[Tweeters] SE Arizona Birding 8/28 to 9/1/2008

Khanh Tran fsprucegrouse at yahoo.com
Tue Sep 2 20:40:49 PDT 2008

Hi Tweeters!

I finally made my first birding trip to SE Arizona this past weekend with a wonderful human being and birder, Mike Marsh. We decided to do it on our own and it was quite an adventure--especially birding the California Gulch at night for the Buff collared nightjar. I don't know why I put off going here for so long considering I have birded for almost three decades. Arizona was freckin AWESOME for birding and we had a fantastic time! My favorite birding area were the Chiricahua Mountains.

The timing wasn't the best for passerines as most were not singing or starting to move south, but we managed to find some cool birds. Hummers were diverse in species and numbers as we ended up seeing 12 species of hummers.

Highlights included getting 31 out of the 33 target species as ABA lifers. I was more than THRILLED as I only expected no more than 15 new lifers---talk about beginner's luck! WE only missed the Berylline hummingbird (Congrats Gina Sheridan) and Greater Pewee.

Other great moments included seeing the mega-rarity--SINOLOA WREN (a first US documented record). What a skulker the bird was! Seeing the zen-like ELEGANT TROGON for the first time was quite the treat. But, my favorite were the flashy PAINTED REDSTARTS. Viewing 5 pairs of the lovely MONTEZUMA QUAIL all on Ruby Rd near the California Gulch in one day was simply unreal as the males are spectacularly patterned! It was a huge excitement for the "chicken-man", as Mike Marsh, now calls me:)

We had a much bigger list but here are the species of interest for NW birders...

Locations of birding sites:

1. Chiricahua Mountains (Portal, AZ)= CM
2. California Gulch (Ruby, AZ)= CG
3. Ft. Huachuca Canyons (Sierra Vista, AZ)= FHC
4. Miller and Ash Canyon (Sierra Vista, AZ)= MaAC
5. Patagonia-Sonoita Creek Preserve (Patagonia, AZ)=PSCP
6. Patagonia Lake State Park= PLSP
7. Madera Canyon (Green Valley, AZ)= MC

Species seen and locations in Abbreviations for some of the AZ specialities. Dates travelled 8/28 to 9/1/2008

Scaled Quail
Montezuma Quail (CG)
Gray Hawk (several locations PSCP, PLSP)
Zone tailed Hawk (CM)
White winged dove
Yellow billed Cuckoo (PSCP)
Whiskered Screech Owl (MC)
Mexican Spotted Owl (FHC-Scheelite Canyon)
Broadbilled Hummingbird
White-eared Hummingbird (Miller Canyon-Beatty's feeders)
Violet-crowned Hummingbird (PSCP at Patton's feeders)
Blue-throated Hummingbird (CM)
Magnificent Humminbird (Miller Canyon-Beatty's)
Lucifer Hummingbird (Ash Canyon-Mary Jo's)
Costa's Hummingbird
Broad tailed Hummingbird
Elegant Trogon (FHC-Scheelite Canyon)
Gila Woodpecker
Ladder backed Woodpecker (PLSP)
Arizona Woodpecker (CM, MC)
Northern Beardless Tyrannulet (PSCP at Patton's feeders)
Cordilleran Flycatcher
Buff breasted Flycatcher (CM-near Southwest Research Station)
Vermillion Flycatcher
Dusky capped Flycatcher (PSCP)
Sulphur bellied Flycatcher (FHC)
Cassin's Kingbird
Thick billed Kingbird (PSCP, CG)
Bell's Vireo (PLSP)
Plumbeous Vireo
Mexican Jay (Gray-breasted)
Mexican Chickadee (CM-Rustler's Park)
Bridled Titmouse
Juniper Titmouse
Cactus Wren
SINOLOA WREN (PSCP near Patton's feeder)
Black capped Gnatcatcher (PLSP)
Bendire's Thrasher (Portal, AZ)
Curve billed Thrasher
Crissal Thrasher (Portal, AZ near Dave Jasper's)
Olive Warbler (CM-Rustler's Park)
Virginia's Warbler
Lucy's Warbler (CM-Cave Creek)
Grace's Warbler (CM-Rustler's Park)
Red faced Warbler (FHC-near Sawmill trail)
Painted Redstart (CM, FHC, MC)
Hepatic Tanager (CG, CM)
Summer Tanager
Canyon Towhee
Abert's Towhee (PSCP)
Rufous winged sparrow
Cassin's Sparrow (Portal, AZ)
Rufous crowned sparrow (CG)
Five striped Sparrow(CG)
Lark Bunting (Portal, AZ)
Yellow eyed Junco (CM, FHC)
Blue grosbeak
Rose breasted grosbeak
Varied Bunting (CG-numerous)
Bronzed Cowbird
Scott's Oriole (CG)

Let me know if you have any questions.....

Good birding,

Khanh Tran (Portland, Oregon)

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