Date: 7/31/20 10:43 pm
From: Andrew Core <tucsonrba...>
Subject: [AZNMbirds] [EXT]RBA Tucson, AZ - 31 July 2020
External Email

Hello Birders,

This update of Tucson Audubon Society's Rare Bird Alert for Southeast
Arizona was made on July 31, 2020; the next update will be made on August
7. Phone your reports to 520-629-0510 X 3, or email to rarebirdalert AT

SEVERAL IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENTS follow the sightings, including information
on temporary closures and rules for access to other important birding
areas. Abbreviation "m.ob." = multiple observers. An asterisk (*)
preceding a species name in the list indicates that it merits careful, full
documentation. A pound sign (#) indicates that brief corroborating details
are warranted. Documentation and photos of review species may be submitted
at and recent rarity
photos can be seen at

Where directions are not given, they can be found in the most recent
edition of Tucson Audubon's "Finding Birds in Southeast Arizona". More
information including updates may be found here:
For additional sightings in the region, please see the The Arizona-New
Mexico Birding ListServ ( or
the Arizona Birding group on Facebook (

For more information about Tucson Audubon field trips, lectures and
educational opportunities, please see

#Short-tailed Hawk
#Semipalmated Sandpiper
#Buff-collared Nightjar
#White-eared Hummingbird
#Plain-capped Starthroat
#Lucifer Hummingbird
#Black-capped Gnatcatcher
#Rufous-capped Warbler
#Painted Bunting

ACCESS NOTE: Many areas remain closed due to COVID19, such as the Paton
Center for Hummingbirds in Patagonia and Nature Conservancy properties
(i.e., Ramsey Canyon, Patagonia-Sonoita Creek) and Ft Huachuca is only
issuing new passes to local residents. If in doubt, call ahead.

A *PURPLE GALLINULE was reported along the Santa Cruz River south of
Valencia Rd on 7/27 (Roger Clark) and continued through 7/31 (m.ob.). It
was seen in a gravel pit at the south end of Renaissance Dr on the west
bank of the river. Map:
A #SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER was photographed in Marana on 7/25 (Brian
Nicholas, Derik & Erin Bowen) in a flooded field south of the Marana
airport on Sandario Rd., about halfway between Twin Peaks Rd and Avra
Valley Rd. A second one was photographed on 7/26 (Jim & Cynthia Krakowski).
A male #PAINTED BUNTING was reported Agua Caliente Park on 7/27 (Georgia
Decker) and was photographed by many throughout the day.
A male #PAINTED BUNTING was photographed along the Santa Cruz River at the
Ina Rd. bridge on 7/28 (Andrew Core).
A female #PAINTED BUNTING was photographed at the pond at Wentz and Grier
Roads in Marana on 7/29 (Brian Nicholas).

TUBAC area (annotated map:
Multiple *ROSE-THROATED BECARDS continued about 0.7 miles north of the
Tubac bridge this week (m.ob.).
In Montosa Canyon (annotated map: #BLACK-CAPPED
GNATCATCHERS continued this week (m.ob.) near the culvert, upstream of the
concrete stream crossing.

A #SHORT-TAILED HAWK was reported again from Cunningham Loop Trail on 7/29
(Craig Wilcox, Diane Drobka).

(m.ob.) at the south end of California Gulch at the confluence with Warsaw
Canyon. Annotated map:
#RUFOUS-CAPPED WARBLERS continued in Sycamore Canyon in the Pajarito
Mountains (Atascosa Highlands) on 7/25 (Richard Fray et al) about 1/2 mile
from the trailhead at the confluence with Montana Canyon. A #BLACK-CAPPED
GNATCATCHER was reported on 7/27 (Richard Fray et al).
A *SLATE-THROATED REDSTART was reported along Ruby Road about 1/2 mile east
of Ruby (GPS: 31.467, -111.227) on 7/28 (Craig Fischer); documentation of
this rarity would be appreciated!

#BUFF-COLLARED NIGHTJAR continued in the Brown Canyon section of Buenos
Aires NWR ( through 7/30 (Kevin McGann)
on the publicly accessible (east) side of the gate. There are three cattle
guards on Brown Canyon Rd (#102) leading up to the security gate, which is
3.5 miles from Hwy 286. In past years the best location for hearing a
nightjar is between the third cattle guard and the gate but they have been
heard at all three cattle guards.
Photo opportunities may be limited as the better habitat is not adjacent to
public access along Rd 102 (see map here
Another area is along BANWR Rd 148 (high clearance recommended) – the
turnoff is just before the first cattle guard.
DO NOT ACCESS BY FOOT OR BY VEHICLE- the private land holding north of Rd
102 as shown on the map (between cattle guards #1 and #2). DO NOT ENTER the
roads leading to the coral and watering facility. Faded signs indicating
“Stay Out” are posted but could be easily missed. Access to State Trust
Land must be done with proper state permits.
For details regarding access to the restricted area (west of the gate)
contact the refuge headquarters (520.823.4251 ext 101).

In Miller Canyon, a #WHITE-EARED HUMMINGBIRD continued this week (m.ob.).
#RUFOUS-CAPPED WARBLERS continued this week (m.ob.) near Split Rock (about
a mile from the parking area).
#LUCIFER HUMMINGBIRDS continued at Ash Canyon Bird Sanctuary (m.ob.). and
in several yards on the east flank of the Huachucas this week (m.ob.).
#PAINTED BUNTINGS were reported at the San Pedro House on 7/25 (Nick
Barber) and at the Charleston Bridge on 7/28 (m.ob.).
In Hunter Canyon (, #RUFOUS-CAPPED WARBLERS continued
this week (m.ob.) in the upper canyon about 0.7 miles up the trail from the
end of Hunter Canyon Road just as the trail enters the grove of trees.

