shouldered Hawk at Coon Bluff Rec Area
Coon Bluff Rec Area north of Mesa AZ was gorgeous today. I birded 5 hours, with much of my time following horse trails east of the main picnic area woods. Those who know me realize I am a visual birder, so vocalizations are not usually my thing. However, I heard what really sounded like a Red-shouldered Hawk off the east/upriver trail. The bird was doing that kee-aah sound that drops in pitch at the end. Frankly, this call always sounds like a hurt animal to me. I am posting so someone with better ears and better luck can at least watch for anything unusual. The call source was somewhere in that bundle of big cottonwoods set off the river a bit, across the sandy wash and just before the grassy climb up the embankment. These trees are about even with the 0.5 mile mark when headed upriver from the dirt fishing ramp that is in the NE corner of the main woods. If you take the first trail to the river when you first reach paved parking (i.e., by first bathroom), you run into what I call the dirt ramp. ...Tamarisk is turning golden all along the river, while purple blooms of verbena are underfoot. The east trail was my busiest area, with a pair of Belted Kingfishers cavorting, 3 Spotted Sandpipers bobbing, 2 Red-naped Sapsuckers making noise, and Northern Flickers flashing color in flight. Lot of Ruby-crowned Kinglets and Yellow-rumped Warblers, a Wilson's Snipe, and more (34 species) kept me busy and happy.
Lindsay Story Mesa AZ
The eBird site for this location is Salt River--Coon Bluff Recreation Area. From Mesa AZ, take either Power Rd or Ellsworth/Usery Pass Rd north. The Coon Bluff entrance is on Bush Hwy between the two cited Mesa roads. It is about a mile west of the Bush Hwy/Usery Pass Rd/Goldfield Rec Area 4-way stop. You will need a Tonto Pass, national park pass, or the Senior Card version of the latter. Tonto day passes are sold at many Mesa grocery stores and gas stations. Watch for a white sandwich board saying "Tonto Pass Sold Here".