Saturday, May 28, 2011

Fan-tailed Warbler Redux

The top photo above of the fan-tailed warbler was taken by Martin Meyers who I wrote about yesterday. The photo just above is of a sizeable group of birders scanning down to the creek area where the fan-tailed warbler would make brief appearances early on Friday morning. The guy in the blue shirt with the white hat on the right is Martin Meyers. Unlike yesterday, when I first arrived this morning the warbler was singing frequently which was critical to finding it foraging on the ground in the leaves and rocks across the creek. I was fortunate to see it up close one more time when it flew over to our side of the creek, and fed for about 5 minutes around 11:45 AM.

The photo just below is of one of 2 painted redstart parents who had a nest close to the fan-tailed viewing area. The parents would fly in regularly, sit in the tree in the photo, and then drop down to the slope where their nest was on the ground. Lots of photogs when not looking for the fan-tailed would set up their tripods to take pics of the redstarts. Click on any photo to enlarge it. We also had a male elegant trogon fly down close to where the fan-tailed was feeding.

The photo just above is one of the feeding stations at the Kubo B&B which is just across from where the fan-tailed warbler was most regularly seen. It was surprising to see a migrating swainson's thrush partaking of the cut oranges along side the black-headed grosbeak which are numerous in Madera Canyon.

After leaving Madera Canyon I headed down to the Patagonia roadside rest stop because another fan-tailed warbler was seen along the creek there early yesterday morning. It is probably the only time 2 fan-tailed warblers have been seen in AZ on the same day since there are only 8 records of the bird in AZ. Other birders were also down there looking for it, but no one else saw it after the first observer reported it.

Mid afternoon I headed over to the Paton's to check out the many feeders in the yard. The blue grosbeak shown below kept coming to that one feeder along with gila woodpeckers, brown-headed cowbirds, a single bronzed cowbird, and lesser goldfinches. Several birders were enjoying sitting in the shade of the canopy on a hundred degree day. We also saw violet crowned, black-chinned, broad-billed and broad-tailed hummers; yellow-breasted chat; inca, common ground, mourning and eurasian collared doves; curve-billed thrasher; lazuli bunting; gambel's quail; abert's towhee; song and white-crowned sparrows; bewick's wren; summer tanager; and heard a gray hawk.

I spent last nite with my long time friend who lives in Tucson. This morning I stopped in at Sweetwater Wetlands in Tucson to see a few last birds before heading to the airport. I saw a migrating olive-sided flycatcher, and studied cassin's, western and tropical kingbirds as they fed and chased each other around. After only 48 hours of birding my species count hit 91 capped off by the multiple sightings of the fan-tailed warbler. I am off to Alaska on the 10th of June. Stay tuned!

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