Date: 11/17/19 4:22 pm From: Erika Wilson <terika88...> Subject: [AZNMbirds] SEAZ: Sierra Vista EOP--17 Nov 2019
Beautiful fall weather for the eleven people walking the Sierra Vista EOP dikes, with visitors from Wisconsin and Alberta, Canada. The morning yielded 71 species, plus two more recorded before dawn, giving a list of 73 for the day.
Top bird was an adult Snow Goose among the hundreds of ducks in the flooded grass impoundments at Moson Road, the first goose of the season here. Among the dozen species of ducks we picked out a female Canvasback, five Ring-necked Ducks, and a Lesser Scaup. Most abundant were 200+ Am. Wigeon and 80+ Gadwall. Both Virginia Rail and Sora were calling, but didn't show themselves.
Falcons were active, with a flyby Merlin, the usual Am. Kestrels, and a Peregrine Falcon. This latter had obviously eaten quite recently, as we could see its bulging crop as it sat atop a pole. It made only a half-hearted, slow attack on a Green-winged Teal, then circled back to perch and digest. The other interesting raptor behavior was watching a Red-tailed Hawk eating a bullfrog. The hawk and its prey attracted a pair of Common Ravens, which called and displayed their throat hackles. A bit later another Red-tailed Hawk sailed in and called, but it didn't get any scraps either.
Lingering birds included a single Barn Swallow foraging over the main impoundments again this week, and two different Cassin's Kingbirds, one showing well in the bright sun. Small flocks of Am. Pipits and Horned Larks were working the steep rocky sides of the dikes. Sparrow numbers were low, with just seven species and a number misses. The last bird added to the list was a handsome Lark Sparrow as we walked back to our cars.
Cheers, Erika Wilson -- Erika Wilson, Sierra Vista, AZ