A #PLAIN-CAPPED STARTHROAT was reported at the Paton Center for
Hummingbirds on 7/27 (Bob Perna) - though still closed, the feeders there
are being maintained and some are visible from adjacent Blue Haven Road.
The staff have moved many of the feeders so they can be viewed without
going on to Paton's property. Again, the property is *CLOSED* but the bird
can often be seen from the road. A female #PAINTED BUNTING was reported on
7/31 (Keith Kamper).
A few hints for how to make your visit more enjoyable and productive:
Please be courteous to the neighbors; if you need to turn around your
vehicle around, continue down the road to the TNC preserve sign (about a
quarter-mile) rather than using their driveways.
Please park completely off the road to avoid interfering with thru traffic
on Blue Heaven Road/Pennsylvania Ave. The Town Marshal patrols this road
regularly. Parking is also available in Patagonia Town Park.
Keep an eye on the weather – monsoon rains can quickly make the creek
crossing hazardous.
Remain outside the perimeter fence at all times.
A #RUFOUS-CAPPED WARBLER continued along Blue Haven Rd this week (m.ob.)
between the Paton Center for Hummingbirds and the Patagonia- Sonoita Creek
Preserve. Patagonia-Sonoita Creek Preserve annotated map:
At Patagonia Lake (annotated map:, #BLACK-CAPPED
GNATCATCHERS continued this week (m.ob.) at the east end along the Birding

PORTAL & the CHIRICAHUAS (annotated map:
#LUCIFER HUMMINGBIRDS continued in a yard in Whitetail Canyon this week
(Rick Taylor).
A #PAINTED BUNTING continued at the Foothills Road (aka Rodrigues yard)
feeders this week (m.ob.), and #PAINTED BUNTINGS were reported in several
Portal yards (m.ob.).
A #LUCIFER HUMMINGBIRD was reported at the George Walker House on 7/27 and
continued through 7/31 (m.ob.). A #PAINTED BUNTING was reported on 7/27 and
7/28 (Jackie Lewis).

#RUFOUS-CAPPED WARBLERS continued on the Guindani Loop Trail at Kartchner
Caverns State Park this week on 7/31 (Jerald Britten).

In Florida Canyon (annotated map:, #RUFOUS-CAPPED
WARBLERS continued this week (m.ob.) in the West Fork near the dam.
Directions: About 400 yards from parking lot is a metal gate, and just past
the gate the canyon forks. The main trail follows the East Fork, but most
sightings have been in the West Fork to the right. About 125 yards up the
rough trail in the West Fork is a large water tank and a low dam. The oak
grove is about 1/3 mile past the dam. Note: The trail for the West Fork can
be difficult to find, and is steep and rough in places. If you see the sign
with distances to Florida Saddle, Madera Canyon, etc you've missed the
turn. It is not necessary, recommended or permissible to enter the research
station to see these birds. #BLACK-CAPPED GNATCATCHERS continued in Florida
Canyon this week (m.ob.); they've been seen near the Florida Canyon parking
area and a short distance up the trail, and at the old corral at FR488 &
A #PAINTED BUNTING was reported in Corona de Tucson in the Santa Rita Oasis
neighborhood on 7/29 (Libby Hays).

One or two #PAINTED BUNTINGS continued at the Amado STP through 7/29

Five male #PAINTED BUNTINGS were photographed at Arivaca Lake on 7/30
(Brian Nicholas).

The revised 8th edition of Tucson Audubon's "Finding Birds in Southeast
Arizona" is available here:

TUCSON - Mosquito control operations are scheduled at Sweetwater Wetlands
from 6:30-9:00am on Mondays during the warmer months (usually March -
November). The gate will open when operations are finished. Due to
long-term construction, Roger Road WRF is closed. See our Sweetwater page (
or for details.

The Pima County Regional Wastewater Reclamation Department security
procedures are subject to change any time. Please see the "bird watching"
link on this page for important information regarding access:

RAMSEY CANYON - Ramsey Canyon Preserve is closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

ASH CANYON B&B: open dawn to dusk EXCEPT Thursday, when open noon to dusk.
Parking is limited; please carpool whenever possible. No need to call ahead.

FORT HUACHUCA - access requirements are posted on its official webpage at The
Visitor Control Center is located at the Van Deman Gate on Hwy 90. The fort
is an active military installation and will suspend your driving privileges
on Post for 30 days on your first offense for talking or using a cell phone
while driving. You MUST use a hands free device. Current entry requirements
(subject to change without notice): US citizens must pass a background
check and should be prepared to show photo ID for everyone in the vehicle
at the entrance, and possibly your vehicle registration and insurance as
well. Sometimes, foreign nationals are required to have an approved
military escort; contact the base (520.533.7111), or possibly the Sierra
Vista Visitor's Bureau (520.417.6960) well in advance. ACCESS NOTE: a REAL
ID is required for entry; some state driver's licenses qualify; see for details.

SANTA CRUZ FLATS: Management at the Evergreen Turf Sod Farm has asked
birders not to drive into the property (i.e., the 2750 road); birding from
perimeter roads (i.e., Tweedy or Pretzer) is still fine.

AVRA VALLEY WRF: under construction, access uncertain. Gates open 7AM and
close PROMPTLY at 2PM (do not linger, you will be locked inside).

GREEN VALLEY WRF: under construction, access uncertain. When open (usually
weekends), use the call box at the gate, sign in and out at the office, and
stay away from buildings and construction equipment.


Good birding!
Andrew Core
SEAZ RBA Compiler - Tucson, AZ
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