birderfrommaricopa.com

Tommy J. DeBardeleben

September 2011

 

September 2nd, 2011: Glendale Recharge Ponds

Hi everyone,

Good shorebirding still continued at the Glendale Recharge Ponds this
evening, as the ponds have the same conditions as they were on my last
visit here, which was Wednesday night.  Ponds 1, 3, and 6 are the basins
that have good habitat.  I actually got there a 5 P.M. rather than my
usual 6 P.M., it wasn't as hot out today, or at least it didn't feel like
it to me!

I found 15 different shorebird species tonight, with my favorite highlight
being a single SNOWY PLOVER at the north end of pond 6 (southeastern
basin).  The bird actively foraged on a mud flat, providing great views. 
One juvenile SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER was present in pond 6, who provided
excellent vocals and views.  BAIRD'S SANDPIPERS are really on the move
right now, as I saw at least 15 individuals, including one group of 7. 
Four SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS were also present, including a group of three
who flew overhead.  I could hear them calling throughout the outing.  I
located one RED-NECKED PHALAROPE in the WILSON'S PHALAROPE crowd.  Two
STILT SANDPIPERS were also a treat.  The other SHOREBIRDS were: Killdeer,
Black-necked Stilt, Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs, Spotted Sandpiper,
Western and Least Sandpipers, as well as Long-billed Dowitchers.

PEREGRINE was around as usual to terrorize the birds, and also notable was
a group of 60 WHITE-FACED IBIS in Pond 3. 


Good birding,

Tommy DeBardeleben (Glendale, Arizona)

 

 

September 4th, 2011: Glendale Recharge Ponds

Hi everyone,

I'm obsessed with Glendale Recharge Ponds evening visits.

The shorebird highlight among 14 species was my first PECTORAL SANDPIPER
of the year, who stood out easily from all the smaller peeps around it.  A
juvenile SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER was present once again.  I counted 7
BAIRD'S SANDPIPERS tonight.

Other highlights inclued a female PURPLE MARTIN with in midst of a swallow
flock, a female BULLOCK'S ORIOLE, an OSPREY, and a PEREGRINE FALCON.

BIRD LIST:

Glendale Recharge Ponds, Maricopa, US-AZ
Sep 4, 2011 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
Protocol: Traveling
1.0 mile(s)
42 species

Canada Goose (moffitti/maxima)  40
American Wigeon  1
Mallard  100
Green-winged Teal (American)  2
Neotropic Cormorant  X
Great Blue Heron  X
Great Egret  X
Snowy Egret  X
Green Heron  2
Black-crowned Night-Heron  25
White-faced Ibis  50
Osprey  1
Peregrine Falcon (North American)  1
American Coot  X
Semipalmated Plover  2
Killdeer  X
Black-necked Stilt  200
American Avocet  30
Spotted Sandpiper  2
Greater Yellowlegs  20
Lesser Yellowlegs  10
Western Sandpiper  30
Least Sandpiper  300
Baird's Sandpiper  7
Pectoral Sandpiper  1
Short-billed Dowitcher  1
Long-billed Dowitcher  30
Wilson's Phalarope  200
Eurasian Collared-Dove  X
Mourning Dove  X
Lesser Nighthawk  10
Gila Woodpecker  1
Black Phoebe  2
Say's Phoebe  1
Loggerhead Shrike  1
Northern Rough-winged Swallow  X
Purple Martin  1
Tree Swallow  10
Red-winged Blackbird  X
Great-tailed Grackle  X
Bullock's Oriole  1
House Finch  X



Good birding,

Tommy DeBardeleben (Glendale, Arizona)

 

 

September 5th, 2011: Morgan City Wash

Hi everyone,

I made another visit to Morgan City Wash this morning on September 5th,
2011.  Birding was very pleasant today, as I discovered more than what I
found last week when I was here on Wednesday.  I once again birded the
immediate side of Morgan City Wash, which I bird very slow and carefully. 
It's too thick and full of migrants at this place, something good can be
missed so easily.  I spent five long hours covering it, I'm quite the
slowpoke when it comes to migrant searching.

Shortly after I arrived, I was very surprised to hear the distinctive
flight call notes of a DICKCISSEL.  I didn't think I'd ever find this
species here, but it seemed to be quickly passing through.  I never did
get to visually see the bird, who continued on going south and kept
calling as it went before I lost track of it.  Several LAZULI BUNTINGS
were present in this spot also.  The flight call of a Dickcissel sounds
somewhat like a human being passing gas (also known as....farting).  So
birders, if your by that weed patch, perhaps letting one loose will do the
trick and call in your Dickcissel.  Just kidding. 

