Bird Sightings Report, April 1 to April 30, 2014

Written by Roland on April 30, 2014 – 11:59 pm -

Status of the Tyrone sewage ponds – Ken Dayer writes, “Even though, the Tyrone Ponds have not had enough water for ducks for some time, there were always small pools of water available. By April 14th, all the pools finally dried up and no more water. The Tyrone Property Association plan on removing the dried sewer sludge from the bottom of the ponds, removing the concrete and fencing, and leveling the area out some time before monsoon season.”

eBird – some of the sightings listed below were mined from eBird (eBird.org). Recently Christopher Rustay gave an excellent talk at a recent meeting of the Southwestern Audubon Society on eBird. I would encourage all birders to use this resource both to enter bird sightings and to see what other individuals are reporting in the area. Many local birders report sightings the same day as they are recorded in the field so it is possible to know what birds are found in what locations within a few hours/days of their sightings.

Species Account

Ducks, Geese, Swans: Two Blue-winged Teal were reported from Mangas Springs (Brian Dolton, 26 April).

Pheasants, Grouse, Turkeys: Three groups of gobbling Wild Turkeys were reported in the Gila Bird Area by Martha Schumann (ca. 21 April).

Cormorants: Five unidentified cormorants (probably Double-crested Cormorans) were seen flying along Highway 180 (Martha Schumann, 15 April).

Bitterns, Herons: Brian Dolton reported a Great Egret at the Iron Bridge (26 April).

Photo by Robert Shantz, near Willcox, Az, 21 November 2009

Ibises, Spoonbills: White-faced Ibis was sighted at Mangas Springs (Brian Dolton, one on 17 April and 33 on 26 April).

Kites, Eagles, Hawks: Brian Dolton reported a Mississippi Kite from the Iron Bridge. It appeared to be a first year bird (26 April). A Swainson’s Hawk was seen by Brian Dolton in the Cliff/Gila Valley (9 April). Two Zone-tailed Hawks were reported from the Gila Bird Area by Roland Shook (17 April). A Zone-tailed Hawk was reported from the Tyrone sewage ponds by Gary Shirk (29 April via eBird).

Rails, Gallinules, Coots: A Virginia Rail was heard at Mangas Springs (Brian Dolton, 11 and 17 April). Also a Sora was reported by Brian Dolton at Mangas Springs (11 and 17 April).

Photo by Robert Shantz, Patagonia Lake State Park, AZ, 5 March 2014

Cranes: Martha Schumann reported a lone, lingering Sandhill Crane in the Cliff/Gila Valley (28 April).

Sandpipers, Shorebirds: A Greater Yellowlegs was seen from the 211 Bridge near Gila by Roland Shook and Brian Dolton (9 April). Two Wilson’s Snipe were seen along an irrigation canal in the Cliff/Gila Valley by Brian Dolton and Roland Shook (9 April).

Pigeons and Doves: Linda Moore reported a Common Ground-Dove from her property on the Gila River near Bill Evans Lake (6 April).

Photo by Linda Moore, near Bill Evans Lake, 6 April 2014

Hummingbirds: Junella Haynes reported four Black-chinned Hummingbirds from her backyard (from 14 April to end of the month).

Kingfishers: Roland Shook and Brian Dolton reported a Belted Kingfisher from the Gila River near the Highway 211 Bridge near Gila (9 April).

Woodpeckers: Mary Alice Murphy reports Acorn Woodpeckers feeding on suet at her residence near “W” mountain (daily at least through 5 April). Ken Dayer reported a female Williamson’s Sapsucker and two female Downy Woodpeckers along Highway 15 from Pinos Altos to Cherry Creek Campground (20 April). An Acorn Woodpecker and two Gila Woodpeckers were reported from the Cliff/Gila Valley by Brian Dolton and Roland Shook (9 April). A Gila Woodpecker was reported from the Gila Bird Area  by Roland Shook and Linda Moore (15 April) and an additional one on 21 April. BarbaraAnne Rich reported a Downy Woodpecker from McMillen Campground and another at Cherry Creek Campground (23 April via eBird).

