Friday, October 31, 2008

Arizona, Day 2

Black Phoebe, Sweetwater Wetlands

Most of Day 2 in Arizona was spent at my conference. As I left in the morning to go to the conference, I did pick up ABA#419, Lesser Goldfinch, in a willow tree outside the hotel. After the conference was over for the day, I headed up to the Sweetwater Wetlands, where I had a number of very good birds, starting with Harris's Hawk flying up onto a telephone pole as I was driving towards the wetlands.

I spent about 2 and a half hours exploring the wetland, which was teeming with birds. Ducks included Mallards, Northern Shoveler, Green-winged Teal, Ring-necked Duck, Ruddy Duck and my target duck, Cinnamon Teal. Passerines included Barn and Tree Swallow, Yellow-headed and Red-winged Blackbirds, Black Phoebe, Abert's Towhee, Song Sparrow, Common Yellowthroat, Orange-crowned Warbler, Rufous-winged Sparrow, Cassin's Kingbird, GIla Woodpecker, and Marsh Wren. Other birds I observed included Killdeer, American Kestral, American Coot, Common Moorhen, Pied-billed Grebe, Black-crowned Night Heron, Sora, Starling, and, just after dusk fell, Lesser Nighthawk - ending my day by occupying #425 on my ABA list. Satisfied, I left the wetlands and drove back to my hotel.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Arizona, Day 1


I began my first day in Arizona with two life birds over breakfast at the Riverpark Inn in Tucson: Anna's Hummingbird and Gila Woodpecker, which got me to ABA #400 before I had two sips of coffee. The day was sunny and clear, and I was headed to the northeast of Tucson, with the morning planned for Sabino Canyon and the afternoon at Mt. Lemmon.

I spent 3 hours hiking around Sabino Canyon, which wasn't as birdy as I had hoped, but it was birdy enough. I started out with Cooper's Hawk, House Finches and Mourning Doves, and then started hitting the desert birds. I had great looks at Cactus Wren, Gambel's Quail and Cassin's Kingbird.

Cactus Wren

In a riparian corridor, I picked up Green-tailed Towhee, Verdin, more Anna's Hummingbirds, a Costa's Hummingbird, and another couple of Cooper's Hawks. I followed a gnatcatcher's scolding hoping for Black-tailed, but had Blue-gray instead. Further hiking gave me more birds, such as Common Raven, Turkey Vulture, Northern Cardinal, Gila Woodpecker and Northern Mockingbird, and I added Black-throated Sparrow, Gilded Flicker and Greater Roadrunner to my life list.

Black-throated Sparrow

Mt. Lemmon

At 11:30, I felt I had probably seen all the birds I would at Sabino Canyon and headed up to Mt. Lemmon, stopping frequently to bird. I spent a little over 6 hours at Mt. Lemmon, birding up the mountain. Mt. Lemmon was fairly productive, especially in a rocky dry creek bed at a campground, where I had Canyon Wren, Bewick's Wren and House Wren; Summer Tanager; Brewer's Sparrow; Painted Redstart; Western Wood-Pewee, Canyon Towhee, and Nashville Warbler.

Summer Tanager

A little further up at a picnic area I came across the only Yellow-eyed Junco I would see, along with Mexican Jay, Acorn Woodpecker, Spotted Towheeeand Red-naped Sapsucker. Finally, I made it up to the top and had a very late lunch/very early dinner at the Iron Door restaurant. I was the only customer at that time and had excellent service, enjoying German food and beer while watching the Broad-billed and Rufous/Allen's Hummingbirds feed next to me. Then, I headed to the very top, picking up Hermit Thrush, "Red-shafted" Northern Flicker, Pygmy Nuthatch, Mountain Chickadee, Yellow-rumped ("Audubon's") Warbler, Stellar's Jay, and Hermit Warbler. Light was beginning to fail and I could see rain clouds rolling in, so I headed back down the mountain, stopping to enjoy the scenery and feeling pretty good - having added 20 ABA birds in one day!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Detailed AZ posts coming, I swear

I've been pretty busy with work and life since getting back from AZ. But I promise, I'll have a summary of each day up here soon, with pictures!