Just like my visit here on Wednesday, I once again came up with nine
different warbler species, I can't seem to get ten or above.  WILSON'S and
YELLOW WARBLERS were of course the most abundant.  I found at least eight
MACGILIVRAY'S WARBLERS throughout the area, including one giving a
different sounding chip slightly higher pitched than what I'm used to
hearing.  It made me think I had a completely different species  Also
encountered were a few ORANGE-CROWNED, one LUCY'S, two NASHVILLE, one
TOWNSEND'S WARBLER, plenty of COMMON YELLOWTHROATS, and two YELLOW-
BREASTED CHATS.  BELL'S VIREOS are still around in good numbers, as many
WARBLING VIREOS are passing through, as well as my first of fall PLUMBEOUS
VIREO.  Empid flycatchers were everywhere, especially "WESTERN-TYPE"
Flycatchers, which are most likely Pacific-slope for the most part.  I
also managed two WILLOW, one DUSKY, and one GRAY FLYCATCHER.  Two WESTERN
WOOD-PEWEES were also present.  Other migrants included two WESTERN
TANAGERS and six BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAKS.  Two BULLOCK'S ORIOLES were also
present. 

Other than migrant searching I enjoyed seeing the desert riparian
migrants.  This included three GREAT HORNED OWLS, with one individual owl
being one of the tamest birds I have ever seen.  I looked up and saw the
bird starring down at me less than 20 feet away on a shorter perch.  I had
to manueuver around a spot, going directly under the owl in order to get
to where I needed to go, and he still didn't budge despite the fact I
moved closer.  This was a walkaway bird, who never left it's perch in the
time I was there.  The other two Great Horneds didn't want to see very
much of me at all.  A singing COSTA'S HUMMINGBIRD was my only hummingbird
of the day.  Four CANYON WRENS gave good appearances, always exciting to
me.  The elusive CRISSAL THRASHER gave me a rather brief but satisfying
look in a mesquite thicket.  It was also cool to see a flock of YELLOW-
HEADED BLACKBIRDS moving through the area.  My tally at the end of the
morning of over five hours was 55 species.

Other than birds, I was pleased to encounter a nice-looking GRAY FOX at
the very end of Morgan City Wash.  He was walking down the middle of the
wash and gave me great views before I realized I was there.  Last week on
Wednessay (Aug 31), I forgot to include that I came across a BOBCAT near
the same spot as the Gray Fox, as well as a few JAVELINA herds.  


TODAY'S BIRD LIST:

Morgan City Wash, Maricopa, US-AZ
Sep 5, 2011 6:30 AM - 11:45 AM
Protocol: Traveling
2.0 mile(s)
55 species (+1 other taxa)

Gambel's Quail  100
Turkey Vulture  1
Cooper's Hawk  2
Red-tailed Hawk  1
White-winged Dove  X
Mourning Dove  X
Greater Roadrunner  1
Great Horned Owl  3
Costa's Hummingbird  1
Gila Woodpecker  5
Ladder-backed Woodpecker  3
Gilded Flicker  2
Western Wood-Pewee  2
Willow Flycatcher  2
Gray Flycatcher  1
Dusky Flycatcher  1
Pacific-slope Flycatcher  X
Pacific-slope/Cordilleran Flycatcher (Western)  15
Black Phoebe  2
Ash-throated Flycatcher  2
Bell's Vireo  6
Plumbeous Vireo  1
Warbling Vireo (Western)  7
Northern Rough-winged Swallow  25
Verdin  X
Cactus Wren  5
Canyon Wren  4
House Wren (Northern)  3
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher  1
Black-tailed Gnatcatcher  2
Northern Mockingbird  1
Curve-billed Thrasher (Western)  4
Crissal Thrasher  1
Phainopepla  1
Orange-crowned Warbler  2
Lucy's Warbler  1
Nashville Warbler  2
MacGillivray's Warbler  8
Common Yellowthroat  10
Yellow Warbler (Northern)  20
Townsend's Warbler  1
Wilson's Warbler  40
Yellow-breasted Chat  2
Abert's Towhee  X
Black-throated Sparrow  35
Song Sparrow  10
Summer Tanager  3
Western Tanager  2
Northern Cardinal  2
Black-headed Grosbeak  6
Lazuli Bunting  5
Dickcissel  1
Yellow-headed Blackbird  30
Bullock's Oriole  2
House Finch  X
Lesser Goldfinch  X



Good birding,

Tommy DeBardeleben (Glendale, Arizona)

 

 

September 11th, 2011:  Great Birding in Mesa, the Salt River, and in Gilbert..

Hi everyone,

Yesterday I headed out to the Mesa and Salt River Area for an amazing
day's worth of birding.  I then closed the day out in the Gilbert area. 
This is one of the best overall days I have seen during migration this
year, and it certainly was a fun one!  At the day's end I tallied 106
species without trying too hard, and never going into any higher
elevations over 1300'.  Warblers were everywhere, I found 11 different
species, and I had a few nice surprises-warblers and non warblers during
the full day. 

