birderfrommaricopa.com

Tommy J. DeBardeleben

July 2011

 

July 4th, 2011: An birding expedition on my birthday...

Hi everyone,

I wanted to spend the first hours of my birthday today (July 4th) doing
one of my favorite things, birding.  There aren't a lot of easier year
birds to be seen right now in Maricopa County for awhile for me with the
exception of Elf Owl and Yellow-billed Cuckoo.  I decided to go after
those species today, with Sunflower and Mesquite Wash being my choice
locations.

In order to have a chance at Elf Owl, I woke up at 2:30 in the morning,
left at 3 and I arrived at the north end of Sunflower (Old Beeline) at
4:30.  At first, I thought I got there too late.  I should've left much
earlier.  Many birds were starting to sing away to get their morning
started, which sounded like a dawn chorus of many different species, which
was pretty cool.  It was starting to get lighter out quickly, and I didn't
think I'd get a cooperative owl.  But at 4:55, a calling ELF OWL gave me a
nice birthday present.  Just in time!  The owl was well across Sycamore
Creek and didn't call long enough for me to track it accurately, but I was
still happy with a heard only.

After getting the owl, I headed to Mesquite Wash, where I had excellent
looks at Yellow-billed Cuckoos last year.  Today, they were non-existant. 
However, there were some other really good highlights here that made it a
good morning.  Just like last year, the wash has a significant number of
INDIGO BUNTINGS.  Today, I counted five singing males.  I only saw a few
of them in poor lighting, which one was a first year male, and the other
looked to be a pure adult.  Last year, Jim Kopitzke and I noted that some
of them had white undertail coverts, which they possibly could've
hybridized with Lazuli Buntings.  I have seen pictures though of younger
birds with white undertail coverts, so maybe these birds could've been
younger for an explanation of the light undertail coverts?  That is the
only factor that made us think hybrd, they are pure looking other than
that.  The song that is delivered is in perfect Indigo fashion.  One male
that I photographed here last year can be seen on the Indigo Bunting page
on my website at this link here-http://birderfrommaricopa.com/indigo-
bunting.htm  I'd appreciate any opinions!  Another good highlight here was
a single WILLOW FLYCATCHER, something I certainly didn't expect.  I
managed to photograph it pretty well.  I also was able to find a nice
looking male COMMON GROUND-DOVE, which is new for the Highway 87 area for
me.  The bird was singing away and I was able to find it perched about eye
level at the edge of very thick vegetation.  A good number of BRONZED
COWBIRDS were also along the wash.  I recorded 36 different species here.

I then went back to Sunflower for an hour and a half to try and fail again
for Yellow-billed Cuckoo (which has been another place I've had good
success).  I had the usual expected birds here with nothing out of the
ordinary.  There was a pair of COOPER'S HAWKS present, which one of them
was giving an odd call that sounded similiar to a Sapsucker species, it
confused me a little at first.  The ZONE-TAILED HAWKS were in their usual
spot, and very noisy.  One of the hawks was being mobbed constantly by
anxious CASSIN'S KINGBIRDS, which I think is one of the funniest things to
see.  A few COSTA'S HUMMINGBIRDS were present, and several GRAY VIREOS
sang from the surrounding hillsides.  Distant SCOTT'S ORIOLES could also
be heard on the hillsides. 

I was finished by 10 A.M. with 57 different species.  Happy Fourth of July
to you all!  Hopefully we can enjoy our state more soon and the fires will
decrease completly!

Good birding,

Tommy DeBardeleben (Glendale, Arizona)

 

 

July 10th, 2011:  Hassayampa River Preserve Birding

Hi everyone,

This morning on July 10th, 2011, I ventured out to the Hassayampa River
Preserve for some birding that lasted for over three hours starting at 7
A.M. 

The preserve was rather birdy today with 41 different species, many of
which were in great numbers, such as Yellow Warblers and Yellow-breasted
Chats.  If I wasn't such a lousy counter, perhaps I could provide more
accurate and exact numbers. 

Some of the local rarities were present and viewable today.  Along the
Mesquite Meander trail, I observed a pair of the TROPICAL KINGBIRDS
chasing each other back and fourth for several minutes.  Once again, I
heard them before I saw them, which is almost always the first clue to
their presence.  One of them gave me an outstanding and eye level view
where I was able to study it's field marks at close range (long bill,
greenish/yellow breast, long and notched tail).  This is the best bet in
Maricopa County for seeing Tropical Kingbirds, as well as GRAY HAWKS. 
Today I also heard at least one Gray Hawk calling from the general area of
the Lion Trail, I wasn't able to see it.  I also saw one RED-SHOULDERED
HAWK flyover while I was sitting down and observing on one of the benches
overlooking Palm Lake.  Red-shouldered Hawk is another rare Arizona hawk
that has become quite regular in the Hassayampa/Wickenburg area. 

Also of note among the regular species were two different ZONE-TAILED
HAWKS while I was walking along the Mesquite Meander.  I scared one adult
bird out of one of the trailside trees, which soared briefly after. 
Further down the trail, a juvenille Zone-tailed Hawk was soaring above the
area.  Two GREEN HERONS were in the pond areas in the preserve, as well as
one AMERICAN COOT on Palm Lake.  Besides MALLARDS, water birds have been
scarce here in summer.  One GREATER ROADRUNNER was present on Mesquite
Meander, and the bright male VERMILION FLYCATCHERS were just about every
corner I turned at the preserve (one of my favorite sights).  I also
enjoyed endless YELLOW-BREASTED CHATS everywhere.  These noisy "warblers"
never stop their chatting (in my recent Sunflower they were singing well
before light).  I always have to remind myself these guys are warblers,
because they never strike me as a warbler.  More of a mix of several
songbird types.  I also got many good views of the chats, both high and
low, close and far.  One of them even bit my finger...

If anyone is interested in birding at this awesome preserve who hasn't had
the chance to visit yet, they are open currently during their summer hours
Friday through Sunday at the hours of 7 to 11 A.M.  They have many cool
programs too, such as many bird bandings, where preserve employess and
volunteers do an excellent job at banding many different species.  It is
awesome to see the birds up close, which is where the Yellow-breasted Chat
bit my finger today.  It was no worse than the St. Patricks day anti-green
pinch.  It didn't just fly up to me like I made it seem to be :)  On my
website, I have a Hassayampa River Preserve page that contains pictures,
information, and directions at this link here-
http://www.birderfrommaricopa.com/hassayampa-river-preserve.htm

Another great morning to be exploring and birding.

Good birding,

Tommy DeBardeleben (Glendale, Arizona)

 

 

July 15th, 2011: Birding Bushnell Tanks and Mount Ord

Hi everyone,

Today on July 15th, 2011, I ventured out to the northeastern part of
Maricopa County to explore after some of the best areas had been closed
off because of fire dangers.  I found out they opened the closed areas on
Wednesday, and I was ready to be back in the area birding again.  More
than just ready, I was pumped.  I made my inaugural visit to the Bushnell
Tanks area followed by Mount Ord in my expedition. 

For a first time visit to Bushnell Tanks, I was very impressed with the
area.  It's across the Highway from Sunflower or better called, the Old
Beeline Highway.  It's very similiar in ways to Sunflower, only with very
few willows and cottonwoods, and some mesquite.  Great sycamore habitat is
the primary habitat here along Sycamore Creek (including old growth
sycamores).  I enjoyed 40 different species here today, and I certainly
look forward to birding this spot in the future in what has a lot of
potential.  Raptor wise this morning, it was similiar to a Sunflower
morning.  I had two COMMON BLACK-HAWKS here.  One was calling in the
sycamores while the other was flying around on the hillsides.  ZONE-TAILED
HAWKS were easily seen, as I found two adult birds as well as a nice and
close look at a juvenile.  I heard three different COSTA'S HUMMINGBIRDS,
which this area in general is usually very good for this species. 
Flycatcher wise, BROWN-CRESTED FLYCATCHERS were everywhere, as well as
CASSIN'S KINGBIRDS with also a single WESTERN KINGBIRD.  Juniper hillsides
surround this entire area, which is great habitat for GRAY VIREO, in which
two were singing this morning.  A single BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER was also
present.  Another highlight I had were three INDIGO BUNTINGS singing.  I
got good looks at two of them, both pure males.  I then found a LAZULI X
INDIGO BUNTING hybrid, which sang a very odd song.  I headed to Mount Ord
after birding the Tanks for two hours, forty minutes starting at 5:45 A.M.

I arrived at Mount Ord's side road, 1688 at 8:45 A.M., which is the road
that runs south into Maricopa County, when one first hits the pines when
coming up the mountain dirt road.  A CASSIN'S KINGBIRD perched on a fence
on my way up.  I birded Mount Ord for over four hours all along Road 1688
as well as the summit area on the Maricopa County side.  Numbers were way
down today, as a lot of Mount Ord's usual residents were rather quiet. 
Some were still active though to entertain, and maybe I just got here a
little too late for some of the species.  On Road 1688, I had two ZONE-
TAILED HAWKS soaring overhead throughout the hike.  Woodpeckers today
consisted of two HAIRY and two ACORN WOODPECKERS, as well as a
NORTHERN "RED-SHAFTED" FLICKER.  I usually have more Hairys.  ASH-THROATED
FLYCATCHERS were everywhere, as at the entrance to 1688, I had a family of
four.  Four WESTERN WOOD-PEWEES were also along the stretch.  In the same
area, a curious JUNIPER TITMOUSE made a close appearance.  I had more
WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCHES this trip, and a heard-only of only one RED-
BREASTED NUTHATCH (I had none on my June trip).  Several PHAINOPEPLAS were
present along the road, which I never had them this high up on Ord until
last month.  The usual Warblers were very scarce today, especially on Road
1688, only singles of GRACE'S, VIRGINIA'S, and BLACK-THROATED GRAY-
WARBLERS, and two PAINTED REDSTARTS.  Four BLACK-CHINNED SPARROWS were
present (two singing), as well as at least three singing WESTERN
TANAGERS.  As I moved to the summit of Mount Ord, I still managed to find
some of the scarce summer species in Maricopa County.  CHIPPING SPARROWS
were present, as I had a good amount of probably at least ten, I observed
adult and juvenile birds.  A single HOUSE WREN was present as well as a
single male WESTERN BLUEBIRD.  VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOWS flew in the sky
overhead, and there were great numbers of BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLERS up
here in the early afternoon (compared to only one on 1688).  A very
unusual sighting for me up here came when I found two RUFOUS-CROWNED
SPARROWS, an adult with a juvenile bird.  They were near the summit at the
7000 foot range, in the green understory in midst of the pine and oaks. 
I've never had them this high, and it seems like the completely wrong
place for them.  I also heard an individual singing near the summit in
appropriate habitat, where the forests end and the hillside is rocky and
open.  Perhaps the two forest dwelling birds are sick of the summer.  I
recorded 35 species at Mount Ord, 63 for the day.