In the meanwhile, I just saw my 458th ABA area bird this last weekend - Franklin's Gull, at East Fork Lake State Park. The gull also happens to be my 299th state bird!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Brief Arizona results

I've re-written this post after finally entering in my eBird data. I actually had 131 total species, 59 ABA species and 52 life birds (7 birds I had seen in Mexico - if I had Vermillion Flycatcher, I would have added all the birds I saw in Mexico to my ABA list). So here's the GRAND TOTAL copied and modified from eBird (ABA species in bold):

  1. Mallard
  2. Cinnamon Teal
  3. Northern Shoveler
  4. Green-winged Teal
  5. Ring-necked Duck
  6. Ruddy Duck
  7. Wild Turkey
  8. Gambel's Quail
  9. Pied-billed Grebe
  10. Great Egret
  11. Black-crowned Night Heron
  12. White-faced Ibis
  13. Black Vulture
  14. Turkey Vulture
  15. Northern Harrier
  16. Sharp-shinned Hawk
  17. Cooper's Hawk
  18. Northern Goshawk
  19. Harris's Hawk
  20. Gray Hawk
  21. Red-tailed Hawk
  22. American Kestrel
  23. Sora
  24. Common Moorhen
  25. American Coot
  26. Killdeer
  27. Greater Yellowlegs
  28. White-winged Dove
  29. Mourning Dove
  30. Inca Dove
  31. Common Ground-Dove
  32. Greater Roadrunner
  33. Great Horned Owl
  34. Lesser Nighthawk
  35. White-throated Swift
  36. Broad-billed Hummingbird
  37. White-eared Hummingbird
  38. Violet-crowned Hummingbird
  39. Blue-throated Hummingbird
  40. Magnificent Hummingbird
  41. Lucifer Hummingbird
  42. Ruby-throated Hummingbird
  43. Black-chinned Hummingbird
  44. Anna's Hummingbird
  45. Costa's Hummingbird
  46. Broad-tailed Hummingbird
  47. Rufous Hummingbird
  48. Belted Kingfisher
  49. Acorn Woodpecker
  50. Gila Woodpecker
  51. Red-naped Sapsucker
  52. Ladder-backed Woodpecker
  53. Arizona Woodpecker
  54. Northern Flicker
  55. Gilder Flicker
  56. Western Wood-Pewee
  57. Willow Flycatcher
  58. Hammond's Flycatcher
  59. Gray Flycatcher
  60. Black Phoebe
  61. Say's Phoebe
  62. Dusky-capped Flycatcher
  63. Cassin's Kingbird
  64. Western Kingbird
  65. Loggerhead Shrike
  66. Bell's Vireo
  67. Plumbeous Vireo
  68. Hutton's Vireo
  69. Stellar's Jay
  70. Mexican Jay
  71. Common Raven
  72. Tree Swallow
  73. Barn Swallow
  74. Mountain Chickadee
  75. Bridled Titmouse
  76. Verdin
  77. White-breasted Nuthatch
  78. Pygmy Nuthatch
  79. Brown Creeper
  80. Cactus Wren
  81. Rock Wren
  82. Canyon Wren
  83. Bewick's Wren
  84. House Wren
  85. Marsh Wren
  86. Ruby-crowned Kinglet
  87. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
  88. Hermit Thrush
  89. Northern Mockingbird
  90. Curve-billed Thrasher
  91. European Starling
  92. Phainopepla
  93. Orange-crowned Warbler
  94. Nashville Warbler
  95. Virginia's Warbler
  96. Lucy's Warbler
  97. Yellow-rumped Warbler
  98. Black-throated Gray Warbler
  99. Townsend's Warbler
  100. Hermit Warbler
  101. Common Yellowthroat
  102. Wilson's Warbler
  103. Painted Warbler
  104. Summer Tanager
  105. Western Tanager
  106. Green-tailed Towhee
  107. Spotted Towhee
  108. Canyon Towhee
  109. Abert's Towhee
  110. Rufous-winged Sparrow
  111. Cassin's Sparrow
  112. Chipping Sparrow
  113. Brewer's Sparrow
  114. Vesper Sparrow
  115. Lark Sparrow
  116. Black-throated Sparrow
  117. Song Sparrow
  118. Yellow-eyed Junco
  119. Northern Cardinal
  120. Black-headed Grosbeak
  121. Blue Grosbeak
  122. Lazuli Bunting
  123. Varied Bunting
  124. Red-winged Blackbird
  125. Yellow-headed Blackbird
  126. Brewer's Blackbird
  127. Great-tailed Grackle
  128. Bullock's Oriole
  129. House Finch
  130. Lesser Goldfinch
  131. House Sparrow