My first stop was at the Miller House of Mesa.  My friend Jay Miller has a
fantastic yard, which never fails to produce good birds.  Many vagrants
have been in or flown over his yard, which has had over 160 species. 
Perhaps his yard is the most reliable place to see a VAUX'S SWIFT in
Maricopa County, which I missed last year completely during my big year. 
As soon as I walked up to join Jay in his yard, he spied a single Vaux's
Swift heading in the southeast direction over our heads.  It was his third
of the day, as he had two flyover before I joined him.  It was my first
Vaux's Swift in two years, it certainly felt great to see it.  We didn't
see any more swifts fly over during the time.  A PEREGRINE FALCON perched
on a power pole west of Jay's yard.  Four species of hummingbirds were a 
great mix-COSTA'S, ANNA'S, RUFOUS, and BROAD-TAILED HUMMINGBIRDS.  A spied
a TOWNSEND'S WARBLER fly over our heads.  LAZULI BUNTINGS also enjoyed
Jay's yard.  I certainly can't wait to see what else shows up in Jay's
yard during the rest of 2011.  Thanks again Jay for everything! 

I then headed over to the Salt River to the recreation areas that I don't
have to pay to get into, with those being the Granite Reef Recreation
Site, and the general area of the old Foxtail Recreation Site.  Migrants
were EVERYWHERE at the Salt River, particularly at Granite Reef.

Granite Reef is a fairly small area which is roughly a mile long (if
covering more of the east end), but is one of the very best birding
locations here in Maricopa County, where one can have an incredible
species list in only a few hours.  This place is truely a treasure.  The
open water and marsh, as well as the mix of desert, mesquite, tamarisk,
and willows create an amazing birding oppurtunity.  I didn't get here
until 8:30, which I wasn't expecting to see a lot due to a later start.  I
ended up spending almost three hours looking through the many birds
present, with a ton of migrants. I ended up with 71 different species
total!  Right off the bat, I had no problem finding one of Jack Holloway's
TROPICAL KINGBIRDS, who perched in front of me on one of the reeds that
lined the river.  What a good bird that is for this area, which TR KI is
rarely seen away from Hassayampa in Maricopa County.  Another rare bird I
got to see here came in a CLAY-COLORED SPARROW, who was at the west end of
the recreation site, in a mesquite at the edge of open grass and weeds,
which was favored also by numerous LAZULI BUNTINGS and BREWER'S SPARROWS. 
This was a bird was very happy to get, only the second sighting in my
life.  He didn't stick around for my camera unfortunetely.  Five or so
CHIPPING SPARROWS were also present.  I had nine species of WARBLERS here-
many Wilson's and Yellow, several Orange-crowed, 2 Lucy's, 5 Nashville, a
Virginia's, four MacGillivray's, 2 Black-throated Gray, and Common
Yellowthroats.  Flycatchers were present in WILLOW, PACIFIC-SLOPE, and
GRAY FLYCATCHERS.  Two WESTERN WOOD-PEWEES were also around.  Overdue for
me at the Salt River were my first WARBLING VIREOS for this area, which
plenty were present for the day.  Three HOUSE WRENS were present, as well
as my first of fall MARSH WREN.  Two GREEN-TAILED TOWHEES were also
present, and a CANYON TOWHEE called on the north side of the river.  Two
LARK SPARROWS were in the picnic area, and a single LINCOLN'S SPARROW was
calling in a dense thicket.  I also had singles of BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK,
WESTERN TANAGER, and BULLOCK'S ORIOLE.  Other highlight's included two
SORAS, four COMMON GALLINULES, a few WHITE-THROATED SWIFTS over the river
(double swift day!), BELTED KINGFISHER, and CRISSAL THRASHER.  Granite
Reef is certainly the place you should visit right now!

The area of the Foxtail Recreation Site was next.  The official Foxtail
Site is closed off, but I venture into an area closeby that has excellent
birding, that I access by a closed road that doesn't permit any vehicle
use, but foot travel is welcome.  There is a wash here that is lined with
excellent willow habitat with a few cottonwoods, I call it "Willow Wash" 
The Salt River flows through this wash at times of the year, and other
times it is completely dry.  It seems to be flowing during the tubing
season, which creates a lush, shady, and rather swampy environment that is
very inviting to birds.  I spent a lot of time at this location as well. 
The wash was good enough to bring in my Salt River first NORTHERN
WATERTHRUSH, who I heard calling and then easily located the bird.  It was
my second waterthrush in two days, as also had one at Morgan City Wash on
Saturday with Troy Corman.  I spent about 30 minutes watching this
obliging waterthrush at extremely close range while I sat on a log, what a
treat.  The bird certainly made itself at home, and I'm guessing it's
probably still there as I write and might stay awhile.  That habitat was
perfect for the bird, who hung out in a specific area and seemed to do
laps.  I was 15 feet away at times from the bird, who walked in front of
me, constantly bobbing it's tail.  I took advantage of the sighting and
really enjoyed an awesome bird I don't see enough of.  This spot would
also be very inviting to a Prothonotary Warbler.  WARBLER SPECIES were on
the move here too, which I recorded nine at this location as well:
Northern Waterthrush, six Lucy's Warblers (eight for the day), Nashville,
Virginia's, five MacGillivray's, many Yellow, Black-throated Gray,
Wilson's, and Common Yellowthroats.  At the Foxtail area I also saw WILLOW
and PACIFIC-SLOPE FLYCATCHERS, WESTERN WOOD-PEWEE, BELL'S and WARBLING
VIREOS, BEWICK'S WREN, two GREEN-TAILED TOWHEES, and my only SUMMER
TANAGER of the day. 

