Sunday, April 24, 2011

Hoyer's Voyeurs Big Day Team: 174 Species

I had a great day yesterday (Saturday, April 23) with my birdathon team of Moe Bell of Scottsdale and Mark Cassidy of Seattle who very capably got on birds and did a great job of keeping track of the bird list and timing of stops. The final species tally for our was 174 species, one short of the target. Only three of the birds (1.7%) were seen by one person only, well short of the 5% rule for big days. Our team also raised about $1000 for the Tucson Audubon Society.

Our first bird of the day was LESSER NIGHTHAWK at a stoplight just as we were about to ascend the Mount Lemmon Highway. After completely dipping on Northern Saw-whet Owl and Spotted Owl, we decided against spending too much time to see the FLAMMULATED OWL that was calling so persistently at Rose Canyon but got luckier with a WHISKERED SCREECH-OWL that flew between Mark's and my faces in response to my whistles. A WESTERN SCREECH-OWL farther down the road was nearly as cooperative. We heard at least 3 ELF OWLS right at dawn, just in time as the diurnal birds had already begun to sing – BLACK-THROATED SPARROW, CANYON TOWHEE, CASSIN'S KINGBIRD, and the season's first BROWN-CRESTED FLYCATCHER.

The Bickel feeders were a bonanza, with our only BROAD-TAILED HUMMINGBIRD and MAGNIFICENT HUMMINGBIRD, WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH, and a migrant TOWNSEND'S WARBLER. RED-FACED WARBLER at Bear Wallow was a lifebird for at least one of the guys, so we paused to enjoy them before dashing off. We couldn't buy a Plumbeous Vireo at Bear Canyon, but we did get lucky with ARIZONA WOODPECKER, BRIDLED TITMOUSE, and VIRGINIA'S WARBLER there. If I had known about the Evening Grosbeaks that Scott and Erin found, I would have definitely detoured for such a great county bird.

All of the Tucson-area waterfowl were there there and happily added bonuses – Lakeside Park's GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE (digibinned above, using my iPhone held against my binoculars), Reid Park's SNOW GOOSE and ROSS'S GOOSE, and Kennedy Park's CANADA GOOSE. A NEOTROPIC CORMORANT and a few BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERONS at Reid Park were also stakeouts.

Benson Sewage Ponds had our only LESSER SCAUP, FRANKLIN'S GULL and a late BELTED KINGFISHER.

Willcox was good, but had apparently been better in the past couple of days – no gulls, Marbled Godwit, Long-billed Curlew, Sanderling, Black-necked Stilt OR yellowlegs of any kind. But we did get a surprise drake NORTHERN PINTAIL here, and the WILLETS, WILSON'S PHALAROPES, AMERICAN AVOCETS, and WESTERN GREBE were good stakeouts.

The wind picked up in the afternoon and destroyed our chances for grassland birds, so Grasshopper Sparrow and Cassin's Sparrow were unfortunate misses.

The VIOLET-CROWNED HUMMINGBIRD and a female RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD were at the Paton's, but we didn't linger to see if the Calliope would show up.

The Rio Rico pond had the increasing flock of BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCKS, just one WHITE-FACED IBIS, and our only GREEN HERON.

The flooding fields between Palo Parado Road and Tumacacori were extremely birdy, and AMERICAN PIPIT there was a nice surprise.

A brief stop at the Amado Sewage Pond is always worth the detour, and this resulted in a drake GADWALL which had not been there in past days – making for a clean sweep of the dabbling ducks (except the Wood Duck). The two Snowy Egrets I had seen there just two days earlier were gone.

The fruiting mulberry trees at Continental (which had Cedar Waxwing for us two years ago) this time provided our only WESTERN TANAGER and (surprise) CURVE-BILLED THRASHER (we would have spotlighted the nest in my yard if we had missed it during the day).

