Date: 11/16/19 4:02 pm From: Thor Manson <thormanson...> Subject: [AZNMbirds] Black capped Gnatcatcher at Florida Wash/Corral
Hi Birders: I decided to do a little experiment with strategies for finding the Black capped Gnatcatchers that are being reported from the Florida Wash/Corral area, which is on the road up from Green Valley to Florida Canyon. See e-bird reports for map pinning of this location.
On Thursday, I was at this location with a couple of birders from Missouri. We arrived around 9:15 and saw the pair perhaps about a half hour later, with good looks.
Yesterday, I went up there a little earlier, ( around 9:00 a.m. ) and found the birds with Hans Otto from Tucson shortly thereafter. We had brief but definitive looks. After that, the birds were absent over the next hour or so, ( when I left ).
Today, cranking the clock back a bit further I was on site at 8:30, and saw the birds immediately over the next half hour in the local Mesquite, after which they " disappeared ", and could not be relocated by the time I left at 10:00 a.m.
So, not " rocket science ", and perhaps, as to be expected, earlier is better. There is an obvious brush pile located across the fence looking into the Univ. of Arizona Research facility. There was a lot of back and forth activity from this brush pile today with a variety of species, including the Black capped Gnatcatchers. Once again, " not a quantum leap ", but it seems like a lot of birds are using this for shelter, roosting. They seem to be starting their days off from there, and venturing out from this location to other foraging locations. There is also a full water tank nearby. Not sure how passerines might be able to use this water source, but there is definitely a lot of stored water there. The nice thing about this location is that the vegetation is not particularly high, and you can position yourself close to the fence line to look at the Mesquite with the sun at your back. Cheers, Thor