Caracaras, Falcons: Three American Kestrels were reported from the Cliff/Gila Valley by Brian Dolton and Roland Shook (9 April). An American Kestrel was reported from the Gila Bird Area (Roland Shook, 17 April).

Tyrant Flycatchers: An Ash-throated Flycatcher was reported by Patricia Taber at her Silver City residence (25 April). Brian Dolton reported a Willow Flycatcher at Mangas Springs (26 April). Two Gray Flycatchers were reported near the stock tank on the road to Jack’s Peak (Brian Dolton, 24 April).

Shrikes: A Loggerhead Shrike was reported by Ken Dayer from the Tyrone sewage ponds (13 April).

Vireos: Two Cassin’s Vireos were reported along Highway 15 from Pinos Altos to Cherry Creek Campground (Ken Dayer, 20 April). A Cassin’s Vireo was reported by BarbaraAnne Rich at Cherry Creek Campground (23 April via eBird).

Swallows: Brian Dolton reported a Tree Swallow from the Iron Bridge (26 April).

Nuthatches: A Pygmy Nuthatch was reported by Ken Dayer along Highway 15 from Pinos Altos to Cherry Creek Campground (20 April).

Creepers: Ken Dayer reported two Brown Creepers along Highway 15 between Pinos Altos and Cherry Creek Campground (20 April).

Wrens: Two migrating House Wrens and a resident Canyon Wren were reported from the Gila Bird Area (Roland Shook, 4 April and 17 April)).

Gnatcatchers: A Blue-gray Gnatcatcher was reported by Brian Dolton from his Indian Hills residence (ca.20 April). Blue-gray Gnatcatchers were reported from the Gila Bird Area by Roland Shook (two on  17 April and one on 21 April).

Photo by Robert Shantz, Whiskey Creek, Grant Co., NM, 11 September 2007

Wood-Warblers: Patricia Taber reported a Wilson’s Warbler at her Silver City residence (25 April). Yellow- rumped Warblers, Grace’s Warblers, seven Red-faced Warblers, eight Painted Redstarts, and three Black-throated Gray Warblers were seen by Ken Dayer along Highway 15 from Pinos Altos to Cherry Creek Campground (20 April). An Orange-crowned Warbler and a MacGillvray’s Warbler were seen by Ken Dayer at his Silver City residence (20-30 April). A Grace’s Warbler was seen near the stock tank on the road to Jack’s Peak (Brian Dolton, 24 April). A Black-throated Gray Warbler was reported from the Gila Bird Area (Roland Shook, 4 April). Lesa Andree reported two Painted Redstarts and two Red-faced Warblers at McMillen Campground (23 April via eBird).

Sparrows: Teri Matelson reported two White-throated Sparrows at her Silver City residence during the last week of April. Ken Dayer reported two Lark Sparrows from the Tyrone sewage ponds (19 April). Two Yellow-eyed Juncos were seen from the top of Jack’s Peak (Brian Dolton, 26 April). An Abert’s Towhee was heard in the Cliff/Gila Valley by Brian Dolton and Roland Shook (9 April). Three Green-tailed Towhees were reported from the Gila Bird Area (Roland Shook and Linda Moore, 15 April).

Tanagers, Cardinals, Grosbeaks: Kim Muller reported a Rose-breasted Grosbeak at her feeders on the north end of Redrock Road in the Burro Mountains (21 April). Bob Barnes reported a bird from his yard (Hillsboro, Sierra County, New Mexico, 30 April).  It appears to me to be a hybrid Western x Summer Tanager.  It comports well with the images at: http://www.azfo.net/gallery/2009/html1/Hybrid_Western_X_Summer_Tanager_RRSP_Gatlin_20090525.html. Ken Dayer reported a Pyrrhuloxia from the Tyrone sewage ponds (19 April).  Junella Haynes reports approximately eight Black-headed Grosbeaks and two Summer Tanagers from her backyard (from 14 April to end of the month). A Hepatic Tanager was reported from the top of Jack’s Peak (Brian Dolton, 24 April). A Western Tanager was seen from the Iron Bridge on 26 April (Brian Dolton).