We ended right on schedule with an hour and a half stroll at Sweetwater Wetlands, which added a whopping 9 birds to our list. The reported Solitary Sandpiper and Black-necked Stilts were nowhere to be seen, but we had good views of a SORA, VAUX'S SWIFTS with the swarms of swallows, GREAT EGRET, two SNOWY EGRETS (maybe the two missing from the Amado sewage pond?), and a NEOTROPIC CORMORANT. While scanning the swallows for the first arriving martin, I spotted two WHITE-THROATED SWIFTS, which we had missed in the Catalinas as well as at the Roadside Rest. Our final species was the WESTERN WOOD-PEWEE, which others had apparently seen, and which we would have missed were it not calling. We gave another shot for the Harris's Hawk before enjoying the LESSER NIGHTHAWK spectacled (400-500 birds) from the Camino del Cerro Bridge.

List of Birds Recorded Sorted by Area
Hoyer's Voyeurs Birdathon Team
Rich Hoyer, Moe Bell, and Mark Cassidy
April 23, 2011
2:30 a.m. - 7:15 p.m.
411.5 miles driven

           Catalina Highway and Houghton Road
1           Lesser Nighthawk

           Rose Canyon
2           Flammulated Owl

           General Hitchcock
3           Common Poorwill
4           Whiskered Screech-Owl

           Gordon Hirabayashi
5           Western Screech-Owl
6           Cassin's Kingbird
7           Great Horned Owl
8           White-winged Dove
9           Canyon Towhee

           Soldier Canyon
10           Elf Owl
11           Abert's Towhee
12           Brown-crested Flycatcher
13           Mourning Dove
14           Black-throated Sparrow
15           Gila Woodpecker

           Mount Lemmon Short Road
16           Bell's Vireo
17           Black-tailed Gnatcatcher
18           Cactus Wren
19           Rufous-winged Sparrow
20           Pyrrhuloxia
21           House Finch
22           Green-tailed Towhee
23           Lazuli Bunting
24           Gambel's Quail

           Babad Do'ag
25           Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

           Molino Overlook
26           Lesser Goldfinch
27           Rock Wren
28           Costa's Hummingbird

           Molino Basin
29           Cooper's Hawk
30           Black-headed Grosbeak
31           Ruby-crowned Kinglet
32           Spotted Towhee
33           Broad-billed Hummingbird
34           Violet-green Swallow
35           Hooded Oriole
36           Rufous-crowned Sparrow
37           Ash-throated Flycatcher
38           Bewick's Wren
39           Hermit Thrush
40           Black-throated Gray Warbler
41           Wilson's Warbler
42           Gray Flycatcher
43           Scott's Oriole
44           Bushtit

           Seven Cataracts Area
45           Canyon Wren

           Willow Canyon
46           Band-tailed Pigeon
47           Acorn Woodpecker
48           Mexican Jay
49           Pygmy Nuthatch
50           Townsend's Warbler
51           Grace's Warbler
52           Painted Redstart
53           Pine Siskin
54           House Wren
55           Broad-tailed Hummingbird
56           White-breasted Nuthatch
57           Olive Warbler
58           Yellow-rumped Warbler
59           Yellow-eyed Junco
60           Magnificent Hummingbird
61           Hairy Woodpecker
62           Northern Flicker
63           Hutton's Vireo
64           Hammond's Flycatcher

           Bear Wallow
65           Steller's Jay
66           Mountain Chickadee
67           Red-faced Warbler
68           Red-breasted Nuthatch
69           Brown Creeper
70           American Robin

           Windy Ridge
71           Turkey Vulture
72           Red-tailed Hawk

           Bear Canyon
73           Arizona Woodpecker
74           Bridled Titmouse
75           Hepatic Tanager
76           Virginia's Warbler
77           Common Raven

           Below Babad Do'ag
78           Gilded Flicker

           Tucson Driving
79           Verdin
80           House Sparrow
81           Rock Pigeon
82           Great-tailed Grackle

           Reid Park
83           American Wigeon
84           Mallard
85           Ring-necked Duck
86           Lesser Scaup
87           Pied-billed Grebe
88           Neotropic Cormorant
89           Black-crowned Night-Heron
90           American Coot
91           Snow Goose
92           Ross's Goose
93           Ruddy Duck

           Hardesty Pond
94           Black Phoebe
95           Northern Rough-winged Swallow

           Lakeside Park
96           Greater White-fronted Goose
97           Killdeer
98           Northern Mockingbird
99           European Starling
100           Yellow Warbler
101           Black-chinned Hummingbird
102           Lark Sparrow
103           Vermilion Flycatcher
104           Brewer's Blackbird
105           Brewer's Sparrow

