Arizona January 2014

Flights etc

I flew SouthWest SW-1794 EWR-PHX direct on the Wednesday afternoon and SW-3227/SW-37 PHX-BAN-EWR via Nashville on the way back on the following Tuesday. Of these three flights two were full, and one was quite empty. None were delayed significantly and the experience was decent, although 5+ hours on a full flight is not idyllic - this was the day after the biggest snow storm of the winter, so they were playing catch-up with multiple canceled flights and I was lucky that it only ran 20 mins late. In fact if I'd done my usual m.o. of leaving early in the morning my EWR-PHX flight would have been canceled.

I rented a car with Dollar, who I've used before at this location, but this was the first time I used Dollar Express which proved to be very efficient.

Sunrise/Sunset and Weather Forecasts

Phoenix Jan 22nd: sunrise 7:30am, sunset 5:50pm
Weather forecast Phoenix
Weather forecast Tucson
Weather forecast Lake Havasu City

Trip Notes

After a prior winter trip in 2013, in early Feb, I went back to the same general area in 2014 to try once again for the persistent Nutting's Flycatcher (3rd winter at this spot), a Sinaloa Wren at Tubac, and the elusive Ruddy Ground-Doves from the previous trip as well as just generally milling around and birding in warmer temperatures. This was my fifth trip to AZ, with trips three and four being the previous year (Feb, June). A little more experience with where the best spots are in AZ in winter certainly can't have hindered.

I used three major resources: the AZNM mailing list, eBird sightings reports, the Tucson RBA. Stuart Healey seems to have deleted his birding site (aztrogon), which was a pity since it was a source of useful location and sightings information - I assume this means he is totally retired now. I can also mine eBird sightings using the BirdsEye iPhone app while in the field (find local hotspots and sightings). To a lesser extent I've used the Tucson Audubon's "Finding Birds in S.E. Arizona" for which I have an older version. I took this book with me although I already knew directions to most places based on planning for prior trips, just in case I needed some additional resources. In fact I didn't use it at all.