Photo by Kim Muller, Burro Mountains, 21 April 2014

Photo by Bob Barnes, Hillsboro, 30 April 2014

Photo by Bob Barnes, Hillsboro, 30 April 2014

Blackbirds, Orioles: Two Hooded Orioles and four Bullock’s Orioles were reported by Junella Haynes from her backyard (from 14 April to end of the month).

Finches: Numerous Pine Siskins were were seen by Ken Dayer at his Silver City residence (20-30 April). Junella Haynes reported House Finches feeding chicks in her backyard (from 14 April to end of the month.

I appreciate all who sent in bird reports. Even thought numbers are important, a list of birds seen in the field also has value. I want to encourage everyone to spend as much time as they can enjoying watching and identifying birds. I will give careful  consideration to all reports that I receive, and will try and include as many reports as I can, even if they do not include numbers of a particular species.

I encourage the submission of records and photos. In order to increase the scientific value of your sightings, I encourage you to please include the number, a date and location for each species, as well as, the full name of the observer. Undated sightings, with or without a location or the number observed, are of a lesser value, however, all submissions are welcome. I do not know where many of you live, so a brief description would be much appreciated.  Please send your photos and reports to tyrannidae@gmail.com. Thanks to all who submitted this month and in the past.

All photographs displayed in this Bird Sightings Report remain the sole property of the photographer. Expressed written permission from the photographer is necessary to use any of these photographs.

Photo of Common Mergansers at the top of this page was taken by Robert Shantz.

Please send comments to Roland Shook.

Bird Sightings Report, March 1 to March 31, 2014

Written by Roland on March 31, 2014 – 11:59 pm -

March heralds the month of migrants and the beginning of the breeding season for many species.

Species Accounts

Ducks and Geese: Dave Griffin reported the following ducks from the Lordsburg sewage treatment ponds: Gadwalls (4 on 10 March); Mexican Mallards (4 on 31 March); Northern Shovelers (185-350 between 10 – 31 March); Cinnamon Teal (22 on 31 March); and Ruddy Ducks (45 to 80 between 10 – 31 March). A Canada Goose was seen in the Gila Bird Area (1 March). and two more on 19 March.

Grebes: An Eared Grebe was reported from the Lordsburg sewage treatment pond (Dave Griffin, 10 March).

Cormorants: A Double-crested Cormorant was reported by Dave Griffin from the Lordsburg sewage treatment ponds (31 March).

Vultures: Ken Dayer reported a Turkey Vulture from the Tyrone sewage ponds (23 March). Another report from Gene Lewis was for the same date (no location given).

Hawks: Martha Schumann reported two Common Black-Hawks by the Highway 211 Bridge that crosses the Gila River near the town of Gila and two additional Common Black-Hawks at the Lichty Center (14/15 March). Roland Shook reported a Common Black-Hawk from the Gila Bird Area (17 March). An American Kestrel was seen at the Tyrone sewage ponds by Ken Dayer (2 on 16 March and 1 on 23 March). Allison Boyd reported a Northern Goshawk successfully killing a Mourning Dove at her residence (14 March). Dave Griffin reported a Northern Harrier from the Lordsburg sewage treatment ponds (10 March and 31 March).

Photograph by Allison Boyd, Silver City, 14 March, 2014

Sandpipers: A Spotted Sandpiper was reported from the Gila Bird Area (Roland Shook, 6 March).

Gulls: The following gulls were seen by Dave Griffin at the Lordsburg sewage treatment ponds: Bonaparte’s Gull (31 March); California Gulls (2 on 10 March); and Ring-billed Gulls (5 on 31 March). Dave Griffin also saw 16 Ring-billed Gulls at the Lordsburg Playa (31 March). Brian Dolton reported a Franklin’s Gull at the Lordsburg sewage treatment ponds (25 March).

Photograph of Bonaparte’s Gull by Dave Griffin, Lordsburg sewage ponds, 31 March, 2014

Photograph of California Gull by Dave Griffin, Lordsburg sewage ponds, 10 March, 2014

Owls: A Great Horned Owl was seen in the Lichty Center (Roland Shook, 27 March).

Nightjars: A Common Poorwill was seen early in the morning on Bill Evans Road (Roland Shook, 28 March).