After the Salt River area I went to Gilbert, first going to the Higley
Road Ponds.  This is an amazing location, and it's going to get better and
better.  Passerine migrants were abundant here, as some of the paths
surrounding were hoping with birds.  Small cottonwoods, tamarisk, and
other trees brought in the birds (when the cottonwoods grow here, it will
be amazing).  I had many YELLOW, WILSON'S, and NASHVILLE WARBLERS, as well
as a TOWNSEND'S and several ORANGE-CROWNED and BLACK-THROATED GRAY
WARBLERS.  I was glad to find a WILLOW FLYCATCHER here.  A GREEN-TAILED
TOWHEE was also present, as well as BREWER'S, LARK, and SAVANNAH SPARROWS;
LAZULI BUNTINGS, and a BULLOCK'S ORIOLE.  The water wasn't great for
shorebirds, but a few were still present.  A single PECTORAL SANDPIPER was
the waterbird highlight and was joined by three BAIRD'S SANDPIPERS, as
well as LEAST and WESTERN SANDPIPERS.  A HARRIS'S HAWK perched in a nearby
tree. 

I stopped at Gilbert Water Ranch with nothing too special among only 30
species.  I did however see this odd empid flycatcher-gray overall, dark
wings with white wing bars (noticeably contrasting with the black), and it
looked to have a perfectly circular eye ring.  I watched it for maybe ten
seconds before I lost it.  My camera wasn't out in time.  It struck me as
a possible Least Flycatcher, one I wish I could've seen longer and
photogrpahed for study.  I haven't had enough experience with those birds
to call that one without a picture or sound recording. 

For anyone interested in accessing the Salt River hotspots, check out the
Salt River section on my birding website.  There are directions, maps, and
info on the sites I went to.  Remember the Granite Reef and Foxtail areas
can be birded for free if parking in different areas closeby, check the
maps on the pages for more information.

Salt River link:
http://birderfrommaricopa.com/area-b-salt-river-area.htm



BIRD LISTS FROM THE DAY:

1. Miller House of Mesa, Maricopa, US-AZ
Sep 11, 2011 7:10 AM - 8:20 AM
Protocol: Stationary
23 species

Turkey Vulture  1
American Kestrel  1
Peregrine Falcon (North American)  1
Killdeer  X
Rock Pigeon  X
Eurasian Collared-Dove  X
Mourning Dove  X
Inca Dove  X
Common Ground-Dove  1
Vaux's Swift  1
Anna's Hummingbird  2
Costa's Hummingbird  1
Broad-tailed Hummingbird  1
Rufous Hummingbird  2
Gila Woodpecker  X
Say's Phoebe  1
Northern Mockingbird  X
Curve-billed Thrasher (Western)  2
European Starling  X
Townsend's Warbler  1
Lazuli Bunting  2
Lesser Goldfinch  X
House Sparrow  X



2. Granite Reef Recreation Area, Maricopa, US-AZ
Sep 11, 2011 8:30 AM - 11:15 AM
Protocol: Traveling
1.0 mile(s)
71 species