BIRD LISTS FOR TODAY:

Bushnell Tanks, Maricopa, US-AZ
Jul 15, 2011 5:45 AM - 8:25 AM
Protocol: Traveling
2.0 mile(s)
40 species (+1 other taxa)

Gambel's Quail  20
Turkey Vulture  10
Common Black-Hawk (Common)  2
Zone-tailed Hawk  3
Red-tailed Hawk  1
White-winged Dove  2
Mourning Dove  10
Black-chinned Hummingbird  1
Costa's Hummingbird  3
Gila Woodpecker  4
Ladder-backed Woodpecker  2
Black Phoebe  2
Ash-throated Flycatcher  4
Brown-crested Flycatcher  15
Cassin's Kingbird  10
Western Kingbird  1
Bell's Vireo  4
Gray Vireo  2
Western Scrub-Jay (Woodhouse's)  6
Common Raven  2
Bridled Titmouse  1
Verdin  2
Cactus Wren  2
Bewick's Wren  5
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher  1
Northern Mockingbird  1
Phainopepla  10
Lucy's Warbler  20
Yellow Warbler (Northern)  20
Rufous-crowned Sparrow  5
Abert's Towhee  2
Black-throated Sparrow  8
Summer Tanager  7
Northern Cardinal  5
Blue Grosbeak  3
Lazuli x Indigo Bunting (hybrid)  1
Indigo Bunting  3
Brown-headed Cowbird  X
Hooded Oriole (Western)  3
House Finch  X
Lesser Goldfinch  X

Mt. Ord (Maricopa Co.), Maricopa, US-AZ
Jul 15, 2011 8:45 AM - 1:00 PM
Protocol: Traveling
3.0 mile(s)
35 species

Zone-tailed Hawk  2
Red-tailed Hawk  1
Mourning Dove  4
Acorn Woodpecker  2
Hairy Woodpecker  2
Northern Flicker (Red-shafted)  1
Western Wood-Pewee  4
Ash-throated Flycatcher  10
Cassin's Kingbird  1
Plumbeous Vireo  7
Western Scrub-Jay (Woodhouse's)  6
Common Raven  1
Violet-green Swallow  20
Bridled Titmouse  1
Juniper Titmouse  1
Bushtit  10
Red-breasted Nuthatch  1
White-breasted Nuthatch (Interior West)  4
Bewick's Wren  20
House Wren (Northern)  1
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher  25
Western Bluebird  1
Phainopepla  4
Virginia's Warbler  1
Black-throated Gray Warbler  10
Grace's Warbler  1
Painted Redstart  2
Spotted Towhee  30
Rufous-crowned Sparrow  5
Chipping Sparrow  10
Black-chinned Sparrow  4
Hepatic Tanager  2
Western Tanager  5
Black-headed Grosbeak  2
Lesser Goldfinch  20


It was another great day to be out birding.  If interested in birding the
Bushnell Tanks, it is just after the Sunflower turnoff right after mile
marker 218 on the Beeline Highway, on the east side of the road.  It is
well signed off.  There is a sign up to the entrance of the area
saying "Area Closed Temporarily", which only means to motor vehicles of
such, it is fine to hike and bird in the area.  If anyone is interested in
birding Mount Ord who has never been there or would like directions, a
page to this awesome location with pictures, maps, and a description of
the area and it's birdlife is at my website at this link here-
http://www.birderfrommaricopa.com/mount-ord.htm


Good birding,

Tommy DeBardeleben (Glendale, Arizona)

 

 

July 20th, 2011:  Birding along the Verde River in search of the Yellow-billed Cuckoo

Hello everyone,

I woke up early this morning on July 20th, 2011 to bird at two of the
Tonto National Forest's Recreation Sites along the Verde River, the Box
Bar and Needle Rock Recreation Sites.  I love this area and these
recreation sites are certainly ones that I should cover more on a regular
basis.  I've only birded this area a few times before today.  The Yellow-
billed Cuckoo was once again my hopeful and main target for today, as I've
been trying for and missing this bird for at least a month now prior to
today...

The Box Bar and Needle Rock Recreation Sites are both very close to each
other, and can easily both be covered in a four hour morning, which is
what I did on today's outing.  I arrived at the crack of dawn, and drove
around the area before I started birding.  LESSER NIGHTHAWKS were flying
about in both recreation sites.  I then started to bird Box Bar at 5:30,
which lasted for three hours.  The habitat at this place is incredible
along the Verde River, with great stands of cottonwoods and willows, as
well as excellent mesquite habitat in a lot of the places too.  There is
great migrant potential at this spot, as I was exploring it today for only
the 3rd time in my life, I was kicking my own butt for not coming here
more often!  The cottonwood and willow habitat really does seem endless. 
A WESTERN SCREECH-OWL called in a dense thicket and mix of mesquite and
tamarisk as I started birding, I was never able to see the bird.  The
songs of SUMMER TANAGERS and YELLOW WARBLERS filled the trees, and
abundant COMMON YELLOWTHROATS were along the river.  GREAT BLUE HERONS
were numerous and waded in the river, and many DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS
flew up and down the river throughout the morning.  A few male and female
BLUE GROSBEAKS were visable and the only Oriole I could come up with today
was a heard-only calling BULLOCK'S.  YELLOW-BREASTED CHATS were noisy as
usual.  BELL'S VIREO'S were present where the mesquites were, and BROWN-
CRESTED FLYCATCHERS were well spread out in smaller numbers throughout the
site.  A few BEWICK'S WRENS were also present, and a GREATER ROADRUNNER
appeared out of nowhere front of me (that's the way it always goes with
the Roadrunner!).  I then observed a few COOPER'S HAWKS, an adult and a
recently fledged juvenile bird.  The youngin flew short distances whenever
it flew, as it's starting to get the hang of things in the real hawks
world.  As I was watching the hawks, I noticed movement at the top of a
very big willow, and as I glanced, I had my eyes on my first YELLOW-BILLED
CUCKOO of the year.  Finally!  It called a few times right as I had my
binoculars on it before it went back out of sight, calling a few more
times before going quiet and not to be seen again.  The Yellow-billed
Cuckoo is one of my favorite birds, always a treat to see.  Any day in
Arizona where you see the ground and tree dwelling cuckoos both is a great
day!  As I was finishing up at Box Bar, I had a very nice surprise with an
immature male BROAD-BILLED HUMMINGBIRD.  His blue-tail feathers caught my
naked eye from a distance, and I then had great views of the bird, which
had a lot of blue in his throat area.  This species is really increasing
in Maricopa County, which is the sixth I've seen in two years throughout
the county.  I had 38 species at Box Bar in the three hours before
continuing a little north to the Needle Rock Site.

The Needle Rock Site has very similiar habitat to Box Bar, nice cottonwood
and willow stands, only with a lot more mesquite habitat.  The cottonwood
and willows, as well as the riverside habitat aren't as easy to bird here
as the Box Bar Site.  Although both sites are very good, I highly would
recommend Box Bar the most.  The east side of the river is closed for over
half of the year at both sites (Dec. 1st through Jun 30th), because of
nesting Bald Eagles.  The west side of the river is much closer to the
road at Needle Rock than Box Bar, making it harder to access things, with
limited space.  At Box Bar, the best habitat lies on the west side, which
more space and habitat lies on the west side of the river.  Birdwise at
Needle Rock, highlight's included two BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERONS (one
adult, one juvenile), and a singing CANYON WREN.  I recorded 29 species
here in an hour of heat, not much different than the things I had at Box
Bar.

On my way home driving down Dynamite Road, I came across a HARRIS'S HAWK
nest in a cactus alongside the road, certainly cool to see.  Two adults
were at the nest.  Good way to close out another awesome day of seeing
cool things!

TODAY'S BIRD LISTS:

Box Bar Recreation Site, Maricopa, US-AZ
Jul 20, 2011 5:30 AM - 8:30 AM
Protocol: Traveling
1.0 mile(s)
38 species

Gambel's Quail  15
Double-crested Cormorant  20
Great Blue Heron  7
Turkey Vulture  2
Cooper's Hawk  3
Eurasian Collared-Dove  2
White-winged Dove  3
Mourning Dove  10
Yellow-billed Cuckoo  1
Greater Roadrunner  1
Western Screech-Owl  1
Lesser Nighthawk  1
Anna's Hummingbird  3
Broad-billed Hummingbird  1     Seen well, Sub-adult male
Gila Woodpecker  1
Ladder-backed Woodpecker  3
Black Phoebe  3
Ash-throated Flycatcher  1
Brown-crested Flycatcher  6
Bell's Vireo  5
Common Raven  1
Verdin  20
Bewick's Wren  2
Black-tailed Gnatcatcher  1
Curve-billed Thrasher (Western)  1
Phainopepla  1
Yellow Warbler (Northern)  15
Common Yellowthroat  20
Yellow-breasted Chat  10
Abert's Towhee  25
Song Sparrow  15
Summer Tanager  10
Northern Cardinal  10
Blue Grosbeak  4
Great-tailed Grackle  2
Brown-headed Cowbird  5
Bullock's Oriole  1
House Finch  X



Needle Rock Recreation Area, Maricopa, US-AZ
Jul 20, 2011 8:40 AM - 9:40 AM
Protocol: Traveling
0.5 mile(s)
29 species

Gambel's Quail  10
Double-crested Cormorant  5
Great Blue Heron  4
Black-crowned Night-Heron  2
Turkey Vulture  4
Red-tailed Hawk (Fuertes's)  1
White-winged Dove  3
Greater Roadrunner  1
Lesser Nighthawk  1
Ladder-backed Woodpecker  1
Gilded Flicker  1
Black Phoebe  1
Brown-crested Flycatcher  5
Bell's Vireo  2
Verdin  X
Canyon Wren  1
Bewick's Wren  1
European Starling  2
Yellow Warbler (Northern)  4
Common Yellowthroat  10
Yellow-breasted Chat  3
Abert's Towhee  X
Song Sparrow  10
Summer Tanager  2
Northern Cardinal  5
Blue Grosbeak  1
Great-tailed Grackle  2
Brown-headed Cowbird  2
House Finch  1


Good birding,

Tommy DeBardeleben (Glendale, Arizona)

 

 

July 21st, 2011: Birding Mount Ord and Bushnell Tanks with Richard Crossley, finding my first Cassin's Sparrow in Maricopa County

Hi everyone,

Today on July 21st, 2011, Richard Crossley and I met in the Sunflower area
and birded along the Old Beeline Highway, Bushnell Tanks, and Mount Ord. 
Richard is visiting Arizona and was wanting to photograph different birds
of the southwest in different plumages, and I tried to help him find
several target species to add to his amazing collection.  A few of the
target birds were cooperative, while the others were absent.  It was an
excellent day of birding, with a few great surprises.

Before Richard and I met at 5:30 A.M., I arrived at the Old Beeline
Highway along Sycamore Creek somewhat early.  A COMMON POORWILL was
calling on the hillsides briefly.  I also enjoyed a few singing and
calling CANYON TOWHEES.