Sightings for Primary Targets

Trip Report

Trip List

Pied-billed Grebe Podilymbus podiceps
Clark's Grebe Aechmophorus clarkii Bill Williams River NWR
Blue-footed Booby Sula nebouxii Bill Williams River NWR
Neotropic Cormorant Phalacrocorax brasilianus Encanto Park
Double-crested Cormorant Phalacrocorax auritus Encanto Park
Great Blue Heron Ardea herodias
Great Egret Ardea alba Buckeye
Snowy Egret Egretta thula Bill Williams River NWR
Black Vulture Coragyps atratus a few nr Arlington Canal Rd
Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura low numbers
Greater White-fronted Goose Anser albifrons Whitewater Draw
Canada Goose Branta canadensis Encanto Park (next to golf course, ironically)
Gadwall Anas strepera Whitewater Draw
American Wigeon Anas americana
Mallard Anas platyrhynchos
Northern Shoveler Anas clypeata widespread and dominant waterfowl sp.
Northern Pintail Anas acuta Whitewater Draw
Green-winged Teal Anas crecca Whitewater Draw, Sweetwater Wetlands
Canvasback Aythya valisineria Bill Williams River NWR
Redhead Aythya americana Amado WTP
Ring-necked Duck Aythya collaris
Greater Scaup Aythya marila Bill Williams River NWR
Lesser Scaup Aythya affinis Encanto Park
Bufflehead Bucephala albeola
Common Goldeneye Bucephala clangula Bill Williams River NWR
Barrow's Goldeneye Bucephala islandica Bill Williams River NWR
Ruddy Duck Oxyura jamaicensis
Bald Eagle Haliaeetus leucocephalus Chiricahuas!! and Buckeye
Northern Harrier Circus cyaneus
Sharp-shinned Hawk Accipiter striatus
Red-tailed Hawk Buteo jamaicensis
Ferruginous Hawk Buteo regalis Buckeye, Sulphur Springs Valley
American Kestrel Falco sparverius
Prairie Falcon Falco mexicanus Buckeye
Wild Turkey Meleagris gallopavo Madera Cyn
Gambel's Quail Callipepla gambelii Thrasher spot
Virginia Rail Rallus limicola Willow Tank/Portal/Rodeo
Sora Porzana carolina Sweetwater Wetlands
Common Gallinule Gallinula galeata Bill Williams River NWR
American Coot Fulica americana
Sandhill Crane Antigone canadensis Whitewater Draw/Sulphur Springs and Buckeye/Arlington
Killdeer Charadrius vociferus
Mountain Plover Charadrius montanus Santa Cruz Flats
Black-necked Stilt Himantopus mexicanus Buckeye
Greater Yellowlegs Tringa melanoleuca Buckeye, Whitewater Draw
Long-billed Curlew Numenius americanus Buckeye
Least Sandpiper Calidris minutilla
Ring-billed Gull Larus delawarensis
Rock Pigeon Columba livia
Eurasian Collared-Dove Streptopelia decaocto
White-winged Dove Zenaida asiatica Patagonia, Tubac
Mourning Dove Zenaida macroura
Common Ground-Dove Columbina passerina Sahuarita
Ruddy Ground-Dove Columbina talpacoti Whitewater Draw and Rodeo (NM)
Rosy-faced Lovebird Agapornis roseicollis Encanto Park
Greater Roadrunner Geococcyx californianus
Burrowing Owl Athene cunicularia Buckeye
Anna's Hummingbird Calypte anna Thrasher spot and Patagonia
Belted Kingfisher Megaceryle alcyon
Lewis's Woodpecker Melanerpes lewis Encanto Park, Phoenix
Acorn Woodpecker Melanerpes formicivorus
Gila Woodpecker Melanerpes uropygialis
Red-naped Sapsucker Sphyrapicus nuchalis Patagonia (Paton's)
Ladder-backed Woodpecker Picoides scalaris
Arizona Woodpecker Picoides arizonae Madera Cyn
Northern Flicker Colaptes auratus
Gray Flycatcher Empidonax wrightii Tubac, Patagonia
Dusky Flycatcher Empidonax oberholseri Tubac
Black Phoebe Sayornis nigricans widespread
Say's Phoebe Sayornis saya widespread
Vermilion Flycatcher Pyrocephalus rubinus
Nutting's Flycatcher Myiarchus nuttingi Bill Williams River NWR
Loggerhead Shrike Lanius ludovicianus
Hutton's Vireo Vireo huttoni Tubac, Montosa Cyn, Madera Cyn
Mexican Jay Aphelocoma wollweberi Madera Cyn, Cave Creek Cyn
Chihuahuan Raven Corvus cryptoleucus Green Valley/Sahuarita
Common Raven Corvus corax
Horned Lark Eremophila alpestris Santa Cruz flats
Northern Rough-winged Swallow Stelgidopteryx serripennis Buckeye
Bridled Titmouse Baeolophus wollweberi
Verdin Auriparus flaviceps
White-breasted Nuthatch Sitta carolinensis
Cactus Wren Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus Thrasher spot, Florida Cyn
Canyon Wren Catherpes mexicanus
Bewick's Wren Thryomanes bewickii
House Wren Troglodytes aedon Montosa Cyn, Florida Cyn
Ruby-crowned Kinglet Regulus calendula
Black-tailed Gnatcatcher Polioptila melanura
Black-capped Gnatcatcher Polioptila nigriceps Motosa Cyn
Townsend's Solitaire Myadestes townsendi Florida Cyn
Hermit Thrush Catharus guttatus canyons
American Robin Turdus migratorius
Northern Mockingbird Mimus polyglottos
Sage Thrasher Oreoscoptes montanus Thrasher spot, Sulphur Springs valley
Bendire's Thrasher Toxostoma bendirei Thrasher spot, Whitewater area
Curve-billed Thrasher Toxostoma curvirostre Rodeo NM
Le Conte's Thrasher Toxostoma lecontei Thrasher spot
European Starling Sturnus vulgaris
American Pipit Anthus rubescens Santa Cruz flats
Phainopepla Phainopepla nitens Bill Williams River NWR
Orange-crowned Warbler Oreothlypis celata only two!
Common Yellowthroat Geothlypis trichas Whitewater Draw
Black-throated Gray Warbler Setophaga nigrescens Florida Cyn
Townsend's Warbler Setophaga townsendi Madera Cyn
Rufous-capped Warbler Basileuterus rufifrons Florida Cyn
Wilson's Warbler Cardellina pusilla Sweetwater Wetlands
Painted Redstart Myioborus pictus Madera Cyn, Florida Cyn
Hepatic Tanager Piranga flava Montosa Cyn, Madera Cyn
Green-tailed Towhee Pipilo chlorurus
Spotted Towhee Pipilo maculatus
Canyon Towhee Melozone fuscus Florida Cyn
Abert's Towhee Melozone aberti
Rufous-crowned Sparrow Aimophila ruficeps Florida Cyn, Montosa Cyn
Chipping Sparrow Spizella passerina Florida Cyn, Patagonia
Brewer's Sparrow Spizella breweri Whitewater Draw
Black-chinned Sparrow Spizella atrogularis Florida Cyn
Vesper Sparrow Pooecetes gramineus
Lark Sparrow Chondestes grammacus Sahuarita
Black-throated Sparrow Amphispiza bilineata Montosa Cyn lower slopes
Sagebrush Sparrow Artemisiospiza nevadensis Thrasher spot
Lark Bunting Calamospiza melanocorys Sulphur Springs valley
Savannah Sparrow Passerculus sandwichensis
Song Sparrow Melospiza melodia
Lincoln's Sparrow Melospiza lincolnii Tubac, Whitewater Draw
White-crowned Sparrow Zonotrichia leucophrys
Dark-eyed Junco Junco hyemalis Madera Cyn
Chestnut-collared Longspur Calcarius ornatus Willcox Twin Lakes
Northern Cardinal Cardinalis cardinalis
Pyrrhuloxia Cardinalis sinuatus
Lazuli Bunting Passerina amoena Patagonia
Red-winged Blackbird Agelaius phoeniceus
Western Meadowlark Sturnella neglecta
Yellow-headed Blackbird Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus Buckeye
Brewer's Blackbird Euphagus cyanocephalus
Great-tailed Grackle Quiscalus mexicanus
Brown-headed Cowbird Molothrus ater
House Finch Haemorhous mexicanus
Lesser Goldfinch Carduelis psaltria
Lawrence's Goldfinch Carduelis lawrencei Sahuarita
House Sparrow Passer domesticus
140 species (AZ-2013: 143; TX-2013: 159 ). Three life birds out of a potential four, #702-#704 with all of those three being missed on at least one prior AZ trip.