Mallard  X
Cinnamon Teal  20
Gambel's Quail  X
Pied-billed Grebe  1
Double-crested Cormorant  4
Great Blue Heron  2
Great Egret  2
Green Heron  1
Turkey Vulture  15
Red-tailed Hawk  1
Sora  2
Common Gallinule  4
American Coot  1
Killdeer  2
Mourning Dove  X
White-throated Swift  2
Anna's Hummingbird  X
Belted Kingfisher  1
Gila Woodpecker  5
Ladder-backed Woodpecker  2
Gilded Flicker  2
Western Wood-Pewee  2
Willow Flycatcher  2
Gray Flycatcher  1
Pacific-slope Flycatcher  1
Black Phoebe  2
Say's Phoebe  1
Vermilion Flycatcher  2
Ash-throated Flycatcher  2
Tropical Kingbird  1
Western Kingbird  1
Bell's Vireo  3
Warbling Vireo (Western)  2
Common Raven  2
Northern Rough-winged Swallow  10
Verdin  6
Cactus Wren  2
House Wren (Northern)  3
Marsh Wren (Interior West)  1
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher  1
Black-tailed Gnatcatcher  2
Curve-billed Thrasher (Western)  2
Crissal Thrasher  1
Orange-crowned Warbler  3
Lucy's Warbler  2
Nashville Warbler  5
Virginia's Warbler  1
MacGillivray's Warbler  4
Common Yellowthroat  5
Yellow Warbler (Northern)  20
Black-throated Gray Warbler  2
Wilson's Warbler  10
Green-tailed Towhee  2
Canyon Towhee  1
Abert's Towhee  10
Chipping Sparrow  5
Clay-colored Sparrow  1
Brewer's Sparrow (breweri)  25
Lark Sparrow  2
Black-throated Sparrow  5
Song Sparrow  4
Lincoln's Sparrow  1
Western Tanager  1
Black-headed Grosbeak  1
Lazuli Bunting  40
Red-winged Blackbird  1
Great-tailed Grackle  X
Bullock's Oriole  1
House Finch  X
Lesser Goldfinch  X
House Sparrow  X




3. Foxtail Recreation Site, Maricopa, US-AZ
Sep 11, 2011 11:40 AM - 2:20 PM
Protocol: Traveling
1.0 mile(s)
39 species

Gambel's Quail  X
Great Blue Heron  1
Turkey Vulture  X
Mourning Dove  X
Inca Dove  1
Gila Woodpecker  4
Ladder-backed Woodpecker  2
Gilded Flicker  2
Western Wood-Pewee  2
Willow Flycatcher  1
Pacific-slope Flycatcher  1
Black Phoebe  2
Bell's Vireo  2
Warbling Vireo (Western)  2
Northern Rough-winged Swallow  5
Verdin  X
Bewick's Wren  1
House Wren (Northern)  2
Black-tailed Gnatcatcher  2
Curve-billed Thrasher (Western)  X
Northern Waterthrush  1
Lucy's Warbler  6
Nashville Warbler  2
Virginia's Warbler  1
MacGillivray's Warbler  5
Common Yellowthroat  2
Yellow Warbler (Northern)  10
Black-throated Gray Warbler  1
Wilson's Warbler  4
Green-tailed Towhee  2
Abert's Towhee  X
Brewer's Sparrow (breweri)  10
Lark Sparrow  4
Black-throated Sparrow  10
Song Sparrow  1
Summer Tanager  1
Northern Cardinal  2
Great-tailed Grackle  X
House Finch  X




4. Higley Road Ponds, Maricopa, US-AZ
Sep 11, 2011 3:40 PM - 4:50 PM
Protocol: Traveling
1.0 mile(s)
36 species

Mallard  X
Cinnamon Teal  20
Green-winged Teal (American)  10
Great Blue Heron  5
Green Heron  2
Black-crowned Night-Heron  2
White-faced Ibis  3
Harris's Hawk  1
Killdeer  40
Black-necked Stilt  30
Greater Yellowlegs  10
Western Sandpiper  10
Least Sandpiper  100
Baird's Sandpiper  3
Pectoral Sandpiper  1
Long-billed Dowitcher  20
White-winged Dove  1
Mourning Dove  200
Anna's Hummingbird  3
Willow Flycatcher  1
Verdin  X
Orange-crowned Warbler  2
Nashville Warbler  5
Yellow Warbler (Northern)  15
Black-throated Gray Warbler  2
Townsend's Warbler  1
Wilson's Warbler  5
Green-tailed Towhee  1
Abert's Towhee  X
Brewer's Sparrow (breweri)  5
Lark Sparrow  2
Savannah Sparrow (Western)  1
Lazuli Bunting  10
Yellow-headed Blackbird  1
Great-tailed Grackle  X
Bullock's Oriole  1




Good birding,

Tommy DeBardeleben (Glendale, Arizona)

 

 

September 16th, 2011:  Birding the Seven Springs Area and the Verde River (A double Redstart day!)

Hi everyone,

Yesterday on September 16th, 2011, I ventured out to explore Seven Springs
area followed by an afternoon visit to the Verde River at the Box Bar
Recreation Site.  It was another day to be out as there were numerous
migrants out and about.  The full day I spent was worth it before the end.