We then headed to the lower slopes of Mount Ord for about an hour, seeking
one of Richard's main targets, the BLACK-CHINNED SPARROW.  Mount Ord is
such a great place for this species, and several males were cooperative
for Richard's camera.  It was a great way to start off the day.  Several
GRAY VIREOS could be heard more distantly.  Two vocal CRISSAL THRASHERS
were calling on the hillsides also.  RUFOUS-CROWNED SPARROWS were also
very numerous, and singles of BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK, WESTERN TANAGER, and
SCOTT'S ORIOLE were also present on Mount Ord's lower slopes.

After the hour, we then went right back down south the short distance to
the Bushnell Tanks.  Here, I was trying to help Richard find two more of
his targets, Lucy's Warbler and Common Black-Hawk.  Lucy's Warblers have
seemed to have left the area, we didn't see or hear ONE bird (yesterday
along the Verde River areas, I didn't have one either).  I heard Common
Black-Hawks here last time, and they haven't been very reliable this year
along the Old Beeline.  They seemed to be absent too, until Richard and I
finally saw a single COMMON BLACK-HAWK soaring over us.  However, it was a
first-summer bird, where Richard pointed out that this bird had the
appearance of a ratty adult bird at a first glance and distance away, but
at a closer look, the bird still had old remaining juvenile feathers,
giving the bird that ratty look.  It was interesting to see, and Richard
informed me this is rarely seen in the U.S.  No normal Black-Hawks however
like we were shooting for.  We were also treated to a family of ZONE-
TAILED HAWKS with excellent and close up views of two adults, a juvenile,
and a fledgling bird.  Birding in the tanks also produced other
highlights.  A GRAY VIREO sang closeby to us and provided excellent and
clear views.  A flock of about fifty noisy BUSHTITS was notable, and the
INDIGO BUNTINGS continued to be numerous, as I really enjoyed an adult
male perched above the trail.  On our way out of the Tanks, a PEREGRINE
FALCON joined a Zone-tailed Hawk and Turkey Vulture in flight, my first
Peregrine for the Highway 87 area. 

After the Tanks, we went briefly to the Old Beeline Highway to pick up
water from my truck.  Thank goodness Richard had the windows to the
vehicle rolled down, as right when we pulled onto the Old Beeline, we
heard the distinctive song of a CASSIN'S SPARROW.  We got out and located
the bird quickly.  I was stoked to find this bird, which was a new county
bird for me, and they certainly have been well increasing throughout
Arizona in an outbreak this year!  There eventually turned out to be two
of them.  One of them skylarked and sang in front of us a few times.  We
were both able to get photos and I was able to get a sound recording as
well.  For anyone interested, the sparrows were at mile marker 218 of
Highway 87, right after turning off to the left (west) on the Old Beeling
Highway, on the west side of the 87.  Hopefully they will stick around. 

We then headed up to the forested areas of Mount Ord to try for two more
targets for Richard, Virginia's and Olive Warblers.  We struck out on them
too (I only had one Virginia's on my last visit), despite the fact I heard
a distant OLIVE WARBLER calling above us on a slope we had just come down
from.  The targets certainly can be a pain in the butt.  A few good
highlights still came from Ord.  Three hummingbird species were
represented by a male RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD, along with several BROAD-TAILED
and ANNA'S HUMMINGBIRDS.  WESTERN BLUEBIRD numbers near the summit have
increased, and it was neat to see a family of PAINTED REDSTARTS with a
juvenile bird.  CHIPPING SPARROWS were near the summit once again too, as
well as three HEPATIC TANAGERS (including a recently fledged bird). 

We ended up with 62 different species in an eight hour day, one I really
enjoyed.  It was awesome birding with you Richard!


TODAYS BIRD LISTS:

1. Sunflower (Old Beeline Highway), Maricopa, US-AZ
Jul 21, 2011 5:00 AM - 5:35 AM
Protocol: Traveling
0.1 mile(s)
14 species

Mourning Dove  X
Common Poorwill  X
Ladder-backed Woodpecker  1
Ash-throated Flycatcher  X
Brown-crested Flycatcher  X
Bell's Vireo  X
Bewick's Wren  1
Yellow Warbler (Northern)  X
Rufous-crowned Sparrow  X
Canyon Towhee  2
Northern Cardinal  X
Blue Grosbeak  X
Hooded Oriole (Western)  1
Lesser Goldfinch  X


2. Mt. Ord, lower slopes (Maricopa Co.), Maricopa, US-AZ
Jul 21, 2011 5:50 AM - 6:50 AM
Protocol: Traveling
0.5 mile(s)
14 species

Anna's Hummingbird  1
Ash-throated Flycatcher  1
Gray Vireo  2
Western Scrub-Jay (Woodhouse's)  4
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher  1
Crissal Thrasher  2
Spotted Towhee  10
Rufous-crowned Sparrow  5
Canyon Towhee  2
Abert's Towhee  2
Black-chinned Sparrow  6
Western Tanager  1
Black-headed Grosbeak  1
Scott's Oriole  1


3. Bushnell Tanks, Maricopa, US-AZ
Jul 21, 2011 7:15 AM - 10:00 AM
Protocol: Traveling
1.5 mile(s)
34 species

Turkey Vulture  3
Cooper's Hawk  3
Common Black-Hawk (Common)  1
Zone-tailed Hawk  6
Red-tailed Hawk (Fuertes's)  2
American Kestrel  1
Peregrine Falcon (North American)  1
White-winged Dove  X
Mourning Dove  X
Gila Woodpecker  2
Black Phoebe  2
Ash-throated Flycatcher  2
Brown-crested Flycatcher  10
Cassin's Kingbird  4
Bell's Vireo  5
Gray Vireo  2
Bridled Titmouse  X
Juniper Titmouse  2
Verdin  2
Bushtit  50
Bewick's Wren  3
Northern Mockingbird  1
Phainopepla  10
Yellow Warbler (Northern)  30
Canyon Towhee  1
Abert's Towhee  X
Black-throated Sparrow  15
Northern Cardinal  5
Blue Grosbeak  4
Indigo Bunting  5
Brown-headed Cowbird  X
Hooded Oriole (Western)  2
House Finch  20
Lesser Goldfinch  X


4. Sunflower (Old Beeline Highway), Maricopa, US-AZ
Jul 21, 2011 10:20 AM - 10:35 AM
Protocol: Traveling
1.0 mile(s)
5 species

Turkey Vulture  X
Rufous-crowned Sparrow  X
Cassin's Sparrow  2  *Heard singing and seen well, skylarking and singing
in flight a few times.  Rare in Maricopa County, but appears to have a
northward movement in the state this year.  Visuals and sound recordings
obtained.
Blue Grosbeak  X
House Finch  X


5. Mt. Ord (Maricopa Co.), Maricopa, US-AZ
Jul 21, 2011 10:50 AM - 1:50 PM
Protocol: Traveling
2.0 mile(s)
31 species

Cooper's Hawk  1
Mourning Dove  X
Anna's Hummingbird  2
Broad-tailed Hummingbird  4
Rufous Hummingbird  1
Hairy Woodpecker  3
Say's Phoebe  1
Ash-throated Flycatcher  3
Plumbeous Vireo  5
Western Scrub-Jay (Woodhouse's)  2
Common Raven  1
Violet-green Swallow  5
Bridled Titmouse  2
Juniper Titmouse  5
Bushtit  10
White-breasted Nuthatch (Interior West)  10
Rock Wren  1
Bewick's Wren  5
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher  5
Western Bluebird  8
Phainopepla  4
Olive Warbler  1
Black-throated Gray Warbler  4
Painted Redstart  4
Spotted Towhee  15
Rufous-crowned Sparrow  1
Chipping Sparrow  2
Hepatic Tanager  3
Western Tanager  2
Black-headed Grosbeak  1
Lesser Goldfinch  X



Good birding,

Tommy DeBardeleben (Glendale, Arizona)

 

 

July 25th, 2011: Birding Greer and Springerville, Arizona (The start to an amazing birding trip in Apache County's awesome White Mountains)

Hi everyone,

I'm on my annual White Mountain vacation with my family, as we are staying
in Greer again this year.  Today was the first of seven full days I have
to bird in Apache County, which I love this birding in this area and I
would love to do an Apache County Big Year someday.  The fire devastation
is awful however, but there is still plenty of great birding in the areas
that didn't burn in the Wallow Fire.  The Greer area is a lot worse than I
expected unfortunetly.  Going south along Highway 373 about two miles into
the Greer Recreation Area, views of the fire come right into view.  Almost
all of the eastern mountainsides/ridges outlining Greer are completely
burned.  For those who loved the amazing scenery of Greer, it looks very
different.  Greer is where I really got into birding 11 years ago, and I
have many great memories in the places that were burned.  East Fork Road
and Butler Canyon Nature Trails are majorly burned as they are part of the
eastern mountainsides.  But despite the burns, I still think there are
more positives in Greer and it is stll overall such a beautiful place!  If
it weren't for our amazing firefighters, who knows how far the Wallow Fire
could've gone in Greer and everywhere else in the White Mountains.  I'm
very greatful for the great amount of healthy land we have left!  If any
firefighters are reading this, I can't express by any words how thankful I
am for your hard work!

Birding wise, today on July 25th, I spent my day in the areas around Greer
and Springerville.  The birding was excellent, especially in Greer as I
had one of my better overall days in all the years I have birded here,
where birdlife was abundant and I recorded 63 different species in four
hours, starting at 6 A.M.

My first stop was in the area of the three Greer Lakes-Bunch, Tunnel, and
River Reservoirs.  River Reservoir provided a raptor show for me.  As I
was driving into the parking area, a pair of PEREGRINE FALCONS were
perched up on a dead tree, always an amazing site.  I've never seen two
Peregrines side by side, which the female looked so much bigger than the
male, such an awesome thing to see in the field!  As I scanned the
shoreline of River Reservoir, I then saw two BALD EAGLES feeding, an adult
and a younger bird.  I didn't have a scope, so the younger one was harder
for me to age at a distance.  This was the first Bald Eagle sighting I've
ever had in my eleven years of Greer birding, it was certainly a beautiful
thing.  I watched in amazement as the adult flew from the shore and
perched in a pine.  A few OSPREYS (who nest along River Reservoir) and
AMERICAN KESTRELS were present.  CANADA GEESE were numerous around the
three lakes, as well as DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS and GREAT BLUE HERONS. 
A RED-NAPED SAPSUCKER was the first bird I saw when I got out of my truck
at Bunch Reservoir.  Swallows were very abundant in the parking area at
Bunch Reservoir, especially VIOLET-GREEN.  CLARK'S NUTCRACKERS calling in
the distance throughout the morning are always one of my White Mountain
favorites.  The grasslands surrounding the lakes held WESTERN and MOUNTAIN
BLUEBIRDS, VESPER SPARROWS, a singing LARK SPARROW, and many EASTERN
MEADOWLARKS.

