This update of Tucson Audubon Society's Rare Bird Alert for Southeast Arizona was made on May 24, 2013. The next update will be made on May 31.
- 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:
PORTAL & the CHIRICAHUAS
In Cave Creek Canyon (annotated map: http://goo.gl/maps/XfXfX), a *SLATE-THROATED REDSTART was discovered on 5/18 (PD Hulce fide Richard Webster) at the Southwestern Research Station in Cave Creek Canyon. It was seen briefly on 5/19, several times on 5/20 and 5/21 (m.ob.), but not since. Please check in at the office (open 8-5) to sign a release and pick up a map; staff ask that you stay on the north side of Middle Fork (i.e., don't cross the bridges) to avoid interfering with active research projects.
An interesting oriole – perhaps an immature *BALTIMORE or a Bullock's x Baltimore hybrid – was coming to feeders on 5/22 (Bob Rodrigues) at the Foothills Road feeders (formerly operated by Dave Jasper).
At Lake Cochise by the Twin Lakes Golf Course, two or three *WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPERS continued through 5/24 (Rick Taylor). A #WHIMBREL was photographed and a #SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER reported on 5/22 (Laurens Halsey, Andrew Core) and a #LEAST TERN on 5/21 (John Higgins, Chris Benesh). Two SNOWY PLOVERS continued through 5/19 (m.ob.). A Sanderling was reported on 5/23 (Kendall Watkins). A White-throated Sparrow was by the golf course pond on 5/20 (Derek Muschalek) and 5/21 (Laurens Halsey, Andrew Core). Also lingering were a late Canvasback, Green-winged Teal, Wilson's and Red-necked Phalaropes, Marbled Godwit, Willet, Long-billed Curlew and Baird's and Western Sandpipers.
SAFFORD and THATCHER
Three *WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPERS continued from the Thatcher STP on Reay Lane on 5/18 (Jeff Coker) in the northeast basin; one was still present on 5/20.
At Pena Blanca Lake (annotated map: http://goo.gl/zBbzl), at least one *LEAST GREBE continued on 5/22 (Richard Fray).
SIERRA VISTA & the HUACHUCAS
In Ash Canyon, a #LUCIFER HUMMINGBIRD was reported again at Ash Canyon B&B on 5/22 (Chris Benesh fide Mary Jo Ballator) in the late afternoon.
At the San Pedro House, a #RUFOUS-BACKED ROBIN was reported on 5/19 (Joe Gebler) just south of the Hwy 90 bridge.
A female #LUCIFER HUMMINGBIRD was reported from a residence in Bisbee on 5/18 (Ken Lamberton).
PATAGONIA and the SAN RAFAEL VALLEY
A #YELLOW-THROATED VIREO continued at Raven's Nest Nature Sanctuary (http://www.ravensnatureschool.com/nest.html), on 5/20 (Vincent Pinto) about 5 minutes from Patagonia Lake State Park. Visitors welcome - call ahead at (520) 425-6425. Directions are: take Lake Patagonia Rd 2.7 miles to the 2nd Circulo Montana; take a left and continue 2.4 miles to 196 Circulo Montana.
On Mt. Lemmon, Buff-breasted Flycatchers continued at Rose Canyon Lake through 5/22 (m.ob.), both near the amphitheater and the Lizard Rock Group Area.
SANTA CRUZ FLATS
A Northern Parula was singing at the Sasco Road crossing along the Santa Cruz River on 5/22 (Keith Kamper).
TUCSON - Due to long-term construction, access to Sweetwater and Roger Road WRF has changed. See our Sweetwater page or http://cms3.tucsonaz.gov/water/sweetwater for details. Mosquito control operations are scheduled at Sweetwater Wetlands from 6:30-8:30am on Mondays. The gate will open when operations are finished.
CORONADO NATIONAL FOREST - The Santa Catalina and Safford Ranger Districts of the Coronado National Forest are open, and portions of the Douglas, Nogales and Sierra Vista Ranger Districts are open. See details and updates here: http://www.fs.fed.us/r3/coronado/.
PATAGONIA - The Birding Trail at Patagonia Lake State Park has reopened.
MILLER CANYON - fire and floods have changed Beatty's Guest Ranch; see http://seazhummingbirds.com for more information.RAMSEY CANYON - Ramsey Canyon Preserve is open again; it will be closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
ASH CANYON - Ash Canyon B&B is open; parking is limited to six spots.
BENSON - the Benson Birding Trail is no longer accessible as the property is under new ownership.
PATAGONIA - The Patons' yard remains open to birders.
FORT HUACHUCA - 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. Check here for current entry requirements: http://www.tucsonaudubon.org/what-we-do/publications/133.html.
SANTA CRUZ FLATS: Managers at the Evergreen Turf Farm (vicinity of Tweedy and Pretzer Rds) have requested that anyone birding there on the weekends please leave by 5:00 PM. This is due to security issues experienced by the Sod Farm. Birders are still welcome here at other times.
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.
GREEN VALLEY WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANT: presumably open again; ALL birders in a party must sign in, not just one representative of said party. Also, please DO NOT park on the grass, due to fire danger from hot catalytic converters. Approach the gate and follow the directions on the call box there to contact the operators to open the gate for you.
AVRA VALLEY WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANT: Closed until June 2013 for construction.
NOGALES SEWAGE PONDS: Remain closed to birders.
CORONA DE TUCSON WASTEWATER RECLAMATION FACILITY: Access to the ponds here, about 1.5 miles west of Houghton Rd on Sahuarita Rd, is available from 6:00 A.M to 2:00 P.M daily. List of attendees and group affiliation must be sent in advance by fax (762-0591) or phone (762-0593). Bring identification with you.
SEAZ RBA Compiler - Tucson, AZ