Heading for Home (Birder's Direct Route) Part 2 - 12 Mar 2013

by AJ 13. March 2013 00:01

One of the purposes of heading south was to experience the Common Black Hawk migration along the Santa Cruz River.  After breakfast I headed for Tubac and immediately found a good number of birders waiting for action.  The first bird was a Prairie Falcon which was a nice omen.  Next up were two buteos, one of which was a Red-tail but the other was a beautiful Ferruginous that was pretty unusual for this area.  Magically those two were joined by the target - a Common Black Hawk.

It was soon joined by three others and they drifted lazily to the north.  I turned my attention to the pair of Vermilion Flycatchers and a few other passerines when another eight materialized from nowhere and headed north.  I worked so hard in 100+ degree heat for my first one and now there were 12 easy to see.  What a cool experience.

From there it was south to Nogales and then back north to Patagonia where I took a little break at the Paton House.  The birds were about the same as when I was there almost a month ago now but the hummers are beginning to return.  This Broad-billed was beautiful.

I had seen a Cooper's Hawk sitting on a sign along the frontage road and there was a Sharp-shinned terrorizing the neighborhood at Paton's so the next destination was the San Pedro House near Sierra Vista in hopes of seeing the Gray Hawk.  No joy there but it was fun to just enjoy a few birds I don't see at home such as these Lesser Goldfinch, Pyrrhuloxia, and White-winged Dove.  The dove numbers have increased over the month.


Next stop would be Whitewater Draw which necessitated going south through Bisbee and then back north.  In a couple of days I will be seeing migrating cranes along the Platte River in Nebraska but there are still a few thousand wintering here.  They were joined by Snow Geese, Ross' Geese and one Gr. White-fronted Goose.  A few ducks also presented some photo opportunities.

It was now about 3:00 PM so there was still time to visit Chiricahua National Monument and get some feel for the effect of the Horseshoe 2 fire.  An added benefit was to have one more chance to see birds like Mexican Jay.

The drive through Sulphur Springs Valley as the sun was setting brought out numerous Northern Harriers and Red-tailed Hawks.  The day ended at Willcox with one lap around Lake Cochise.  There was nothing very unusual but the sunset was nice.  Another nice end to birding in Arizona.


Birds | Travel

Add comment

  Country flag

  • Comment
  • Preview

Powered by BlogEngine.NET
Original Design by Laptop Geek, Adapted by onesoft