I started off by spending four hours in the Seven Springs Recreation Area,
mainly on trail # 4 that is accessed off of the Cave Creek trailhead.  It
is a very good trail with great potential in all seasons.  I also spent
time birding in the picnic areas.  I didn't have anything too special
among 50 species, which the birding felt rather slower than expected, so
50 seemed like a high count.  9 WARBLER SPECIES were present: Orange-
crowned, Nashville, MacGillivrays, Yellow, Black-throated Gray, Townsend's
and Wilson's Warblers, as well as a Common Yellowthroat and Yellow-
breasted Chat.  I got four Towhee species-CANYON, SPOTTED, GREEN, and
ABERT'S TOWHEES, which this location is very good to get all four.  A ZONE-
TAILED HAWK called from the surrounding hillsides.  One female BROAD-
TAILED HUMMINGBIRDS gave a good appearance.  JUNIPER TITMICE were well
spread out throughout the trail.  A good highlight was hearing my first of
season CEDAR WAXWINGS.  Come winter, these northern birds will be abundant
at this location.  The surrounding area also had at least three CRISSAL
THRASHERS.  One LINCOLN'S SPARROW was of note, and the area had good
numbers of LAZULI BUNTINGS moving through.  SUMMER TANAGERS were still
around in good numbers, and I recorded three WESTERN TANAGERS.

Up next was a very amazing stop at Seven Springs Wash, which was really
the first time I took the time to explore this spot, which has flowing
streams in midst of cottonwood, willow, ash, sycamore, and junipers in a
narrow canyon-like setting.  The habitat blew me away, which I wish I
would've started my morning at this location.  I didn't see a high number
of different bird species here, but the numbers were very impressive.  I
recorded nine warbler species here, including two new for the day to bring
the day's warbler list to 11.  One was a nice surprise in a PAINTED
REDSTART, who put on a good show.  It's loud call note could be heard from
a distance while I was walking down the wash.  Also good to see was a
HERMIT WARBLER.  Good numbers of warblers were present mid-day, with
ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLERS were high in abundance.  Singles of both COMMON
BLACK-HAWK and ZONE-TAILED HAWK were in the wash, both of them being vocal
as well.  CANYON WRENS made several great and up close appearances. 
Another highlight was a huge flock of BUSHTITS moving through.  Next time
I am in the Seven Springs area, it's a guarantee I'll stop at this
location first.  I was shocked I didn't come up with a Waterthrush at
either here or Seven Springs, which has great spots for them.

I then stopped at Lower Camp Creek on my way out of the area for a little
over an hour.  It was rather quiet, I only found one warbler, a bright
male MACGILLIVRAY'S.  One GREEN-TAILED TOWHEE was also present, as well as
three BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAKS and several LAZULI BUNTINGS.  COOPER'S and
ZONE-TAILED HAWKS were the raptors in the area. 

My final stop of the day lasted for three hours along the serenity of the
Verde River, at the wonderful Box Bar Recreation Site.  I spent the three
hours searching through the dense cottonwood and willow stands which are
very extensive at this spot, which was a great way to close out the day. 
It requires a lot of careful searching to pick out the many birds that can
be in the trees here.  Luck hit my path immediately here, as I encountered
my 12th warbler of the day and a new year bird, a female AMERICAN
REDSTART.  She showed off her tail every other second and was very
cooperative, and I got to watch this awesome bird for about ten minutes. 
It certainly made my day!  Also, my first double-Redstart day ever.  She
was one of eight warblers I found here, which also included a HERMIT and a
handful of MACGILLIVRAY'S WARBLERS.  Another suprise came at an open patch
of shrubby habitat as I was walking to another set of cottonwood and
willow groves, a LARK BUNTING.  It was my first Lark Bunting of the year,
and was awesome for me because it was only the second sighting I have ever
had of this species (one I probably should have seen a lot more of by
now!).  The bunting was also cooperative and didn't want to leave the
patch it was in, but was rather shy so it left a minute or so after.  The
heat of the day was a factor here, but the birding was still good late in
the afternoon, 38 species and 2 year birds!  Other highlights included a
single OSPREY, PLUMBEOUS VIREO, and BANK SWALLOW. 

For the full day, I recorded 77 different species, 64 in the Seven Springs
area.


BIRD LISTS:


1. Seven Springs Recreation Area, Maricopa, US-AZ
Sep 16, 2011 6:30 AM - 11:00 AM
Protocol: Traveling
3.0 mile(s)
50 species (+1 other taxa)

Turkey Vulture  5
Cooper's Hawk  2
Zone-tailed Hawk  1
Red-tailed Hawk  1
Greater Roadrunner  1
Broad-tailed Hummingbird  1
Gila Woodpecker  6
Ladder-backed Woodpecker  3
Western Wood-Pewee  2
Pacific-slope Flycatcher  2
Pacific-slope/Cordilleran Flycatcher (Western)  X
Black Phoebe  2
Say's Phoebe  1
Ash-throated Flycatcher  2
Loggerhead Shrike  1
Bell's Vireo  2
Warbling Vireo (Western)  8
Western Scrub-Jay (Woodhouse's)  10
Common Raven  5
Juniper Titmouse  7
Verdin  10
Bewick's Wren  5
House Wren (Northern)  4
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher  2
Crissal Thrasher  3
Cedar Waxwing  2
Phainopepla  30
Orange-crowned Warbler  1
Nashville Warbler  2
MacGillivray's Warbler  4
Common Yellowthroat  1
Yellow Warbler (Northern)  10
Black-throated Gray Warbler  2
Townsend's Warbler  2
Wilson's Warbler  10
Yellow-breasted Chat  1
Green-tailed Towhee  4
Spotted Towhee  1
Rufous-crowned Sparrow  4
Canyon Towhee  6
Abert's Towhee  3
Black-throated Sparrow  5
Song Sparrow  3
Lincoln's Sparrow  1
Summer Tanager  5
Western Tanager  3
Northern Cardinal  2
Blue Grosbeak  1
Lazuli Bunting  15
House Finch  X
Lesser Goldfinch  X



