March is the month of migration and the prelude to the spring breeding season. It is an exciting time for birding.
Ducks and Geese: The following ducks were seen by Gene Lewis and Ken Dayer at the Tyrone sewage ponds: Cinnamon Teal - two on 4 March, four on 11 March; Northern Shoveler – 99 on 4 March, 202 on 11 March, 250 on 18 March, 318 on 25 March; Canvasback – two on 25 March; Ring-necked Duck – 16 on 4 March, eight on 11 March, 13 on 25 March; Lesser Scaup – five on 4 March, three on 11 March, five on 18 March and 14 on 25 March; Bufflehead – two on 4 March; one on 11 March, one on 25 March; Common Merganser – two on 4 March; and Ruddy Duck - four on 4 March, four on 11 March, six on 18 March, 15 on 25 March. A Canada Goose was heard in the Gila River Bird Area (Roland Shook, 16 March) and two were seen in the Gila River Bird Area (Roland Shook, 23 March). This species is becoming more common in the Cliff/Gila Valley.
Quail: Patricia Taber reported two Scaled Quail at Rockhound State Park (26-28 March).
Hawks: A Sharp-shinned Hawk has been dining on Karen Beckenbach’s Pine Siskins and Mountain Chickadees every two or three days throughout the month. Patricia Taber reported her first of the season Turkey Vultures in the area of WNMU (18 March). Becky Nolan Dees reported 6 Turkey Vultures in the vicinity of San Simon, AZ (23 March) and Larry Malone reported a Turkey Vulture over his Deming yard (26 march). Sandy Williams reported a Common Black-Hawk vocalizing in the Gila River Bird area on 14 March. Allison Boyd reported an American Kestrel on March 23rd along the Twin Sisters Creek, Dragonfly Trail at Ft. Bayard. Roland Shook reported an American Kestrel (13 March) from the Gila Bird Area where they have now become scarce. A pair of American Kestrels was seen in the Gila Bird Area 29 March (Roland Shook). S
Gulls: Sixty one Ring-billed Gulls were seen on Bill Evans Lake (Roland Shook, 23 March).
Pigeons and Doves: Karen Beckenbach reported Band-tailed Pigeons at her Silver City residence (11 March).
Cuckoos: Wendy Shaul reported a Greater Roadrunner near Redrock (11 March). It appears this species is becoming more uncommon in our area.
Owls: Larry Malone reported two Burrowing Owls at their nest burrow near Deming (14 March). A Northern Pygmy-Owl was heard vocalizing in the Gila Bird Area (Roland Shook, 13 March, 16 March, 23 March, and 27 March).
Hummingbirds: Steve London reported a Black-chinned Hummingbird near Hanover (31 March). He reported that this was the earliest date he has recorded in the past eight years. Kate Moitoret reported a Black-chinned Hummingbird from Tyrone (27 March). The number at Kate’s house had increased to two males on 31 March. A male Broad-tailed Hummingbird was heard in the Gila Bird Area (Roland Shook, 16 March).
Woodpeckers: Gene Lewis and Ken Dayer reported the following woodpeckers at the Tyrone sewage ponds: Lewis’s Woodpecker – one on 4 March, one on 11 March, two on 18 March, two on 25 March; Acorn Woodpecker – one on 4 March, one on 11 March, two on 18 March. Larry Malone reported a Hairy Woodpecker on the Meadow Creek Road in the Pinos Altos Mountains (16 March). He comments that they are now harder to find at this location than in previous times.
Flycatchers: Karen Beckenbach reported her first Ash-throated Flycatcher at her Silver City residence (5 March). Ken Dayer and Gene Lewis reported an Ash-throated Flycatcher at the Tyrone sewage ponds (4 March). Carol Fugagli reported a Vermillion Flycatcher at her residence on the Gila River near Cliff (15 March). Gene Lewis and Ken Dayer reported a Vermillion Flycatcher at the Tyrone sewage ponds (18 March).
Shrikes: Ken Dayer and Gene Lewis reported Loggerhead Shrikes from the Tyrone sewage ponds – three on 4 March, two on 11 March and one on 18 March.
Corvids: Four American Crows were reported on Little Walnut Creek (Karen Beckenbach, 11 March). On going through out the month was a flock of 50-100 Pinyon Jays at Karen Beckenbach Silver City residence.
Swallows: Gene Lewis and Ken Dayer reported an early Tree Swallow from the Tyrone sewage ponds (4 March).
Thrushes: An Eastern Bluebird was reported by Larry Malone at Bear Canyon Lake (16 March). Kate Moitoret reported Western Bluebirds from Tyrone Park (eight on 3 March, 17 on 11 March, and 3 on 18 March).
Thrashers: Becky Nolan Dees reported two Bendire’s Thrashers near San Simon, AZ (23 March).
Waxwings: Gene Lewis reported approximately 25 Cedar Waxwings near his Silver City residence (21 March).
Warblers: The first Lucy’s Warbler was detected in the Gila River Bird Area on 27 March (Roland Shook). Most years Lucy’s Warblers are present around 21 March.
Emberizids: Gene Lewis and Ken Dayer reported the following sparrows from the Tyrone sewage ponds: numerous Brewer’s Sparrows (4-25 March), five Lark Buntings (25 March), three to four Song Sparrows (4-25 March), and one to two Lincoln’s Sparrows (11 and 18 March). Steve London reported a White-crowned Sparrow near Hanover (18 March).
Cardinals and Grosbeaks: Gene Lewis and Ken Dayer reported a Blue Grosbeak at the Tyrone sewage ponds (25 March).
Finches: Throughout the month Karen Beckenbach reported a flock of 70-300 Pine Siskins visiting the feeders at her Silver City residence.
Deena Gentle suggested that local birders report their sightings on ebird.org. It is an interesting site and is well worth checking out.
I appreciate all who sent in bird reports and made comments on the Bird Sightings Report. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.Posted in Monthly Bird Sightings | No Comments »