Monday, February 13, 2012

Some Pics from Arizona

Test your id skills with this terrible photo! Patagonia, AZ

Why do they call it a Violet-crowned Hummingbird? I don't get it

Moutain Bluebird Female - Patagonia Lake State Park, AZ

Williamson's Sapsucker - Patagonia, AZ

We went to to Arizona primarily for Nutting's Flycatcher a Code 5 bird. We got in late to Phoenix around 11:30 pm and had a 3.5 hour drive Northwest to where the flycatcher was being seen. We slept for a few hours and then got to the canyon or dirt road or whatever you want to call it before the sun came up to try and be sure not to miss it. We were prepared to stay long and another day or 2 if we had to but we wanted to see it first thing so we could make the 6.5 hr haul down to Southeast AZ to try for Streak-backed Oriole and a few other rarities down south.
The birding gods smiled on us and we heard its call at about 7:55 and it made an appearance shortly after. As we were hearing it a car was driving in and we were able to wave them over to see it. One of the birders we waved over was Rick Taylor who wrote the "Birds of Southeastern Arizona" which was kinda cool! Too bad we didn't have a copy for him to sign...doh.

What followed was our hardest birding yet of the year. After a couple days with alot of hiking and searching we were unable to locate Streak-backed Oriole, Rufous-backed Robin or Black-capped Gnatcatcher. We got Rufous-capped Warbler in all that searching but it was not easy either. We spent half of one day hiking up and down Florida Canyon and finally got it. The next day proved fruitful as we persisited in looking and finally located Rufous-backed Robin and Black-capped Gnatcatcher in no small part due to fellow birders searching for the same. The Streak-backed Oriole was never found and not seen again to my knowledge so at least we missed it because it was gone before we even got there although we wasted alot of time trying to find it. Black-chinned Sparrow was a miss we thought we could get but despite reports of them in Florida Canyon we never got a good look at one. A bird guide there told us a bird we saw flit across a ravine was one but we never got an identifying look at it or any other... NO SOUP FOR YOU!


  1. Phainopepla??

    Sounds like a tough trip, but you got some killer birds!!


  2. Yes it is a Phainopepla!
    It was well worth it. Liam was beside himself with exhaustion at one point but he rallied well after lunch and we had a great trip!
    We were gonna leave for Nebraska tonight but Liam wanted to stay to take a social studies test so we will leave tomorrow and try to sneak Anchorage in before MN this weekend...

  3. Congrats on the Phainopepla we got one too in New Mexico!! Congrats on all the birds you were able to see!!

  4. I am really enjoying this, and wish you the best of luck! Amazing birding so far, and great dedication.
    And I think you are being quite strict with that Black-chinned Sparrow. After all, you saw it and someone else said it definitely was that species. Therefore, I think it would be fair to count it. But of course that's up to you and better too strict on a big year than the other way around.

    Bird On!!

  5. Phainopepla was my 600th lifer, in Calif in Aug 2010 and I only saw one, for about 10 sec. Very cool bird!