2. Seven Springs Wash, Maricopa, US-AZ
Sep 16, 2011 10:40 AM - 12:50 PM
Protocol: Traveling
0.8 mile(s)
31 species

Turkey Vulture  2
Common Black-Hawk (Common)  1
Zone-tailed Hawk  1
Red-tailed Hawk  1
Mourning Dove  X
Gila Woodpecker  4
Ladder-backed Woodpecker  2
Pacific-slope Flycatcher  3
Black Phoebe  1
Common Raven  2
Juniper Titmouse  1
Bushtit  50
Rock Wren  1
Canyon Wren  3
Bewick's Wren  2
House Wren (Northern)  3
Black-tailed Gnatcatcher  1
Phainopepla  4
Orange-crowned Warbler  10
Nashville Warbler  1
MacGillivray's Warbler  3
Yellow Warbler  7
Black-throated Gray Warbler  1
Townsend's Warbler  1
Hermit Warbler  1
Wilson's Warbler  8
Painted Redstart  1
Summer Tanager  3
Western Tanager  1
Lazuli Bunting  5
Lesser Goldfinch  X



3. Lower Camp Creek, Maricopa, US-AZ
Sep 16, 2011 1:15 PM - 2:30 PM
Protocol: Traveling
1.0 mile(s)
28 species

Cooper's Hawk  1
Zone-tailed Hawk  1
Gila Woodpecker  2
Western Wood-Pewee  1
Black Phoebe  1
Bell's Vireo  2
Western Scrub-Jay (Woodhouse's)  2
Common Raven  2
Verdin  X
Rock Wren  2
Canyon Wren  2
Bewick's Wren  2
Black-tailed Gnatcatcher  1
Northern Mockingbird  1
Curve-billed Thrasher (Western)  2
Phainopepla  10
MacGillivray's Warbler  2
Green-tailed Towhee  1
Canyon Towhee  2
Abert's Towhee  X
Chipping Sparrow  3
Brewer's Sparrow  4
Summer Tanager  2
Northern Cardinal  2
Black-headed Grosbeak  3
Lazuli Bunting  5
House Finch  X
Lesser Goldfinch  X



4. Box Bar Recreation Site, Maricopa, US-AZ
Sep 16, 2011 3:30 PM - 6:30 PM
Protocol: Traveling
1.0 mile(s)
38 species (+1 other taxa)

Gambel's Quail  10
Double-crested Cormorant  5
Great Blue Heron  3
Great Egret  1
Turkey Vulture  10
Osprey  1
Killdeer  2
Mourning Dove  X
Black-chinned Hummingbird  2
Anna's Hummingbird  4
Ladder-backed Woodpecker  2
Pacific-slope/Cordilleran Flycatcher (Western)  4
Black Phoebe  2
Bell's Vireo  2
Plumbeous Vireo  1
Warbling Vireo (Western)  4
Common Raven  5
Northern Rough-winged Swallow  2
Bank Swallow  1
Verdin  X
Rock Wren  1
Bewick's Wren  1
House Wren (Northern)  4
Orange-crowned Warbler  3
Nashville Warbler  2
MacGillivray's Warbler  8
Common Yellowthroat  10
American Redstart  1
Yellow Warbler (Northern)  10
Hermit Warbler  1
Wilson's Warbler  5
Abert's Towhee  X
Lark Bunting  1
Song Sparrow  6
Summer Tanager  4
Northern Cardinal  2
Lazuli Bunting  10
Red-winged Blackbird  X
Lesser Goldfinch  X



Good birding,

Tommy DeBardeleben (Glendale, Arizona)

 

 

September 21-22, 2011:  Great birding trips throughout Maricopa County.

Hola birding amigos y amigas,

Sorry for the late post, I haven't had time until now.  Better late than
never.  On September 21st, I birded the Salt River, Mount Ord briefly, and
then closed the day at the Bushnell Tanks.  On September 22nd, I visited
the Hassaympa River area and Preserve.  Many migrants were out and about,
and very numerous at some of the locations during the two days.

