Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Back In SE Arizona

It is late afternoon on Tuesday here in Tucson. I spent most of yesterday visiting several locations east of San Diego in search of lawrence's goldfinch. I had a good day of birding, especially at Kitchen Creek Rd. It is a short 5 mile road that heads north off of I-8, effectively ending at Cibbet NF campground. I say effectively because the road is usually closed just past the campground as part of the border patrol control program. Since it is pretty much a road to nowhere, it makes for very nice birding the last 2 miles where the creek parallels the road. I found lots of lesser goldfinches there, but no lawrence's. I did see lots of acorn woodpeckers (photo above).

I then drove to Yuma AZ to spend the nite so that I could be in Wellton AZ early this morning in hopes of seeing a ruddy ground dove. A very nice elderly woman lives on a pretty good sized piece of land with lots of large trees right next to some farmed fields. She has had a ruddy visiting her feeders this year. Unfortunately today was not one of those. She had been sick for a couple of days and had not put out any seed. I may try back at her place another time.

I made it to Saguaro NP outside of Tucson by 1 PM, and began to cruise the roads looking for gilded flickers. It was 107 degrees here this afternoon, so I was not getting out and walking around much. I found many gila woodpeckers, and then finally located 2 different gilded flickers. This was great because it makes my birding schedule for tomorrow much easier.

On a different note, my neighbor who joined me to bird in south Florida back in April emailed me that the American Ornithological Union had finally announced a series of changes which included 2 splits. There is now a pacific wren that has been split from the winter wren; and the whip-poor-will has been split into the eastern and the mexican whip-poor-will. This year I have seen both of the wrens (the post on 7/16 has a photo of what is now the pacific wren), and the mexican whip-poor-will. I have not seen the eastern whip, but I need to go back and check my records to see if I heard it.

Over the past 2 days 35 more new birds were seen for the week, and the flicker plus the pacific wren raise the YTD to 660. Tomorrow I will be out early to hunt for black-capped gnatcatchers. Stay tuned!

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