Today I visited Madera Canyon. It is a wonderful place to bird as there is a nicely paved road all the way to the top of this canyon. I wonder just how many fantastic birds are actually in Southeastern Arizona, as the birding is fantastic in Madera, yet it is but one of likely hundreds upon hundreds of canyons in the region. One can only guess.
Onto the birds.
First up was Florida Wash where I gave a half-hearted attempt at Crissal Thrasher. However all was not lost as I did pick up another life bird here in the Cassin's Vireo. This bird was heard-only as I quickly had to give up my chase thru the cat-claw acacia & mesquite. Also seen was a Lazuli Bunting and Rufous-Winged Sparrow. Migrant warblers of Black-Throated Gray, Townsend's, Lucy's, Wilson's and Virginia's were also seen. More Brewer's Sparrows were also enjoyed here.
The next stop was Proctor Road and here I had both Black & Say's Phoebe, Cassin's Kingbird, Bullock's Oriole, Summer Tanager and Orange-Crowned Warbler. Overhead I had a Zone-Tailed Hawk and Cooper's Hawk.
At Santa Rita Lodge I had fine looks at a male Lazuli Bunting, Acorn Woodpeckers, and a few hummingbirds (Anna's, Black-Chinned, & Broad-Tailed). I also saw my first Cassin's Vireo just below the lodge at Bog Springs Campground.
The next stop was Kubo Lodge and this place is amazing. Notably the Flame-Colored Tanager provided great looks (and much better than when I saw the bird here last year)
Other tanagers of Hepatic, Western and Summer were also here. The same hummingbirds were present, augmented by Magnificent, Blue-Throated & Broad-Billed.
Arizona Woodpecker, Mexican Jay, Hooded Oriole, Painted Redstart, Plumbeous Vireo, Bridled Titmouse along with Rock & Canyon Wrens were also seen.
At Churaposa Lodge similar hummingbirds were seen along with Scott's Oriole and the much sought-after Elegant Trogon.
On the drive back to Tucson I stopped in at the Green Valley Sewage Treatment Plant.
This gave me my first ever looks at breeding-plumaged Wilson's Phalaropes ! Quite a sight.
Also present were both Cinnamon & Blue-Winged Teal, Northern Shoveler, Horned Larks and an American Pipit. Snowy Egret, Black-Necked Stilt and White-Faced Ibis waded and the swallows were represented by Barn, Cliff, Northern Rough-Winged and Purple Martin.
credit - R. Beckemeyer