Previous Tours - SOUTHEAST ARIZONA EXTENSION
Top 10 lists are voted upon by the participants at the completion of
Favorite birds of the
Quest for Rarities, Strays & Vagrants
4-8 August 2012
1) MONTEZUMA QUAIL--A gorgeous male was attempting to hide in the grass along the road above the Southwest Research Station in Cave Creek Canyon. Our group and another tour group watched it for at least 15 minutes.
2) Plain-capped Starthroat--We found this hummingbird rarity within two minutes after arriving in Montosa Canyon.
3) Whiskered Screech-Owl--It took some effort, but we finally had spectacular looks in a trailer park below Ramsey Canyon Preserve. It was still calling as we departed.
4) Red-faced Warbler--Our best looks at this showy warbler were in Huachuca Canyon, on Fort Huachuca in the Huachuca Mountains.
5) Elegant Trogon--Heard and saw five individual trogons in Huachuca Canyon.
6) Painted Redstart--Common and friendly in several wooded canyons.
7) Hooded Oriole--Best looks were of a male and female feeding young in a nest close to Madera Kubo Lodge in Madera Canyon.
8) White-tailed Kite--A great look at a soaring bird below Portal at Quail Way Inn.
9) Thick-billed Kingbird--We found two adults feeding four newly fledged young at Sonoita Creek Sanctuary in Patagonia.
10) Summer Tanager--Excellent views of an adult male and a young bird at the George Walker House feeders in Paradise, near Portal.
Our most exciting mammal was a cinnamon-phase Black Bear in Madera Canyon. It appeared totally content as it dug for grubs at the base of a stump. Three Collared Peccaries (Javelinas) crossed in front of us as we searched for Black-capped Gnatcatchers in Montosa Canyon. A Spotted Ground Squirrel and a Yuma Antelope Squirrel made a nice comparison at the Quail Way Inn feeding station near Portal. We observed 30 species of birds in 90 minutes during the heat of the late afternoon at this glorious feeding station.
Another nice surprise along Montosa Canyon Road was a Gila Monster at close range. Portal yielded a Western Diamondback Rattlesnake, while Ramsey Canyon produced a Black-tailed Rattlesnake. Dozens of songbirds were scolding and flitting about in a large Arizona Sycamore in Huachuca Canyon. The object of their concern was a beautifully marked Sonoran Mountain Kingsnake that was exploring a large cavity in the tree.
The double rainbow in Sierra Vista was a pleasure to see.