           S Kolb Road
106           American Kestrel

           I-10 Eastbound
107           Swainson's Hawk

           Benson Sewage Ponds
108           Western Kingbird
109           Eared Grebe
110           Tree Swallow
111           Bank Swallow
112           Barn Swallow
113           Eurasian Collared-Dove
114           Cinnamon Teal
115           Green-winged Teal
116           Orange-crowned Warbler
117           Common Yellowthroat
118           Northern Shoveler
119           Least Sandpiper
120           Franklin's Gull
121           Vesper Sparrow
122           White-crowned Sparrow
123           Spotted Sandpiper
124           Belted Kingfisher
125           Say's Phoebe

           I-10 Eastbound/Willcox
126           Chihuahuan Raven
127           Loggerhead Shrike
128           Lark Bunting

           Lake Cochise
129           Savannah Sparrow
130           Blue-winged Teal
131           Wilson's Phalarope
132           Willet
133           Western Sandpiper
134           Long-billed Dowitcher
135           Western Grebe
136           American Avocet
137           Horned Lark
138           Northern Pintail
139           Great Blue Heron

           Sonoita Grasslands
140           Cliff Swallow
141           Eastern Meadowlark

142           Northern Cardinal
143           Gray Hawk
144           Brown-headed Cowbird
145           Anna's Hummingbird
146           Rufous Hummingbird
147           Violet-crowned Hummingbird
148           Chipping Sparrow
149           Lincoln's Sparrow

           Blue Haven Road
150           Summer Tanager
151           Lucy's Warbler
152           Black Vulture
153           Ladder-backed Woodpecker

           Roadside Rest
154           Phainopepla

           Rio Rico Pond
155           Black-bellied Whistling-Duck
156           White-faced Ibis
157           Green Heron
158           Red-winged Blackbird

           Palo Parado Fields
159           American Pipit

           Santa Gertrudis Lane
160           Song Sparrow
161           Pacific-slope Flycatcher

           Amado Sewage Ponds
162           Gadwall

           Continental Mulberry Trees
163           Curve-billed Thrasher
164           Western Tanager

           Kennedy Park
165           Canada Goose

           Sweetwater Wetlands
166           Warbling Vireo
167           Bronzed Cowbird
168           Sora
169           Common Moorhen
170           Vaux's Swift
171           White-throated Swift
172           Great Egret
173           Snowy Egret
174           Western Wood-Pewee

Species Missed
1.     Wood Duck
2.     Scaled Quail
3.     Wild Turkey
4.     Least Grebe
5.     Double-crested Cormorant
6.     American White Pelican
7.     Northern Harrier
8.     Northern Goshawk
9.     Harris's Hawk
10. Short-tailed Hawk
11. Zone-tailed Hawk
12. Golden Eagle
13. Peregrine Falcon
14. Black-necked Stilt
15. Solitary Sandpiper
16. Greater Yellowlegs
17. Lesser Yellowlegs
18. Long-billed Curlew
19. Marbled Godwit
20. Sanderling
21. Ring-billed Gull
22. California Gull
23. Inca Dove
24. Common Ground-Dove
25. Greater Roadrunner
26. Barn Owl
27. Northern Pygmy-Owl
28. Burrowing Owl
29. Spotted Owl
30. Northern Saw-whet Owl
31. Mexican Whip-poor-will
32. Blue-throated Hummingbird
33. Calliope Hummingbird
34. Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet
35. Greater Pewee
36. Dusky Flycatcher
37. Cordilleran Flycatcher
38. Dusky-capped Flycatcher
39. Thick-billed Kingbird
40. Plumbeous Vireo
41. Cassin's Vireo
42. Western Scrub-Jay
43. Purple Martin
44. Marsh Wren
45. Black-capped Gnatcatcher
46. Golden-crowned Kinglet
47. Western Bluebird
48. Crissal Thrasher
49. Cedar Waxwing
50. Nashville Warbler
51. Hermit Warbler
52. MacGillivray's Warbler
53. Yellow-breasted Chat
54. Botteri's Sparrow
55. Cassin's Sparrow
56. Grasshopper Sparrow
57. Yellow-headed Blackbird
58. Bullock's Oriole
59. Red Crossbill
60. Evening Grosbeak