Next in Greer, I birded along a section of the Little Colorado River,
which I call "South Marsh".  It's very marshy in a lot of ways, which was
what I called it when I was a little kid when I was looking for a name,
because it's east entrance was "south" of River Reservoir.  This place, if
anyone is interested is the first part where the Little Col. River crosses
Highway 373 if coming south into Greer.  Both sides have very productive
birding.  I'm sure there's a much better name for it than "South Marsh". 
Birdlife here as excellent right when I got out of my truck and started
birding, as I had 33 species in under an hour.  GRAY CATBIRD has seemed to
have increased in the Greer Area in recent years, as it was one of the
first birds I had.  Walking along the path, a spooked up a CINNAMON TEAL. 
Empids were very common along this strech, especially on the east side of
the 373, as I had at least five DUSKY FLYCATCHERS and four CORDILLERAN
FLYCATCHERS.  A few WARBLING VIREOS were also present.  Four SWALLOW
species flew overhead: Violet-green, Barn, Cliff, and Tree.  One female
MOUNTAIN BLUEBIRD was entertaining in an open field.  VIRGINIA'S WARBLERS
and BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAKS were also here in good numbers.

I then went as far south as I could go through Greer on 373, and walked
along the highway north from the end for a short distance to look for
different birds.  The entire West Fork of the Little Colorado River is
closed.  At the spot where it is closed, a good view is still provided of
some the river.  Here I had several good birds including a BELTED
KINGFISHER with a fish flying to the top of a fir.  CLARK'S NUTCRACKERS
were viewable here, as well as MOUNTAIN CHICKADEE, MAcGILLIVAY'S WARBLERS,
and GREEN-TAILED TOWHEE.  Walking north into town gave me looks at BAND-
TAILED PIGEONS. 

Next I then went to a side road on the west side of 373, which has really
good birding.  This road is called Osborne Road, which is County Road
1323.  I've stayed in a cabin along this road in the past.  A small creek
flows through the area, creating a nice riparian patch.  I stood here most
of the time I birded Osborne Road, and I had amazing results.  The main
highlight was the awesome RED-FACED WARBLER, who gave me amazing views at
close range for a long period of time.  It was also joined by two
MACGILLIVRAY'S WARBLERS, a single VIRGINIA'S WARBLER, and an orange
displaying ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER who didn't have a tail.  An "AUDUBON'S"
YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER worked in a pine above the spot, and a COMMON
YELLOWTHROAT could be heard in the distance.  Also here, two GRAY CATBIRDS
were calling.  Other highlights included OLIVE-SIDED, CORDILLERAN, and
DUSKY FLYCATCHERS; and GREEN-TAILED TOWHEE. 

After Greer, I spent the rest of the day's birding in the Springerville
Area, where I visited Becker Lake and Wenima Wildlife Area. 

Becker Lake was my first stop of the two.  This lake has had amazing
rarities in the past and is always worth checking.  Habitat surrounding
the area has great migrant potential, especially on the nearby Becker Lake
Road.  Highlights from Becker Lake included a single RING-BILLED GULL, a
single WESTERN and EARED GREBE, many PIED-BILLED GREBES, three OSPREYS,
five SPOTTED SANDPIPERS, two BLUE GROSBEAKS, both EASTERN and WESTERN
MEADOWLARKS in good numbers, and BULLOCK'S ORIOLE.  I also had a herd of
five buck MULE DEER at the south end of the lake, as well as several
GUNNISON PRAIRIE DOGS just north of the parking lot, which are very
reliable here.  (They make a lot of noise, a little similiar sounding to a
Black-necked Stilt)

I then spent forty minutes at Wenima Wildlife Area before the rain kicked
in.  I didn't really get to enjoy the birdwatch because I was concerned
about being poured on, but I did enjoy several YELLOW-BREASTED CHATS. 
WESTERN KINGBIRDS were along the entrance road, and a WESTERN SCRUB-JAY
family foraged along one of the trails.  HORNED LARK was along the
entrance road also.  Two BLUE GROSBEAKS sang in the area in plain view, as
well as a heard only LAZULI BUNTING.  Both MEADOWLARKS were here too, as
well as three BULLOCK'S ORIOLES.

It was a great day of Apache County birding, as I finished the day with 77
species.

TODAY'S BIRD LISTS:

1. Greer Lakes, Apache, US-AZ
Jul 25, 2011 6:00 AM - 7:40 AM
Protocol: Traveling
1.5 mile(s)
39 species

Canada Goose (moffitti/maxima)  30
Mallard  4
Double-crested Cormorant  40
Great Blue Heron  15
Osprey  2
Bald Eagle  2
American Kestrel  2
Peregrine Falcon (North American)  2
Killdeer  1
Spotted Sandpiper  8
Mourning Dove  X
Broad-tailed Hummingbird  10
Rufous Hummingbird  3
Red-naped Sapsucker  1
Northern Flicker (Red-shafted)  5
Cordilleran Flycatcher  2
Plumbeous Vireo  1
Steller's Jay  1
Clark's Nutcracker  1
American Crow  20
Tree Swallow  5
Violet-green Swallow  200
Barn Swallow  2
Cliff Swallow  30
White-breasted Nuthatch (Interior West)  3
Pygmy Nuthatch  25
Rock Wren  1
House Wren (Northern)  1
Western Bluebird  10
Mountain Bluebird  2
American Robin  1
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon's)  4
Vesper Sparrow  5
Lark Sparrow  1
Red-winged Blackbird  1
Eastern Meadowlark (Lilian's)  10
Brewer's Blackbird  10
Pine Siskin  2
Lesser Goldfinch  10



2. Greer-Little Colorado River (South Marsh), Apache, US-AZ
Jul 25, 2011 7:50 AM - 8:40 AM
Protocol: Traveling
1.0 mile(s)
33 species

Cinnamon Teal  1
Turkey Vulture  3
Osprey  1
Red-tailed Hawk (Western)  1
American Kestrel  1
Spotted Sandpiper  1
Broad-tailed Hummingbird  10
Rufous Hummingbird  1
Red-naped Sapsucker  1
Northern Flicker (Red-shafted)  4
Western Wood-Pewee  4
Dusky Flycatcher  5
Cordilleran Flycatcher  4
Warbling Vireo (Western)  2
Steller's Jay  2
Tree Swallow  3
Violet-green Swallow  25
Barn Swallow  10
Cliff Swallow  15
Pygmy Nuthatch  X
House Wren (Northern)  1
Mountain Bluebird  1
American Robin  10
Gray Catbird  1
Virginia's Warbler  5
Common Yellowthroat  2
Green-tailed Towhee  1
Song Sparrow  3
Black-headed Grosbeak  5
Red-winged Blackbird  X
Brewer's Blackbird  10
Brown-headed Cowbird  1
Lesser Goldfinch  X



3. Greer-Highway 373, Apache, US-AZ
Jul 25, 2011 8:50 AM - 9:30 AM
Protocol: Traveling
1.0 mile(s)
20 species

Band-tailed Pigeon  5
Broad-tailed Hummingbird  X
Belted Kingfisher  1
Cordilleran Flycatcher  10
Steller's Jay  10
Clark's Nutcracker  4
American Crow  X
Common Raven  2
Cliff Swallow  2
Mountain Chickadee  10
Pygmy Nuthatch  5
Western Bluebird  4
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon's)  2
MacGillivray's Warbler  2
Common Yellowthroat  1
Green-tailed Towhee  1
Song Sparrow  1
Dark-eyed Junco (Red-backed)  3
Pine Siskin  1
House Sparrow  X



4. Greer-Osborne Road (CR 1323), Apache, US-AZ
Jul 25, 2011 9:30 AM - 10:10 AM
Protocol: Traveling
0.5 mile(s)
23 species

Red-tailed Hawk (Western)  1
Broad-tailed Hummingbird  4
Olive-sided Flycatcher  1
Western Wood-Pewee  4
Dusky Flycatcher  2
Cordilleran Flycatcher  3
Black Phoebe  1
Steller's Jay  2
Mountain Chickadee  2
White-breasted Nuthatch (Interior West)  1
Pygmy Nuthatch  10
American Robin  7
Gray Catbird  2
Orange-crowned Warbler  1
Virginia's Warbler  1
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon's)  1
MacGillivray's Warbler  2
Common Yellowthroat  1
Red-faced Warbler  1
Green-tailed Towhee  2
Song Sparrow  2
Dark-eyed Junco (Red-backed)  2
Lesser Goldfinch  X




5. Becker Lake, Apache, US-AZ
Jul 25, 2011 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
Protocol: Traveling
1.0 mile(s)
22 species

Ruddy Duck  6
Pied-billed Grebe  20
Western Grebe  1
Great Blue Heron  3
Turkey Vulture  5
Osprey  3
American Kestrel  2
American Coot  15
Spotted Sandpiper  5
Ring-billed Gull  1
Mourning Dove  10
Common Raven  4
Rock Wren  1
Northern Mockingbird  2
Virginia's Warbler  1
Common Yellowthroat  4
Blue Grosbeak  2
Red-winged Blackbird  5
Eastern Meadowlark (Lilian's)  4
Western Meadowlark  7
Bullock's Oriole  1
Lesser Goldfinch  X




6. Wenima WA, Apache, US-AZ
Jul 25, 2011 1:45 PM - 2:30 PM
Protocol: Traveling
0.5 mile(s)
16 species

American Kestrel  2
Mourning Dove  5
Black Phoebe  1
Western Kingbird  2
Western Scrub-Jay (Woodhouse's)  4
Common Raven  2
Horned Lark  1
Rock Wren  1
Yellow-breasted Chat (Western)  3
Black-headed Grosbeak  1
Blue Grosbeak  2
Lazuli Bunting  1
Eastern Meadowlark (Lilian's)  1
Western Meadowlark  5
Bullock's Oriole  3
Lesser Goldfinch  X



Good birding,

Tommy DeBardeleben (Glendale, Arizona   currently Greer)

 

 

July 26th, 2011:  Apache County-Sunrise, Green's Peak, and Greer

Hi everyone,

It was another wonderful day of birding in Apache County's White
Mountains.  Day TWO!!  I birded in the areas of Sunrise, Green's Peak, and
then finished up in the Greer area. 

My brother Tyler joined me early in the morning for the trip to Sunrise
and Green's Peak.  We only drove through Sunrise, which a birding
highlight for me was hearing SAVANNAH SPARROWS singing in the fields. 
This is a great area to see these grassland birds in the breeding months. 
EASTERN and WESTERN MEADOWLARKS could both be heard singing as well.  Also
in the Sunrise fields were large herds of ELK (including a herd of 12
bulls), three PRONGHORN, and a lone COYOTE.

