This update of Tucson Audubon Society's Rare Bird Alert for Southeast Arizona was made on February 12, 2016. The next update will be made on February 19.
- The RBA number is 520-629-0510 ext 3; press 1 to hear the RBA or press 2 to report a rare bird, OR email rarebirdalert.
For additional sightings in the region, please see the The Arizona-New Mexico Birding ListServ
SEVERAL IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENTS follow the sightings, including information on temporary closures and rules for access to other important birding areas. Abbreviation "m.ob." = multiple observers. An asterisk (*) preceding a species name in the list indicates that it merits careful, full documentation. A pound sign (#) indicates that brief corroborating details are warranted. Documentation and photos of review species may be submitted at http://www.azfo.org/gallery/
Where directions are not given, they can be found in the EIGHTH EDITION of Tucson Audubon's Finding Birds in Southeast Arizona.
SPECIES MENTIONED IN THIS REPORT INCLUDE:
#"Red" Fox Sparrow
At the San Pedro House, a #LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSH continued along the
A *YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER continued in
At Patagonia Lake (annotated map: http://goo.gl/GgNvs), a female #GREATER SCAUP continued on 2/7 (David Yeamans); along the Birding Trail at the east end of the lake an #EASTERN PHOEBE and a #BLACK-CAPPED GNATCATCHER continued this week (m.ob.).
At Pena Blanca Lake (annotated map: http://goo.gl/zBbzl), a *RUFOUS-CAPPED WARBLER continued on 2/12 (Bill Prather). It has been seen in the large cove in the northwest part of the lake, about 1/3 mile north of the large boat ramp area; see map for marker. An #EASTERN PHOEBE was reported again on 2/9 (m.ob.).
A #CLAY-COLORED SPARROW was photographed on 2/8 (Bill Lisowsky) at the Palo Parado trailhead for the De Anza Trail north of Nogales.
A #GREATER SCAUP continued at Torres Blancas Golf Course on 2/10 (Laurens Halsey).
Two #McCOWN'S LONGSPURS continued at
A #RUFOUS-BACKED ROBIN continued at
A #BROWN THRASHER continued at Sweetwater Wetlands on 2/10 (Nicholas Tritz); a Black-and-white Warbler continued this week as well (m.ob.). A #BALTIMORE ORIOLE was reported again on 2/10 (fide Sylvia Foster), after a long absence. On 2/11 the oriole was observed flying across the river to
A #LOUISIANA WATERTHUSH was reported from
A #LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSH continued on 2/6 (m.ob.) and an #EASTERN PHOEBE on 2/9 (Larry Neily) along the
PORTAL & the CHIRICAHUAS (annotated map: http://goo.gl/maps/XfXfX)
A #GRAY CATBIRD continued in a yard in Portal on 2/10 (Rick Plage).
A #"RED" FOX SPARROW continued this week in a yard in
The revised 8th edition of Finding Birds in SE Arizona (2015) was released in late May! Addendum to the 8th edition is available at: http://www.tucsonaudubon.org/what-we-do/publications/359-fbiaddendum8th.html.
TUCSON - Mosquito control operations are scheduled at Sweetwater Wetlands from 6:30-8:30am on Mondays. The gate will open when operations are finished. Roger Road WRF was closed as of 1/10/2014 and it is uncertain when access will be allowed again.
EL RIO OPEN SPACE PRESERVE/COACHLINE GRAVEL PIT - park in the dirt lot along the south edge near the berm, not in the neighborhood to the west. Annotated map: http://goo.gl/5vIQSb
GREEN VALLEY WWTP - Protocol for visiting: use the call box at the gate, sign in and out at the office, and stay away from buildings and construction equipment.
RAMSEY CANYON - Ramsey Canyon Preserve is open; it is closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
ASH CANYON - Ash Canyon B&B is open dawn to dusk EXCEPT Wednesday, when open noon to dusk; parking is limited to six spots.
BENSON - the Benson Birding Trail is no longer accessible as the property is under new ownership.
PATAGONIA - The Paton Center for Hummingbirds remains open to birders.
FORT HUACHUCA - is an active military installation and will suspend your driving privileges on Post for 30 days on your first offense for talking or using a cell phone while driving. You MUST use a hands free device. Current entry requirements (subject to change without notice): US citizens should be prepared to show photo ID for everyone in the vehicle at the entrance, and possibly your vehicle registration and insurance as well. Foreign nationals must be accompanied by an approved military escort; contact the base (520.533.7111), or possibly the Sierra Vista Visitor's Bureau (520.417.6960) well in advance.
IMPORTANT: Ft. Huachuca has posted information on new access requirements on its official webpage at www.huachuca.army.mil - look for the "Gate Information" tab on the left side of the homepage. Read the information at the "Visitors Access" button. If you click the "Installation Access Forms" button, you can see the information you'll have to provide to get access. The Visitor Control Center is located at the Van Deman Gate on Hwy 90. http://www.huachuca.army.mil/pages/des/visitoraccess.html
ACCESS NOTE: Garden Canyon is closed to vehicles and hikers at the lower picnic area due to extensive flood damage; repairs will take a while, according to base personnel.
SANTA CRUZ FLATS: Management at the Evergreen Turf Sod Farm has asked birders not to drive into the property (i.e., the 2750 road); birding from perimeter roads (i.e., Tweedy or Pretzer) is still fine.
BAIRD'S SPARROW HILL AND THE VACA RANCH CORRAL in the San Rafael Valley is off limits to birders due to the thoughtless actions of a few birders. DO NOT ENTER THE PROPERTY. A sign has been posted previously stating that "stopping within 0.25 mile of the corral is prohibited."
The Regional Wastewater Reclamation Department is currently revising security procedures and the following rules are subject to change any time. Please see this link for important information regarding access: http://www.pima.gov/wwm/about/pdf/birdwatching.pdf. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated.
AVRA VALLEY WRF: Gates open at 6AM and close PROMPTLY at 2PM (do not linger, you will be locked inside).
ROGER ROAD WRF: closed
NOGALES STP: closed
CORONA DE TUCSON WRF: closed