Hummingbirds: A Broad-tailed Hummingbird was reported by Paul Boucher from the Silver City golf course (29 March). Brian Dolton reported both a Black-chinned and Broad-tailed Hummingbird at his feeder in Indian Hills (26 March).

Woodpeckers: Mary Alice Murphy reported a pair of Acorn Woodpeckers visiting her suet feeders near “W” Mountain  nearly daily (through the month of March). An Acorn Woodpecker was reported near Twin Sisters by Cathy Ramsay (29 March).

Flycatchers: Paul Boucher reported 6 Vermilion Flycatchers at the Silver City golf course (29 March). Roland Shook reported a Vermilion Flycatcher from the Gila Bird Area (19 March).  Three Black Phoebes were reported from the Gila Bird Area where they are now less common than in former years (Roland Shook, 1 March).

Vireos: Brian Dolton  reported 4-5 calling Hutton’s Vireos along Little Cherry Creek Ranch road (18 March). A singing Bell’s Vireo was heard in the Gila Bird Area (Roland Shook, 28 March).

Swallows: The following swallows were seen by Dave Griffin at the Lordsburg sewage ponds: Tree Swallows (2 on 31 March); Violet-green Swallows (2 on 31 March); and a Barn Swallow (31 March).

Wrens: A Rock Wren was reported by Ken Dayer at the Tyrone sewage ponds (1 on 16 March and 2 on 23 March).

Thrushes: Ten Mountain Bluebirds were seen at the Tyrone sewage ponds (Ken Dayer, 23 March). Three Townsend’s Solitaries were detected in the Gila Bird Area (Roland Shook, 1 March).

Pipits: Brian Dolton reported a Sprague’s Pipit along Separ Road (25 March).

Warblers: A Lucy’s Warbler was reported from the Gila Bird Area (Roland Shook, 17 March). A Yellow-rumped Warbler was reported by Allison Boyd from her Silver City residence (14 March). Dave Griffin reported a female Common Yellowthroat from the Lordsburg sewage treatment ponds (31 March). Junella Haynes reported a Wilson’s Warbler at her Silver City residence (13 March). Two Yellow Warblers were detected in the Gila Bird Area (Roland Shook, 19 March)

Photograph of Lucy’s Warbler by Robert Shantz, Arizona, 2004

Sparrows et al.: The following sparrows were reported by Ken Dayer from the Tyrone sewage ponds: Chipping Sparrows (7 on 16 March); Brewer’s Sparrows (14 on 16 March and 25 on 23 March); Vesper Sparrows (3 on 23 March); and White-crowned Sparrows (35 on 16 March and 17 on 23 March). A Lincoln’s Sparrow was reported by Gene Lewis from his Silver City yard (21 to 31 March). A migrating Song Sparrow was reported from the Gila Bird Area by Roland Shook (1 March). Green-tailed Towhees were detected in the Gila Bird Area (Roland Shook, 5 on 6 March and 6 on 28 March).

Cardinals et al.: Ken Dayer reported a Pyrrhuloxia from the Tyrone sewage ponds (16 March).

Orioles: Cathy Ramsay reported a Scott’s Oriole visiting her feeders in Wind Canyon (22 March).

I appreciate all who sent in bird reports. Even thought numbers are important, a list of birds seen in the field also has value. I want to encourage everyone to spend as much time as they can enjoying watching and identifying birds. I will give careful  consideration to all reports that I receive, and will try and include as many reports as I can, even if they do not include numbers of a particular species.

I encourage the submission of records and photos. In order to increase the scientific value of your sightings, I encourage you to please include the number, a date and location for each species, as well as, the full name of the observer. Undated sightings, with or without a location or the number observed, are of a lesser value, however, all submissions are welcome. I do not know where many of you live, so a brief description would be much appreciated.  Please send your photos and reports to tyrannidae@gmail.com. Thanks to all who submitted this month and in the past.

All photographs displayed in this Bird Sightings Report remain the sole property of the photographer. Expressed written permission from the photographer is necessary to use any of these photographs.

Photo of Common Mergansers at the top of this page was taken by Robert Shantz.

Please send comments to Roland Shook.