On 9-21, I started my day at the Salt River.  After such a great visit to
Granite Reef Recreation Site on my last visit on 9-11-11, I was stoked to
get back to that fantastic hotspot.  On 9-11, I recorded 71 species, and
then on 9-21, I did a repeat once again of 71 species.  This is a very
birdy place, highly recommended!  A good highlight here were two LEAST
BITTERNS calling at the east side of the site.  COMMON GALLINULES were
high in numbers, and two SORAS called in different spots.  Interesting
waterfowl included a single GADWALL, female BLUE-WINGED TEAL, one NORTHERN
SHOVELER, and a pair of AMERICAN WIGEON.  One juvenile NEOTROPIC CORMORANT
was present among the many DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS.  Raptors included a
HARRIS'S HAWK perched across the Salt, and my first of season SHARP-
SHINNED HAWK.  One BELTED KINGFISHER flew over the river.  Flycatcher
highlights included a few WESTERN WOOD-PEWEES and a WILLOW FLYCATCHER. 
Three swallow species included BANK, BARN, and NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED
SWALLOWS, the first two new for the Salt River for me.  At least three
noisy CRISSAL THRASHERS were vocal throughout the site.  Warblers of eight
different species were highlighted by my first of season YELLOW-
RUMPED "AUDUBON'S" WARBLER, which at least seven of them were at the
site.  Singles of both TOWNSEND'S and VIRGINIA'S WARBLERS were also
present.  A singing GREEN-TAILED TOWHEE was present, as well as my
season's first WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS.  BREWER'S SPARROWS and LAZULI
BUNTINGS continued to be very abundant. 

After Granite Reef, I continued to the Foxtail area, which is an area I
love to explore.  CRISSAL THRASHERS started the bird life here, which at
least two were very vocal here too, so five Crissals between the two sites
was a good count.  I mainly walked along the active "Willow Wash" here in
search of migrants.  I didn't see anything rare, but migrants were in good
numbers.  Seven warbler species were present, including one LUCY'S
WARBLER, NASHVILLE and MACGILIVRAY'S.  A few female WESTERN TANAGERS were
along the wash, as well as a GREEN-TAILED TOWHEE.  A WILLOW FLYCATCHER was
also in a willow.  Walking west of the wash alongside the Salt River gave
me great looks at a flyby BALD EAGLE.  Last and definetly least was my
first ever Salt River ROCK PIGEON flying over.  52 species at the Foxtail
Site.

I then went to Mount Ord, which I only briefly birded for several minutes
along road 1688, due to the fact I felt sick, it killed me to not bird Ord
any longer.  Highlights included a HERMIT THRUSH, RED-BREASTED and WHITE-
BREASTED NUTHATCHES, and a calling OLIVE WARBLER up the slope that I
unsuccessfully tried to track down.

I closed my day at the Bushnell Tanks, which is a wonderful area with
great habitat.  Half the time I spent reading and sleeping under a stand
of sycamores.  I brought my warbler list for the day up to 12 species with
two here, a heard-only NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH and great looks at a
cooperative PAINTED REDSTART.  I also had a good sparrow assortment here:
RUFOUS-CROWNED, CHIPPING, BREWER'S, VESPER, LARK, LINCOLN'S, and WHITE-
CROWNED SPARROWS. 

I finished Wednesday, 9-21-11, with 104 species.


On Thursday, 9-22-11, I birded the Hassayampa River, starting with the
Roadside Rest.  It was birdy with 33 species detected in only 40 minutes. 
I was treated to seeing many birds feeding on the ground here along the
river, as well as drinking.  Highlight's included VERMILION FLYCATCHER,
CASSIN'S VIREO, MACGILLIVRAY'S WARBLERS (great views of birds coming down
to ground), a single SAVANNAH SPARROW, abundant BREWER'S SPARROWS, as well
as WESTERN TANAGER, and both LAZULI and INDIGO BUNTINGS. 

I continued on to the Hassayampa River Preseve where I birded for over
four hours, mainly in hopes of finding good warbler variety.  That was a
no go, as I found only six different warbler species with small numbers,
dissapointing for a place I thought I would see a lot more.  A handful of
at least 10 MACGILLIVRAY's were present, and a single YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT
most notably.  I did however encounter 51 different species throughout the
morning.  Highlights included an adult SHARP-SHINNED HAWK, RUFOUS
HUMMINGBIRD, WILLOW and PACIFIC-SLOPE FLYCATCHERS, PLUMBEOUS VIREO, a
surprise with a single WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH, BLUE GROSBEAK and both
LAZULI and INDIGO BUNTINGS.

Another fun two days of birding.

Good birding,

Tommy DeBardeleben (Glendale, Arizona)




Birding in Maricopa County

My online guide to the birds and birding locations of Maricopa County

 

The Maricopa County Big Year

Two Big Years I did in Maricopa County

 

Birding in Arizona's White Mountains

My online guide to Birding in Arizona's White Mountains