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Brief October trip to SE Arizona.

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Old Thursday 22nd September 2016, 19:24   #1
Jens Thalund
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Brief October trip to SE Arizona.

Taking advantage of a few days off work and a very cheap flight, I'll be heading to Arizona for 4 days in beginning of October, where I'll be concentrating on the SE corner of the state.

As it is a rather last-minute descission, I haven't got the time to get hold of the birdfinding guide to SE Arizona, so would very much appreciate some local and up-to-date information, as it can be a bit daunting sifting through the masses of entries on ebird.

Are there sites, that wouldn't be worth considering due to recent wildfires or have access problems after rockslides/heavy rain ?
I have a fairly extensive list of target birds, so even just a few days would likely provide me with a fair chance of a succesfull trip.

The list includes both fairly widespread and common birds, summer migrants and residents as well as some of the more local and tough ones :

Mexican Mallard/Duck
Montezuma Quail
Spotted Owl
Northern Saw-whet Owl
Flammulated Owl
Whiskered Screech Owl
Western Screech Owl
Mountain Pygmy Owl
Buff-collared Nightjar
Calliope Hummingbird
Rufous Hummingbird
Lucifer Hummingbird
Broad-billed Hummingbird
Violet-crowned Hummingbird
Magnificent Hummingbird
Arizona Woodpecker
Gilded Flicker
Hammond's Flycatcher
Mexican Jay
Bendire's Thrasher
Rufous-winged Sparrow
Botteri's Sparrow
Five-striped Sparrow
Lilian's Meadowlark

I reckon many/all (?) the hummers could turn up at the feeders at Ash Canyon B&B, so I will definately want to visit here ...... what time of day is best: early morning feeding frenzy or a place to hang out during the hottest part of day?

As I'll be going on my own, I wouldn't mind some company, if anyone else will be birding the area between 2-5 October - feel free to pm me.

Cheers

Jens
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Old Thursday 22nd September 2016, 19:33   #2
Andrew Whitehouse
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Originally Posted by Jens Thalund View Post
As it is a rather last-minute descission, I haven't got the time to get hold of the birdfinding guide to SE Arizona, so would very much appreciate some local and up-to-date information, as it can be a bit daunting sifting through the masses of entries on ebird.

Jens
Just wondering if you're not filtering properly on Ebird. You can go to the species map and filter for the current year (or whatever years you want) and whatever months you think are useful. That will cut down the mass of stuff to just recent reports. Here's a map for Five-striped Sparrows over the last month:
http://ebird.org/ebird/map/fisspa?ne...=2016&eyr=2016
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Old Friday 23rd September 2016, 02:04   #3
PhilR.
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Hello Jens,

We live in Texas, but were in the Tucson area this past June. We went to a place just outside of Green Valley (GV is just south of Tucson, right on the highway) called Madera Canyon. I would highly recommend a stop there for a few hours. It is one of the few places where you can spot the Elegant Trogon. There are a several lodges there that put up many feeders, and attract a great amount of species. We added about 18 new species to our list, in about half a day of birding. You could do Madera, the Saguaro National Monument, Sonoran Desert Museum and Rio Rico in one day. Well worth looking into.
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Old Friday 23rd September 2016, 15:39   #4
Jens Thalund
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Hi Andrew,
I have used Ebird frequently and for a species like Five-striped Sparrow it's rather straight forward, but when you try to find out more on widespread and fairly common birds, you have to sift through a fair number of sites, trying to figure out what place has best access and preferably a share of other birds on my most-wanted list.

Hi Phil,
Madera Canyon is one of the places I've been looking at as well. The 'problem' with SE Arizona is that there are too many good sites and I have just to little time to do the place proper justice, but I'm bound to have a nice trip anyway.

Jens

Last edited by Jens Thalund : Friday 23rd September 2016 at 15:43.
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Old Thursday 29th September 2016, 10:09   #5
John Fordham
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Hi Jens,
I was in southern Arizona 2 weeks ago - wonderful area. In addition to ebird, would recommend keeping an eye on the Arizona maillist for sightings

http://birding.aba.org/maillist/AZ

A few thoughts on your target list:
1. If flying in to Phoenix, would recommend ebird hotspot "Baseline Rd & Salome Hwy Thrasher Spot" for Bendire's Thrasher on your way south - just west of Phoenix
2. Calliope Hummer was best at Beatty's Guest Ranch in Miller Canyon. Also roost site for Spotted Owl on the Miller Canyon trail - exact location provided by owner's of Beatty's
3. Violet-crowned Hummer common at Paton Center for Hummingbirds near Patagonia. Nearby is Las Cienegas NCA which is great for sparrows.
4. Arizona Woodpecker and Mexican Jay on the feeders at Santa Bonita Lodge, Madera Canyon. Montezuma's Quail in that area. I had Rufous-winged Sparrow in the "Santa Rita Experimental Range" on entrance road to Canyon - "no trespassing" signs but birders allowed in.
5. California Gulch for Buff-collared Nightjar, 5-striped Sparrow. Also Western Screech Owl, Elf Owl, Poorwill were present. Apparantly entrance road is good for Montezuma's Quail but I didn't see. Can recommend using Richard Fray as guide - http://www.arizonabirder.com/

Hope this helps.

Cheers

John
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Old Thursday 29th September 2016, 10:34   #6
Jens Thalund
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Hi John
thanks for your fresh update...I trust that you refer to Santa Rita Lodge in Madera Canyon, as Santa Bonita doesn't really give much result on google ?
It seems there are 3-4 places worth visiting for hummers and I'll probably give them all a try during my trip, as they are fairly well situated in connection with the other birding sites.
What was the road like going down to California Gulch...doable without 4WD?


cheers

Jens
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Old Thursday 29th September 2016, 12:25   #7
John Fordham
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Originally Posted by Jens Thalund View Post
Hi John
thanks for your fresh update...I trust that you refer to Santa Rita Lodge in Madera Canyon, as Santa Bonita doesn't really give much result on google ?
It seems there are 3-4 places worth visiting for hummers and I'll probably give them all a try during my trip, as they are fairly well situated in connection with the other birding sites.
What was the road like going down to California Gulch...doable without 4WD?


cheers

Jens
Yes, sorry Jens, Santa Rita.

I went with guide to California Gulch in 4x4 but road we took (FR217 off Ruby Rd) was, with care, doable with a saloo - other's there had done it. However, would recommend this being the one place to go with guide as (a) would know exactly where to go for birds and (b) if road conditions change then could have real problems with a saloon.

Cheers
Jiohn
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