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May 30, 2012 / Nate Fronk

Bradford County Birding

I have been doing some bird surveys in Bradford County as part of my research on how Marcellus shale impacts bird populations. I’ve never birded much up here but I’m glad to finally get the opportunity. I started the morning on the northern reaches of SGL 12, a massive game lands encompassing hundreds of acres and several counties. This area appears to have been previously mined and logged. The habitat is very diverse with large tracts of forest, some early successional forest, and some neat wetlands. I found a nice wetland at the intersection of Falls Creek Road and Mountain Road. Here I had a singing Nashville Warbler and counter singing Northern Waterthrushes. The wetland has a northern feel and may be a good spot to find Olive-sided Flycatcher in passing. I also got great looks at 5 Ring-necked Pheasants and heard at least 3 Prairie Warblers. To top off the great day I found a Pickerel Frog! Here are some of my photos.


Pickerel Frog

May 24, 2012 / Tim Schreckengost

Migration is slowing down with almost no movement last night.

Regional Overview at ~0400 on 5-24-2012


There was almost no movement of birds across Arizona last night. Migration appears to be slowing down and there have not been many migrants in the field the past few days either.

Click on the thumbnail to view the full-sized animation.


There was a light movement of birds near San Diego last night.

Click on the thumbnail to view the full-sized animation.


For more on migration throughout the country, check out these sites:

Pennsylvania/Ohio Valley – Nemesis Bird by Drew Weber
New England – Tom Auer’s blog
New Jersey – Woodcreeper by David La Puma
Florida/SE – Badbirdz Reloaded by Angel and Mariel Abreu
NW Ohio – Birding the Crane Creek by Kenn Kaufman
Wisconsin – Woodcreeper by David La Puma
Pac NW – Birds Over Portland by Greg Haworth
Michigan’s Upper Peninsula – The Northwoods BIRDAR by Max Henschell
New Mexico – Albuquerque Birding by Matt O’Donnell

Thanks to Drew Weber for setting me up with the radars and helping with the coding!

Please post your sightings and any feedback in the comments section! Thanks!

May 23, 2012 / Tim Schreckengost

Not much on the migration front last night in Arizona.

Regional Overview at ~0400 on 5-23-2012


There wasn’t a whole lot going on last night on the radar throughout Arizona despite light southwest winds.

Click on the thumbnail to view the full-sized animation.


There appeared to be a movement of birds on the coast heading north out of San Diego.

Click on the thumbnail to view the full-sized animation.

May 22, 2012 / Tim Schreckengost

Birding Southeast Arizona–Day 2: Madera Canyon

After a great first day, or half day, of birding in SEAZ, we spent the majority of our second day (5-11-2012) in Madera Canyon. At first light, we broke camp after a successful night of sleeping on Proctor Rd. While breaking camp, birds were singing all around including Black-headed Grosbeaks, Canyon Towhees, and Northern Cardinals. After we finished breaking camp and chugging energy drinks, we stopped by the restroom area to take a quick jaunt on the trails. There, we observed Cassin’s Kingbirds, Swainson’s Thrushes, Botteri’s Sparrows, and heard a singing Scott’s Oriole among others.

The next spot on our list for the day was Florida Wash. Florida Wash is a mixture of habitats including mesquite and grasslands. We birded the wash for a little over an hour and came up with 29 species. Highlights from the wash include Rufous-crowned, Rufous-winged, and Botteri’s Sparrows, and Pyrrhuloxia.

Canyon Towhee at Florida Wash on 5-11-2012

From the wash, we headed to Upper Madera Canyon in hopes of finding hummingbirds, trogons, and a rarity or two. We birded the upper canyon for over four hours and totaled only 26 species. Every birder we stumbled upon in the canyon that day said the birding has been extremely slow all morning. We had the same thoughts as we hiked and birded the Carrie Nation Trail, but we did get good looks at very good birds including an Elegant Trogon, Magnificent and Broad-tailed Hummingbirds, Plumbeous, Hutton’s, and Warbling Vireos, Grace’s and Black-throated Gray Warblers, Painted Redstarts, and Yellow-eyed Juncos. The upper canyon was filled with lifers for me!

Elegant Trogon at Upper Madera Canyon on 5-11-2012

After hiking around for four hours, we ventured back down canyon to Madera Kubo Bed & Breakfast to try for the White-eared Hummingbird and Lauren’s state Rose-breasted Grosbeak. We struck out on both target birds, but tallied 23 species in the hour and a half we birded there. We observed five species of hummingbird including Magnificent, Black-chinned, Anna’s, Broad-billed, and Blue-throated.  We searched the area for Flame-colored Tanagers as this was an area they bred in previous years, but had no success. The tanagers were reported in the area the next day though, bummer.

We stopped by the Santa Rita Lodge afterwards to check the feeders and for a cold beverage, but did not have anything noteworthy.Our next stop was the Rio Rico Pond. Here, we tallied 23 species in ten minutes with having decent, but distant looks at Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks, Mexican Ducks, and a beautiful Gray Hawk.

Gray Hawk at Rio Rico Pond on 5-11-2012

After our quick stop at the Rio Rico Pond, we headed straight for the Paton’s Yard to peep the Violet-crowned Hummingbirds. We birded the yard for forty minutes and observed 25 species, including a lone Violet-crowned Hummingbird as the major highlight of the sit. Also, we almost fell asleep on the benches at the Paton’s. We needed a major caffeine break.After gorging ourselves in snacks and energy drinks, we headed down the road to the Sonoita Creek Preserve. Here our target was Thick-billed Kingbird, which gave us great looks during our half hour of birding the preserve.

Gila Woodpecker at the Paton’s Yard on 5-11-2012

Thick-billed Kingbird at the Sonoita Creek Preserve on 5-11-2012

After leaving the preserve, we drove to Carr Canyon. En route up canyon, we obtained great looks at three beautiful Band-tailed Pigeons and a Greater Pewee, both lifers for me. We camped at Reef Campground and birded while we cooked dinner and set up camp. Just from the campground, we observed 15 species. The main highlight was having great looks at two Buff-breasted Flycatchers!We ate dinner and did a night walk further up canyon to listen for owls and poor-wills, but had no luck. That ended day two of our trip to SEAZ.

Band-tailed Pigeon in Carr Canyon on 5-11-2012

Other posts about our trip:
Birding Southeast Arizona–Day 1 

Check back for highlights of Day 3!

May 20, 2012 / Tim Schreckengost

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher at Rotary Park–5/20/2012

Around 10:00 this morning, I got a text message from Lauren Harter saying that there was a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher at Rotary Park. The bird was first reported this morning by Chris McCreedy. I immediately grabbed my bins and camera and headed to Rotary Park, but made one quick stop to pick up Emily Sinnott on the way. Once we arrived at the park, I began scanning all of the light posts on the golf course and quickly found the bird perched on a large stone in the middle of the course. Scissor-tailed Flycatchers are rare migrants in the Lower Colorado River Valley. Here are my two best photos:

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher at Rotary Park on 5-20-2012

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher at Rotary Park on 5-20-2012

Reference: Rosenberg, K.V., R. D. Ohmart, W. C. Hunter, and B. W. Anderson. 1991. Birds of the Lower Colorado River Valley. The University of Arizona Press, Tucson, Arizona.

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