We then headed to the area of Green's Peak.  Forest Road 117 had excellent
birding before and after the turnoff to Green's Peak, where we had some
good highlights.  My Apache County first SWAINSON'S HAWK perched at the
edge of an open field, certainly awesome to see this species at this high
of elevation.  The hawk provided us picture perfect views, and was a lifer
for Tyler.  Once we got to the top of Green's Peak, we started to walk the
trails that go west of the tower in search of Dusky Grouse.  Just seconds
onto the trail, Tyler spied two WILD TURKEY running away from us on the
trail.  About ten minutes later, we spooked up a female DUSKY GROUSE, who
had two smaller juveniles with her.  They gave a wierd call as they flew
into the spruce and aspen trees.  We got good looks at all three of them. 
They are certainly tough birds to find, but once they are seen, they can
be very tame.  Other birds on the summit of Green's Peak included a RED-
BREASTED NUTHATCH, GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET, and HERMIT THRUSH.  On the way
down from the mountain at the edges open grassland were numerous HORNED
LARKS and VESPER SPARROWS. 

After Green's Peak, we went east to Carnero Lake.  This is a nice lake
that supported a nice abundance of water birds.  Highlights included
several GADWALL, a group of at least ten REDHEAD, abundant RUDDY DUCKS,
and two EARED GREBES.  Three OSPREYS fished the lake, in which two of them
made successful catches.  I also heard one RED CROSSBILL at the lake, my
first of the trip.  I wonder were all of them are?

Once home and then later in the afternoon, I decided to bird more in Greer
for several hours, starting at Benny Creek.  Benny Creek had a birdy
afternoon of 30 species in the time I spent there, which I really
enjoyed.  My main highlight was at least four GRACE'S WARBLERS, which I
missed on my trip last year somehow.  Other warblers included AUDUBON'S,
VIRGINIA'S and MACGILLIVRAY'S WARBLERS, as well as COMMON YELLOWTHROAT. 
Two SPOTTED SANDPIPERS were along the creek as well.  A PLUMBEOUS VIREO
sang in the pines, and a NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD was rather unexpected.

After Benny Creek, I made a quick run over to the Greer Lakes, where I
luckily stumbled across a female CALLIOPE HUMMINGBIRD while walking on the
River Reservoir dam. 

My siblings were in the area and my sister Tiffany told me she had just
seen an American Dipper at Red Setter Inn in Greer.  I ditched the lakes
and waited for the Dipper for half an hour without success, so hopefully
luck will follow for the Dipper on following days, which I haven't seen a
Dipper in over two years.  I did really enjoy watching four recently
fledged and hungry CORDILLERAN FLYCATCHERS huddled together, waiting for
their parent to feed them.  The adult flycatcher seemed to feed each one a
few servings before going to the next. 

It was another enjoyable day in the White Mountains, I recorded 68
different species all together.  For anyone interested in finding any of
these locations, check out Stuart Healy's amazing White Mountains section
on his website at-http://aztrogon.com/AZInfo/Location%
20Details/WhiteMountains/Main.htm
Stuart has helped me find so many great birds and awesome birding
locations by providing such great access and information to this wonderful
site.  Thank you Stuart!


TODAY'S BIRD LISTS:

1. Sunrise Area-Highway 273, Apache, US-AZ
Jul 26, 2011 5:30 AM - 6:20 AM
Protocol: Traveling
5.0 mile(s)
16 species

American Kestrel  2
Northern Flicker (Red-shafted)  20
Steller's Jay  3
American Crow  20
Barn Swallow  2
Cliff Swallow  50
Western Bluebird  4
Mountain Bluebird  2
Hermit Thrush  2
Chipping Sparrow  15
Vesper Sparrow  10
Savannah Sparrow (Western)  5
Eastern Meadowlark (Lilian's)  5
Western Meadowlark  2
Brewer's Blackbird  50
Pine Siskin  2



2. Green's Peak Area-F.R. 117 (south end), Apache, US-AZ
Jul 26, 2011 6:25 AM - 7:00 AM
Protocol: Traveling
4.0 mile(s)
20 species

Red-tailed Hawk (Western)  1
American Kestrel  3
Northern Flicker (Red-shafted)  10
Western Wood-Pewee  3
Cordilleran Flycatcher  2
Warbling Vireo (Western)  2
Steller's Jay  5
American Crow  X
Common Raven  4
Violet-green Swallow  1
Red-breasted Nuthatch  1
White-breasted Nuthatch (Interior West)  2
Pygmy Nuthatch  5
Western Bluebird  2
Hermit Thrush  2
American Robin  10
Chipping Sparrow  10
Vesper Sparrow  10
Dark-eyed Junco (Red-backed)  2
Eastern Meadowlark (Lilian's)  5



3. Green's Peak, Apache, US-AZ
Jul 26, 2011 7:00 AM - 8:00 AM
Protocol: Traveling
1.5 mile(s)
15 species

Dusky Grouse  3
Wild Turkey  2
Steller's Jay  1
Common Raven  2
Horned Lark  10
Violet-green Swallow  2
Mountain Chickadee  5
Red-breasted Nuthatch  1
Golden-crowned Kinglet  2
Hermit Thrush  1
American Robin  3
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon's)  2
Vesper Sparrow  5
Dark-eyed Junco (Red-backed)  2
Eastern Meadowlark (Lilian's)  3



4. Green's Peak Area-F.R. 117 (north end), Apache, US-AZ
Jul 26, 2011 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM
Protocol: Traveling
8.0 mile(s)
13 species

Swainson's Hawk  1
Northern Flicker (Red-shafted)  15
Western Wood-Pewee  3
Cordilleran Flycatcher  2
Steller's Jay  2
Violet-green Swallow  5
Mountain Chickadee  3
Pygmy Nuthatch  X
Brown Creeper  1
Western Bluebird  2
Hermit Thrush  1
Chipping Sparrow  10
Dark-eyed Junco (Red-backed)  X



5. Carnero Lake, Apache, US-AZ
Jul 26, 2011 9:15 AM - 9:55 AM
Protocol: Traveling
1.5 mile(s)
20 species

Gadwall  3
Mallard  10
Redhead  10
Ruddy Duck  25
Pied-billed Grebe  2
Eared Grebe  2
Osprey  3
Red-tailed Hawk (Western)  1
American Coot  30
Broad-tailed Hummingbird  2
Hairy Woodpecker  1
Northern Flicker (Red-shafted)  5
Steller's Jay  3
American Crow  2
Violet-green Swallow  1
Mountain Chickadee  4
White-breasted Nuthatch (Interior West)  1
Hermit Thrush  2
Brewer's Blackbird  30
Red Crossbill  1



6. Greer--Benny Creek, Apache, US-AZ
Jul 26, 2011 3:30 PM - 5:15 PM
Protocol: Traveling
1.0 mile(s)
30 species

Turkey Vulture  1
Red-tailed Hawk (Western)  2
Spotted Sandpiper  2
Mourning Dove  5
Broad-tailed Hummingbird  5
Northern Flicker (Red-shafted)  5
Western Wood-Pewee  10
Dusky Flycatcher  1
Cordilleran Flycatcher  4
Black Phoebe  1
Plumbeous Vireo  1
Steller's Jay  3
Clark's Nutcracker  1
American Crow  X
Violet-green Swallow  25
Pygmy Nuthatch  2
House Wren (Northern)  3
Western Bluebird  2
American Robin  4
Northern Mockingbird  1
Virginia's Warbler  4
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon's)  1
Grace's Warbler  4
MacGillivray's Warbler  2
Common Yellowthroat  2
Green-tailed Towhee  3
Song Sparrow  1
Dark-eyed Junco (Red-backed)  3
Black-headed Grosbeak  1
Lesser Goldfinch  5



7. Greer Lakes, Apache, US-AZ
Jul 26, 2011 5:20 PM - 5:35 PM
Protocol: Traveling
1.0 mile(s)
12 species

Canada Goose (moffitti/maxima)  15
Double-crested Cormorant  40
Great Blue Heron  1
Broad-tailed Hummingbird  2
Rufous Hummingbird  2
Calliope Hummingbird  1
Northern Flicker (Red-shafted)  5
American Crow  X
Violet-green Swallow  10
Barn Swallow  5
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon's)  4
Chipping Sparrow  3



8. Greer-Highway 373, Apache, US-AZ
Jul 26, 2011 5:40 PM - 6:30 PM
Protocol: Traveling
0.5 mile(s)
Comments:     Includes areas just off of Highway 373, which includes Red
Setter
Inn and the Peaks Resorts.
14 species

Broad-tailed Hummingbird  10
Rufous Hummingbird  1
Cordilleran Flycatcher  10
Clark's Nutcracker  1
Barn Swallow  X
Cliff Swallow  X
Mountain Chickadee  3
Pygmy Nuthatch  1
Mountain Bluebird  1
American Robin  5
MacGillivray's Warbler  1
Green-tailed Towhee  1
Brewer's Blackbird  10
Lesser Goldfinch  X



Good birding,

Tommy DeBardeleben (Glendale, Arizona)

 

 

July 27th, 2011: Birding Fool Hollow Lake for the first time in years!

Hi everyone,

Today I headed out to the eastern side of Navajo County to meet my friend,
Mary Williams, in the Show Low area at 5 A.M.  Mary and I then explored
Fool Hollow Lake State Park for six hours full of amazing birding.  Mary
started a nice birding group at an RV resort near Show Low, which they
will join me for a morning of Greer birding on Friday.  They go on many
cool field trips.  It was my first time being here in eight years, which
is a birding location I've really missed.  With the amazing abundance of
birds at Fool Hollow this morning, we constantly had our binoculars up and
eyes peeled.

The morning started off with many CASSIN'S KINGBIRDS in the pines
surrounding the lake, most of them very noisy.  I've never seen so many
Cassin's Kingbirds in my life at a location before Fool Hollow Lake today,
25 is a safe estimate on the numbers of these Kingbirds.  Three different
OSPREYS soared over the lake during the morning, which Mary was happy to
see them, as they weren't present on some of her previous visits to the
park this year.  A state park ranger informed us that there was a nest on
the west side of the lake with very three very young Ospreys inside of
it.  Perhaps my favorite highlight of the species we encountered today
were a few trees full of PURPLE MARTIN colonies.  This is a species I have
hardly seen in my life, and getting to watch them fly overhead at close
and long distances, as well as perching above my head, really was a nice
experience.  Parents of both sexes fed young birds.  Throughout the park
during the morning, many PINYON JAYS could be seen and heard, as we were
under a large flock numbering probably close to fifty birds.  This is
certainly an interesting and unique species, I look forward to seeing them
every year when I come up this way.  The flock foraged in pines above us
before all flying across the waters to the north side of the lake.  While
in the area we were watching the jays, we then spied a juvenille female
WILLIAMSON'S SAPSUCKER, one I really wasn't expecting at all here.  Also
very amazing this morning was a CANYON WREN perched at in the open on a
rock bluff singing away, which both Mary and I got great views.  The only
warbler we encountered today as a silently foraging GRACE'S WARBLER, one
Mary hasn't gotten to see very often, it was cool to find her that
species.  We also had three different HEPATIC TANGERS during the morning
as well, an adult male feeding a juvenile (which looks similiar to a
female, but with a streaked breast), and a lone adult female.

