Thursday, June 4, 2009

A Whirlwind Birding Tour of Southeast Arizona Pt 2, section 1: whirlwind birding (The Rarest of the Rare)

Having parked in Patagonia for the night (right near our next stop) we were right in the right spot. At 4:00am on the money, we were awakened by a harsh ratchet-like call coming from somewhere near our car. Jacob lifted his head, muttered "Sinaloa Wren" and promptly turned over and went back to sleep.  Without a doubt though, the ratchet-like call had come from our primary quarry for the day. THE Sinaloa Wren.   Discovered back in September of '08, this bird was the first record of it's species to be found within the ABA area. 
We got up and started wandering down the road.  About 15 minutes later, Matt Brown drove up and told us that the wren was being seen on the other side of the preserve by the highway. We hightailed it over there and joined the other birders who were anxiously waiting for the bird to appear.  It sang almost continuously while we were there, but always a few feet farther back in the shrubs than your eye could perceive. This bird was extremely good at hiding.  At one point, I could have sworn the bird was singing from only a few feet away but I could not see him. 
After much searching, waiting and peering through the brush, I finally got a glimpse of the whole bird as it made it's way up a tree trunk. One second the bird was there, the next it was lost again in the dense undergrowth. 

Having seen the Wren, we hightailed it down to Patagonia Lake State Park. Searching through the thick undergrowth and trees wasn't easy, but we managed to finally pick out a Northern Beardless Tyrannulet! 

After posing quite nicely, the bird went on it's way.  
A quick check of the lake produced a Neotropic Cormorant and as we walked back along the trail, we could hear Least Bitterns calling. At least 5 of them called from the reeds along the lake shore. 

Our next stop was Paton's residence where we saw a lone Violet-crowned Hummingbird coming to the feeders.  This Lark Sparrow posed well: 

Then an Inca Dove showed up: 

Not a lifer, but a very cool year bird.  

As we headed back to the car, the caretaker pointed out a Thick-billed Kingbird sitting in a tree in their yard.  It was our second of the day and 2nd of 3 for the weekend. 

We hopped in the car and headed south towards to Huachuca Mountains for one very special bird that would be a lifer for both of us.  

A Whirlwind Birding Tour of Southeast Arizona Pt 2: whirlwind birding (The Rarest of the Rare) Section 2
will be coming soon!

Til then, Happy Birding!


Carol said...

It was nice of it to let you take a shot..after all you'd gone through. Maybe it was tracking you?

dAwN said...

one of my most favorite places ever to bird! We usually park our Homey at Patagonia RV park..not the state is a short walk into town.
Was the Rose Throated becard around?
We will be there next Feb-march..hope to see some good birds...oh..what am I saying..they are all good!