Other highlights throughout our morning included CANADA GEESE, numerous
ACORN WOODPECKERS, one HAIRY WOODPECKER, abundant WESTERN WOOD-PEWEES
(many juveniles visable), three WESTERN KINGBIRDS, several STELLER'S JAYS,
five other SWALLOW species (Cliff, Northern Rough-winged, Barn, Tree,
Violet-green), JUNIPER TITMOUSE, abundant CHIPPING SPARROWS, five LARK
SPARROWS, six BLUE GROSBEAKS, WESTERN MEADOWLARKS, and BULLOCK'S ORIOLES. 
Our final tally numbered 58 different species.  We also had some great
sighings with other wildlife, which included a family of at least three
playful GRAY FOXES (they were by a den, so there might of been more), and
also, two BEAVERS at the lake.  It was a great morning of birding, it was
awesome to bird with you Mary!  Thanks for everything!


TODAY'S BIRD LIST:

Fool Hollow Lake SP, Navajo, US-AZ
Jul 27, 2011 5:10 AM - 11:10 AM
Protocol: Traveling
2.5 mile(s)
Comments:     Birding with Mary Williams.
58 species

Canada Goose (moffitti/maxima)  20
Mallard  5
Pied-billed Grebe  5
Double-crested Cormorant  20
Great Blue Heron  5
Turkey Vulture  2
Osprey  3
Spotted Sandpiper  2
Eurasian Collared-Dove  2
Mourning Dove  30
Broad-tailed Hummingbird  10
Rufous Hummingbird  1
Acorn Woodpecker  20
Williamson's Sapsucker  1
Hairy Woodpecker  1
Northern Flicker (Red-shafted)  20
Western Wood-Pewee  20
Black Phoebe  2
Say's Phoebe  1
Ash-throated Flycatcher  2
Cassin's Kingbird  25
Western Kingbird  3
Pinyon Jay  60
Steller's Jay  3
Western Scrub-Jay (Woodhouse's)  10
American Crow  4
Common Raven  10
Northern Rough-winged Swallow  2
Purple Martin  15
Tree Swallow  3
Violet-green Swallow  40
Barn Swallow  5
Cliff Swallow  10
Juniper Titmouse  8
White-breasted Nuthatch (Interior West)  4
Pygmy Nuthatch  30
Canyon Wren  2
Western Bluebird  15
Mountain Bluebird  1
American Robin  15
Northern Mockingbird  10
European Starling  4
Grace's Warbler  1
Green-tailed Towhee  2
Chipping Sparrow  40
Lark Sparrow  5
Hepatic Tanager  3
Western Tanager  1
Black-headed Grosbeak  10
Blue Grosbeak  6
Red-winged Blackbird  3
Western Meadowlark  10
Brewer's Blackbird  20
Great-tailed Grackle  3
Brown-headed Cowbird  3
Bullock's Oriole  10
House Finch  100
Lesser Goldfinch  50



Good birding,

Tommy DeBardeleben (Glendale, Arizona)

 

 

July 28th, 2011:  Birding the Mount Baldy Trail and owling at night in the Green's Peak Area

Hi everyone,

Yesterday (July 28th) my family and I hiked about four miles of the Mount
Baldy Trail # 94, where the birding was good.  Later at night, my brother
Tyler joined me for a few hours of owling in the Green's Peak area. 

We arrived at the Mount Baldy area at 7 A.M., and hiked for 5.5 hours.  It
is one of the most beautiful places in Arizona, an area I certainly love
to visit.  The scenery of mixed conifer and aspen alongside the Little
Colorado River is about as good as it gets!  Right as we started hiking, I
heard the song of an AMERICAN DIPPER coming below us on the river.  I
hurried over to the spot and found an adult bird with a juvenile alongside
it.  The Dippers were cooperative as usual and I was able to observe them
at close range.  Almost the entire time I watched them, the adult
continued to sing.  Sometimes I forget what an amazing songster the Dipper
is!  As we walked the trail, ten minutes later, we encountered another
American Dipper, which gave me a nice count of three birds total.  GOLDEN-
CROWNED KINGLETS were everywhere along the trail, they seemed to be
calling from every tree.  They can be tough to see so much of the time,
but I got satisfying views as well as pictures eventually.  Two SHARP-
SHINNED HAWKS were present, one heard-only, and another perched in the
open on the opposite side of the river that I was on.  I had a large
soaring hawk in the overcast sky for a few seconds that looked very good
for a Goshawk, but it went back out of my sight quickly.  Had the sky been
clear, it would've been easy to identify.  Hate that!  I also really
enjoyed the awesome song of LINCOLN'S SPARROWS in the thickets along the
river, which sure is peaceful.  During the hike, other highlights I really
enjoyed among the 35 species recorded were CLARK'S NUTCRACKERS, MOUNTAIN
CHICKADEES, RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH, BROWN CREEPER, and TOWNSEND'S
SOLITAIRE.

I didn't spend any time after Mount Baldy birding during the day, but my
brother Tyler and I went owling on County Road 1325 in the Green's Peak
area.  My targets were Flammulated and Northern Saw-whet Owls.  The
beginning of CR 1325 is open ponderosa pine, which I figured would be good
for Flam.  I eventually heard a FLAMMULATED OWL calling a few times on and
off.  Tyler and I ran into the woods to try and locate it, but it stopped
and never called again.  At least we were in the right area, and it's
always good to know when these birds are around.  A GREAT HORNED OWL also
was heard in our outing.  We struck out on Saw-whet.

Another good day in the great White Mountains!

BIRD LISTS FROM 7/28/11

1. Mt. Baldy, Apache, US-AZ
Jul 28, 2011 7:00 AM - 12:30 PM
Protocol: Traveling
4.0 mile(s)
35 species

Turkey Vulture  1
Sharp-shinned Hawk  2
American Kestrel  1
Broad-tailed Hummingbird  10
Rufous Hummingbird  3
Hairy Woodpecker  1
Northern Flicker (Red-shafted)  10
Olive-sided Flycatcher  2
Cordilleran Flycatcher  2
Warbling Vireo (Western)  2
Steller's Jay  7
Clark's Nutcracker  4
Common Raven  3
Violet-green Swallow  5
Mountain Chickadee  30
Red-breasted Nuthatch  2
Pygmy Nuthatch  10
Brown Creeper  2
House Wren (Northern)  5
American Dipper  3
Golden-crowned Kinglet  50
Ruby-crowned Kinglet  4
Townsend's Solitaire  1
Hermit Thrush  1
American Robin  30
Virginia's Warbler  1
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon's)  15
MacGillivray's Warbler  1
Green-tailed Towhee  3
Chipping Sparrow  15
Song Sparrow  2
Lincoln's Sparrow  10
Dark-eyed Junco (Red-backed)  20
Western Tanager  1
Pine Siskin  15



Green's Peak Area-County Road 1325, Apache, US-AZ
Jul 28, 2011 9:00 PM - 9:40 PM
Protocol: Traveling
5.0 mile(s)
Comments:     Owling with my brother, Tyler DeBardeleben
2 species

Flammulated Owl  1
Great Horned Owl  1




Good birding,

Tommy DeBardeleben (Glendale, Arizona)

 

 

July 29th, 2011:  Leading my first ever bird walk, in the Greer Area!

Hi everyone,

My fifth day in a row in the wonderful White Mountains!  My main goal for
today was to show the birders of Juniper Ridge Resort in Show Low some of
Greer's birdlife and birding locations.  They have a birding group, called
JUNIPER RIDGE BIRDERS, which is ran by my friend Mary Williams.  I spent
my first half of the day with this awesome group, and in the afternoon, I
headed out for visits to the Grasslands Wildlife Area and the South Fork
of the Little Colorado River.

At 6 A.M., I was joined by eight of the Juniper Ridge Birders: Mary
Williams, Terri Bright, Joe Leone, Fred Nelson, Sid and Carrol Stephen,
Pat Stevens, and Jewell Glasscock.  We met at the Greer Lakes, starting
first at River Reservoir.  Birdlife was quiet to start off at River
Reservoir, but a GRACE'S WARBLER in the pines above the parking lot made
things exciting.  We then headed to Bunch Reservoir, which was far more
birdy than the quiet River Res.  On the way to Bunch, I spied the adult
BALD EAGLE that I saw on Monday perched in a large dead tree.  Between the
nine of us, we had four vehicles stopped in the middle of the road.  I set
the scope up, and we did a Greer version of what wildlife watchers do in
Yellowstone.  Luckily, no other cars came and we had the road all to
ourselves.  Several OSPREYS in the area who flew by the eagle seemed
irritated by the eagle's presence.  Once we got out of the vehicles and
parked at Bunch Reservoir, I quickly located an adult RED-NAPED SAPSUCKER
in a thicket, which turned into a family of three with a juvenile bird. 
Joe then spied a pair of COMMON MERGANSERS, certainly a good bird to get
here in Greer.  A PIED-BILLED GREBE was also on the lake, a species I
don't think I've ever seen in Greer.  Flocks of PYGMY NUTHATCHES filled
the pines surrounding us. 

After the three lakes, we headed to Osborne Road, a place I have found to
be a good birding spot.  Four people in the group had never seen a RED-
FACED WARBLER prior to 8:15 A.M. this morning, so when that bird made a
grand appearance, it was quite the crowd pleaser.  It did everything we
wanted it to do, giving us all excellent looks.  A few MACGILLIVRAY'S
WARBLERS also made good appearances for our group.  CLARK'S NUTCRACKERS
were vocal in the pines surrounding us, as some of them called at the tree
tops, which was enjoyable for all.  A HAIRY WOODPECKER made an appearance
too.  STELLER'S JAYS were also out and about on this road. 

We then headed for the end of Greer at the south end of Highway 373,
particularly to try for American Dippers.  We didn't have luck with the
Dippers, but did see the family of CORDILLERAN FLYCATCHERS I saw a few
days ago, as well was a BELTED KINGFISHER.  Three CLARK'S NUTCRACKERS
foraged in the forest while we were watching for Dippers. 

After the end of Greer, it was 10 A.M. and half of the Juniper Ridge
Birders had other places to be, so five of us- Mary, Terri, Joe, Fred and
I continued on to Benny Creek.  Benny Creek was wonderful and a peaceful
place to be.  Anyone could spend a day at this place!  Our second RED-
FACED WARBLER of the day made a one second appearance, and several
VIRGINIA'S WARBLERS were present in the thickets along the creek.  Two
GRACE'S WARBLERS and a PLUMBEOUS VIREO sang in the pines above us.  A pair
of screeching RED-TAILED HAWKS soared overhead.

The five of us then continued on to Molly Butler Lodge for lunch, where we
were able to bird and eat at the same time.  Birding wise, it was about
the hummingbirds, with the highlight among the many BROAD-TAILED and
RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRDS were two CALLIOPE HUMMINGBIRDS, a male and female.  It
was cool to study size differences while eating fifteen feet away with the
naked eye.  The male Calliope was epic!  Two MOUNTAIN BLUEBIRDS were fun
to watch in an open field across from Molly Butler.

My field trip with the awesome birders from Juniper Ridge Resort was
certainly a great one.  We recorded 50 different species in four stops
throughout the Greer Area.  I enjoyed birding with all of you and showing
you Greer's birdlife, thanks for making it a good day!

Later on in the day, I continued on to the Grasslands Wildlife Area.  This
is certainly an interesting birding spot, and I enjoy coming here.  The
area is certainly mostly grassland, but one of the bluffs filled with
junipers and a few pinyon-pines was good enough to support a pair of
HEPATIC TANAGERS, my first in Apache County.  I was pretty shocked when I
heard them calling and I eventually was able to see the male.  A single
MOUNTAIN CHICKADEE was also present close to the same location.  I also
was able to track down a shy and skittish GRAY FLYCATCHER, who never
allowed me to get close at all.  It's soft "whit" call was it's giveaway,
and at a distance, I could see it's tail-dipping behavior similiar to a
Phoebe.  This spot also has a few ponds and several cottonwood groves.  A
few YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRDS were present, as well as a few WESTERN
TANAGERS.

I then finished my day at the South Fork of the Little Colorado River.  My
highlight here was a black-eared BUSHTIT, which was among a huge Bushtit
flock.  This wasn't the only big flock of Bushtits, there was another big
group as well as many other birds scattered out.  I've never seen so many
Bushtits in my life, who knows how many there really were.  The black-
eared form is said to be rare in North America, I did get a decent
picture.  Another good highlight for me at South Fork was a WILLOW
FLYCATCHER, which I wasn't expecting.  A BELTED KINGFISHER was fishing
along the river.  A male BULLOCK'S ORIOLE flew across the river, and I
also had a singing YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT.

It was another great day to bird (especially with the Juniper Ridge
Birders!), I recorded 70 species for today.


TODAY'S BIRD LISTS:

1. Greer Lakes, Apache, US-AZ
Jul 29, 2011 6:00 AM - 7:45 AM
Protocol: Traveling
1.0 mile(s)
34 species

Canada Goose (moffitti/maxima)  40
Mallard  20
Common Merganser  2
Pied-billed Grebe  1
Double-crested Cormorant  20
Great Blue Heron  10
Osprey  3
Bald Eagle  1
American Kestrel  1
Spotted Sandpiper  3
Broad-tailed Hummingbird  5
Hairy Woodpecker  1
Northern Flicker (Red-shafted)  10
Cordilleran Flycatcher  1
Steller's Jay  5
American Crow  10
Common Raven  2
Violet-green Swallow  50
Barn Swallow  1
Cliff Swallow  2
White-breasted Nuthatch (Interior West)  2
Pygmy Nuthatch  20
House Wren (Northern)  2
American Robin  5
Virginia's Warbler  1
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon's)  5
Grace's Warbler  1
Chipping Sparrow  10
Vesper Sparrow  4
Dark-eyed Junco (Red-backed)  10
Eastern Meadowlark (Lilian's)  2
Brewer's Blackbird  2
Pine Siskin  10
Lesser Goldfinch  X



2. Greer-Osborne Road (CR 1323), Apache, US-AZ
Jul 29, 2011 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM
Protocol: Traveling
0.5 mile(s)
22 species

Broad-tailed Hummingbird  4
Rufous Hummingbird  1
Hairy Woodpecker  1
Northern Flicker (Red-shafted)  10
Western Wood-Pewee  4
Cordilleran Flycatcher  5
Steller's Jay  5
Clark's Nutcracker  3
Violet-green Swallow  4
Barn Swallow  1
White-breasted Nuthatch (Interior West)  2
Pygmy Nuthatch  10
House Wren (Northern)  2
American Robin  4
Virginia's Warbler  1
MacGillivray's Warbler  2
Red-faced Warbler  1
Green-tailed Towhee  1
Chipping Sparrow  3
Song Sparrow  2
Dark-eyed Junco (Red-backed)  5
Pine Siskin  2



3. Greer-Highway 373, Apache, US-AZ
Jul 29, 2011 9:00 AM - 9:40 AM
Protocol: Traveling
0.5 mile(s)
10 species

Mourning Dove  2
Broad-tailed Hummingbird  3
Belted Kingfisher  1
Cordilleran Flycatcher  5
Steller's Jay  2
Clark's Nutcracker  3
Pygmy Nuthatch  3
Mountain Chickadee 5
American Robin  5
Dark-eyed Junco (Red-backed)  3
Pine Siskin  4



4. Greer--Benny Creek, Apache, US-AZ
Jul 29, 2011 10:00 AM - 11:20 AM
Protocol: Traveling
1.0 mile(s)
21 species

Red-tailed Hawk (Western)  3
Broad-tailed Hummingbird  X
Northern Flicker (Red-shafted)  4
Western Wood-Pewee  5
Plumbeous Vireo  2
Steller's Jay  3
Clark's Nutcracker  2
Violet-green Swallow  X
White-breasted Nuthatch (Interior West)  2
Pygmy Nuthatch  10
House Wren (Northern)  3
Western Bluebird  2
Virginia's Warbler  4
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon's)  4
Grace's Warbler  2
Red-faced Warbler  1
Green-tailed Towhee  2
Chipping Sparrow  5
Song Sparrow  1
Dark-eyed Junco (Red-backed)  4
Lesser Goldfinch  X



5. Greer-Highway 373, Apache, US-AZ
Jul 29, 2011 11:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Protocol: Traveling
0.1 mile(s)
Comments:     Includes Molly Butler Lodge, where the hummingbird feeders
were.
10 species

Broad-tailed Hummingbird  15
Rufous Hummingbird  10
Calliope Hummingbird  2
Mountain Bluebird  2
American Robin  2
Common Yellowthroat  1
Chipping Sparrow  1
Song Sparrow  1
Eastern Meadowlark (Lilian's)  1
Pine Siskin  3



6. Grasslands Wildlife Area, Apache, US-AZ
Jul 29, 2011 1:15 PM - 4:30 PM
Protocol: Traveling
3.0 mile(s)
24 species

Great Blue Heron  2
American Kestrel  15
Killdeer  3
Mourning Dove  10
Northern Flicker (Red-shafted)  1
Gray Flycatcher  1
Say's Phoebe  3
Ash-throated Flycatcher  1
Western Kingbird  1
Common Raven  X
Horned Lark  X
Mountain Chickadee  1
Bushtit  10
Mountain Bluebird  10
Northern Mockingbird  1
Chipping Sparrow  4
Vesper Sparrow  5
Hepatic Tanager  2
Western Tanager  2
Blue Grosbeak  1
Eastern Meadowlark (Lilian's)  10
Yellow-headed Blackbird  2
Bullock's Oriole  2
Lesser Goldfinch  X



7. Little Colorado River--South Fork, Apache, US-AZ
Jul 29, 2011 4:35 PM - 5:20 PM
Protocol: Traveling
0.5 mile(s)
17 species

Turkey Vulture  1
American Kestrel  4
Broad-tailed Hummingbird  2
Belted Kingfisher  1
Northern Flicker (Red-shafted)  1
Willow Flycatcher  1
Common Raven  2
Northern Rough-winged Swallow  2
Violet-green Swallow  10
Bushtit  70
Rock Wren  1
American Robin  5
Yellow-breasted Chat (Western)  1
Spotted Towhee  3
Bullock's Oriole  1
Pine Siskin  1
Lesser Goldfinch  X



Good birding,

Tommy DeBardeleben (Glendale, Arizona)

 

 

July 30th, 2011:  Birding the Sunrise and Sheep's Crossing Areas.  A day full of Gray Jays and American Dippers.

Hi everyone,

Today on July 30th, I had a shorter day of birding.  It was day six of
being in the amazing White Mountains.  I visited Sunrise Lake, Sunrise
Campground, and Sheeps Crossing for my birding for the day, which are all
very close to each other.  See the link for the Dipper video that I filmed
at Sheep's Crossing.

Sunrise Lake was my first stop of the day, which a two hour stop was made
so I could search for waterbirds.  I was particularly hoping for
shorebirds, and a small flock of peeps flew around the lake and continued
well west of where I was, where I wasn't able to relocate them, and no way
identify them.  Frustrating!  At the east side of the lake, numerous
waterfowl were present.  At least 150 CANADA GEESE were along the lake. 
EARED GREBES nest here and were high in numbers.  The duck mix consisted
of REDHEADS, GADWALL, two RING-NECKED DUCKS, and many RUDDY DUCKS.  One
PIED-BILLED GREBE was also present and there were plenty of AMERICAN
COOTS.  Two OSPREYS fished over the big lake.  In the surrounding
grasslands, VESPER and SAVANNAH SPARROWS, EASTERN MEADOWLARKS, and HORNED
LARKS were all easily viewable and fun to watch, as well as hear sing. 
Also in the grasslands was a large herds of PRONGHORN and ELK.  The
Pronghorn herd had 19 animals well the ELK herd had at least a hundred
which contained a mix of cows, calves, and spike bulls. 

I then continued on to Sunrise Campground, which is part of the Apache
Indian Tribe's land and costs eight dollars for a recreation permit per
vehicle.  The Sunrise store is open again (closed last year) and they
opened up at 8 A.M.  Sunrise Campground is a beautiful place, and is a
good spot for some of the more rare high elevation species found in
Arizona.  It's particularly great for viewing the GRAY JAY, which I found
a small flock today of three birds, which I followed around for a good
amount of time.  These Jays are always fun for me to observe every year,
good thing the fire didn't come to Sunrise's way!  Also present was
another scarce Arizona species, as I heard the drum of an AMERICAN THREE-
TOED WOODPECKER.  It was windy this morning and after I heard four drums,
I wasn't close enough to locate the bird.  As I got closer to it's
location, it stopped drumming.  The wind made it hard to hear any bird
lightly tapping on wood.  A few OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHERS called in the
morning, their loud "pit-pit-pit" call.  Sunrise Campground also has a few
nice trails that can be accessed from the campground, which everyone of
them goes through good habitat.  I hiked on a few of them myself.

I then went to Sheeps Crossing which is right in the area of the Mount
Baldy Trail for a few hours to watch my family fish at the Little Colorado
River for trout.  About half the time, I enjoyed watching and filming an
AMERICAN DIPPER who gave me point blank views.  This bird was very active
and feeding in the water.  I will include a link to the video of the
dipper I watched today.  Three OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHERS were present, two
adults and a juvenile bird.

I didn't bird the rest of the day, but a short drive down Highway 260
between Greer and Springerville gave me a PINYON JAY who flew across the
street.  It was another good birding day, with 51 species recorded.

LINK TO DIPPER VIDEO: 
http://youtu.be/AGhH5cH2-Dc


TODAY'S BIRD LISTS:

1. Sunrise Lake, Apache, US-AZ
Jul 30, 2011 6:00 AM - 8:10 AM
Protocol: Traveling
1.0 mile(s)
33 species

Canada Goose (moffitti/maxima)  150
Gadwall  30
Mallard  20
Redhead  20
Ring-necked Duck  2
Ruddy Duck  50
Pied-billed Grebe  1
Eared Grebe  30
Double-crested Cormorant  20
Great Blue Heron  4
Turkey Vulture  1
Osprey  2
Red-tailed Hawk  1
American Coot  200
Spotted Sandpiper  1
Northern Flicker (Red-shafted)  1
Western Wood-Pewee  1
Cordilleran Flycatcher  1
Steller's Jay  3
American Crow  X
Common Raven  X
Horned Lark  30
Violet-green Swallow  5
Barn Swallow  15
White-breasted Nuthatch (Interior West)  1
American Robin  2
Chipping Sparrow  10
Vesper Sparrow  20
Savannah Sparrow (Western)  10
Western Tanager  1
Eastern Meadowlark (Lilian's)  5
Brewer's Blackbird  10
Pine Siskin  5



2. Sunrise Campground, Apache, US-AZ
Jul 30, 2011 8:30 AM - 10:30 AM
Protocol: Traveling
1.5 mile(s)
20 species

Broad-tailed Hummingbird  4
Rufous Hummingbird  1
American Three-toed Woodpecker  1
Northern Flicker (Red-shafted)  5
Olive-sided Flycatcher  2
Western Wood-Pewee  2
Cordilleran Flycatcher  4
Gray Jay  3
Steller's Jay  5
Mountain Chickadee  8
Red-breasted Nuthatch  2
Pygmy Nuthatch  1
Golden-crowned Kinglet  5
Ruby-crowned Kinglet  5
American Robin  10
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon's)  2
Green-tailed Towhee  1
Chipping Sparrow  10
Western Tanager  1
Pine Siskin  10



3. Sheep Crossing, Apache, US-AZ
Jul 30, 2011 11:10 AM - 1:20 PM
Protocol: Traveling
0.4 mile(s)
14 species

Turkey Vulture  2
Northern Flicker (Red-shafted)  2
Olive-sided Flycatcher  3
Cordilleran Flycatcher  2
Steller's Jay  2
Clark's Nutcracker  1
Violet-green Swallow  5
House Wren (Northern)  1
American Dipper  1
American Robin  5
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon's)  1
Lincoln's Sparrow  1
Dark-eyed Junco (Red-backed)  3
Pine Siskin  6



4. Highway 260 (Between Greer and Springerville), Apache, US-AZ
Jul 30, 2011 4:00 PM
Protocol: Incidental
1 species

Pinyon Jay  1




Good Birding,

Tommy DeBardeleben (Glendale, Arizona)

 

 

July 31st, 2011:   Birding the Greer and Mount Baldy areas.

Hi everyone,

Sorry for the late report.  I haven't had time to write this until now. 
My last full day in the White Mountains on July 31st, I visited the Greer
and Mount Baldy areas. 

I started off at the Greer Lakes.  Waterfowl highlights included a female
COMMON MERGANSER at Bunch Reservoir and a flock of six CINNAMON TEAL at
Tunnel Reservoir.  A family of RED-NAPED SAPSUCKERS was present right
around the Bunch Reservoir parking lot, as were two GRACE'S WARBLERS. 
Five SWALLOW species consisted of Barn, Tree, Northern Rough-winged, Cliff
and Violet-green.

From there I went to the Little Colorado River just south of River
Reservoir, which is the Little Colorado River runs into this lake.  The
main highlights here was a female PURPLE MARTIN flying overhead, as well
as a surprise GRAY FLYCATCHER, which seemed very out of habitat.  I tried
to make into a Dusky Flycatcher, but the bill was too big and it bobbed
it's tail too frequently like a Phoebe would.  Other highlights here
included DUSKY FLYCATCHER, a GRAY CATBIRD, and a singing LAZULI BUNTING.

I then went to Molly Butler Lodge's hummingbird feeders and Osborne Road
where I once again saw the male CALLIOPE HUMMINGBIRD at the feeders and on
Osborne, a MACGILLIVRAY'S WARBLER. 

My family and I then went to the Mount Baldy Wilderness Area and hiked the
West Baldy Trail # 94.  Highlights here included once again up close looks
of AMERICAN DIPPERS along the river.  I also found a female CALLIOPE
HUMMINGBIRD along the trail.  I didn't see anything else much different
than my previous hike in the area. 

I spent the rest of the afternoon and evening in the Greer area.  Around
the Greer Lakes I enjoyed photographing RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRDS and along
Benny Creek my siblings and I had good looks at a male BELTED KINGFISHER.

It was another great trip in the White Mountains for birding.  In the
White Mountain Area (including Fool Hollow Lake in Navajo County), I
recorded 125 species in the seven days, 118 of those in Apache.  I missed
some hopefuls this year (such as Northern Goshawk, Saw-whet Owl, Downy
Woodpecker, etc.) but overall it was a great birding trip! 

BIRD LISTS FROM JULY 31st, 2011 (my memory was bad on numbers as I just
entered these checklists)

1. Greer Lakes, Apache, US-AZ
Jul 31, 2011 6:45 AM - 7:35 AM
Protocol: Traveling
1.0 mile(s)
37 species

Canada Goose (moffitti/maxima)  X
Cinnamon Teal  6
Common Merganser  1
Double-crested Cormorant  X
Great Blue Heron  X
Osprey  X
Red-tailed Hawk (Western)  X
Spotted Sandpiper  X
Mourning Dove  X
Broad-tailed Hummingbird  X
Rufous Hummingbird  X
Red-naped Sapsucker  2
Northern Flicker (Red-shafted)  X
Western Wood-Pewee  X
Western Kingbird  X
Plumbeous Vireo  X
American Crow  X
Common Raven  X
Northern Rough-winged Swallow  X
Tree Swallow  X
Violet-green Swallow  X
Barn Swallow  X
Cliff Swallow  X
White-breasted Nuthatch (Interior West)  X
Pygmy Nuthatch  X
Western Bluebird  X
American Robin  X
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon's)  X
Grace's Warbler  X
Green-tailed Towhee  X
Chipping Sparrow  X
Vesper Sparrow  X
Dark-eyed Junco (Red-backed)  X
Eastern Meadowlark (Lilian's)  X
Brewer's Blackbird  X
Pine Siskin  X
Lesser Goldfinch  X



2. Greer-Little Colorado River (South Marsh), Apache, US-AZ
Jul 31, 2011 7:40 AM - 8:25 AM
Protocol: Traveling
1.0 mile(s)
33 species

Mallard  X
Turkey Vulture  X
Osprey  X
Mourning Dove  X
Broad-tailed Hummingbird  X
Rufous Hummingbird  X
Red-naped Sapsucker  X
Northern Flicker (Red-shafted)  X
Western Wood-Pewee  X
Gray Flycatcher  1
Dusky Flycatcher  X
Plumbeous Vireo  X
Steller's Jay  X
Clark's Nutcracker  X
American Crow  X
Purple Martin  1
Violet-green Swallow  X
Barn Swallow  X
Cliff Swallow  X
White-breasted Nuthatch (Interior West)  X
Pygmy Nuthatch  X
House Wren (Northern)  X
American Robin  X
Gray Catbird  1
European Starling  1
Virginia's Warbler  X
Common Yellowthroat  X
Song Sparrow  X
Lazuli Bunting  1
Red-winged Blackbird  X
Brown-headed Cowbird  X
Pine Siskin  X
Lesser Goldfinch  X



3. Greer-Highway 373, Apache, US-AZ
Jul 31, 2011 8:30 AM - 8:40 AM
Protocol: Traveling
0.1 mile(s)
8 species

Broad-tailed Hummingbird  X
Rufous Hummingbird  X
Calliope Hummingbird  1
Say's Phoebe  X
Barn Swallow  X
Mountain Bluebird  2
Gray Catbird  X
Pine Siskin  X



4. Greer-Osborne Road (CR 1323), Apache, US-AZ
Jul 31, 2011 9:30 AM - 9:40 AM
Protocol: Stationary
6 species

Broad-tailed Hummingbird  X
Cordilleran Flycatcher  X
Pygmy Nuthatch  X
American Robin  X
Orange-crowned Warbler  1
MacGillivray's Warbler  X



5. Mt. Baldy Wilderness-West Baldy Trail # 94, Apache, US-AZ
Jul 31, 2011 10:20 AM - 12:30 PM
Protocol: Traveling
2.0 mile(s)
23 species

Red-tailed Hawk (Western)  X
Rufous Hummingbird  X
Calliope Hummingbird  1
Northern Flicker (Red-shafted)  X
Olive-sided Flycatcher  X
Cordilleran Flycatcher  X
Steller's Jay  X
Clark's Nutcracker  X
Violet-green Swallow  X
Mountain Chickadee  X
Red-breasted Nuthatch  X
Pygmy Nuthatch  X
American Dipper  X
Golden-crowned Kinglet  X
Ruby-crowned Kinglet  X
Townsend's Solitaire  X
American Robin  X
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon's)  X
Chipping Sparrow  X
Song Sparrow  X
Lincoln's Sparrow  X
Dark-eyed Junco (Red-backed)  X
Pine Siskin  X



6. Greer Lakes, Apache, US-AZ
Jul 31, 2011 3:00 PM - 4:15 PM
Protocol: Traveling
1.0 mile(s)
15 species

Double-crested Cormorant  X
Great Blue Heron  X
Turkey Vulture  X
Osprey  X
Spotted Sandpiper  X
Broad-tailed Hummingbird  X
Rufous Hummingbird  X
American Crow  X
House Wren (Northern)  X
Western Bluebird  X
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon's)  X
Chipping Sparrow  X
Vesper Sparrow  X
Eastern Meadowlark (Lilian's)  X
Pine Siskin  X



7. Greer--Benny Creek, Apache, US-AZ
Jul 31, 2011 6:10 PM - 6:25 PM
Protocol: Traveling
0.5 mile(s)
15 species

Double-crested Cormorant  X
Mourning Dove  X
Broad-tailed Hummingbird  X
Belted Kingfisher  1
Northern Flicker (Red-shafted)  X
Western Wood-Pewee  X
Cordilleran Flycatcher  X
Ash-throated Flycatcher  1
Steller's Jay  X
Violet-green Swallow  X
Pygmy Nuthatch  X
American Robin  X
Virginia's Warbler  X
Green-tailed Towhee  X
Pine Siskin  X




Good birding,

Tommy DeBardeleben (Glendale, Arizona)








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