AZ’s West Coast (02/17-02/20/2012)

Highlights on a fun 3-day trip to Arizona’s West Coast include:

  • Singing LeConte’s Thrashers off the Wintersburg exit of I-10
  • 4 Trumpeter and 3 Tundra Swan east of Needles in the ag fields north of Vanderslice & Courtwright
  • Eastern Phobe at Catfish Paradise (Topock Marsh)
  • The long-staying NUTTING’S FLYCATCHER and a Northern Parula at Mosquito Flats (MP 2.0) of Planet Ranch Rd (Bill Williams NWR)
  • A drake Barrow’s Goldeneye, a hen Red-breasted Mergansers, 2 Red-throated Loons and an immature male Surf Scoter off the Bill Williams NWR visitor center
  • A failed search for Smith’s Longspur in Estella at least yielded nice looks at Chestnut-collared Longspur

We finished with 104 species.

This Canyon Wren was calling/singing from the “wrong” side of the road.

My San Bernadino Co Vermilion Flycatcher was at south of Parker Dam.

The star of the show was the long-staying Nutting’s Flycatcher at Bill Williams NWR. Some info on this bird including vocalizations is shown here:

This shot shows the diagnostic orange mouth-lining and the rufous inner webs of the primaries. The latter were not very visible when the bird was perched.


3 Westmoreland Park gulls (Portland, OR, 02/12/2012)

The best time to check for gulls at Westmorelands is oddly enough a nice weekend afternoon with lots of people feeding the ducks and gulls. A female Eurasian Wigeon was present, but I didn’t get any pictures this time. Yesterday’s brief visit was targeting Thayer’s Gull. We found a nice adult.

And a first cycle bird …

The most interesting gull was this 2nd cycle Nelson’s Gull (Glaucous x Herring Gull) or at least that’s what I believe this is. Please let me know if you think otherwise. The nicely bi-colored bill is reminiscent of a young Glaucous Gull. The iris of the bird was somewhat dusky.

Mill Pond near Lacamas Lake in Camas produced the Tufted Duck. I only obtained documentation quality shots of it, but a long tuft, the bright white flanks and black back make the id real easy.


A brief stop at Captain Clark Park yielded the Red-naped Sapsucker reported earlier.

Overall a great afternoon.

San Blas and Guadalajara, Mexico, January ’12

I recently took a work-related trip to Meheeco (Guadalajara actually) and was able to squeeze a little birding in. A few pictures are here:

If you are still with me, you can read on for the trip report …

San Blas, Nayarit (01/21-22/2012) and Primavera Forest near Guadalajara, Jalisco (01/27-28/2012)

1. Itinerary for the San Blas portion of the trip Work took me to Guadalajara in mid-end January, yet I was able to carve out a weekend in San Blas (January 21-22). I left Guadalajara at around 5:45am (taking the toll road 15D; there were 3 toll booths and the total cost one-way was just over 310 Pesos) to make it through Tepic when the sun was up getting to the bottom of Cerro de San Juan by about 8:30am. I birded the road to about the 14km mark before I turning back at about 2:30pm (Nayarit is Mountain Time whereas Guadalajara is Central Time). I took 15 over to the cruzero San Blas, briefly stopping at the Mirador del Aguila, then heading down to San Blas getting there by about sunset. I stayed overnight at the Hotel Garza Canelo and enjoyed a great dinner at the Delfin, the restaurant at the hotel. Next day I started early at Lower Singayta birding the far end of town to about the 2.5km mark. I headed back towards town at around 11:30am, grabbing a few snacks in town and then walked the trail to the sewage ponds in the heat of the day. Briefly checking the junctions ponds en route, I made Matanchen my next stop, was it was very crowded and not too birds. A brief run down the inactive Shrimp Ponds Rd, another quick check for Fan-tailed Warbler at Singayta and another stop at the Mirador del Aguila rounded up another good day. At around 4pm, I was back in 15 headed for Guadalajara. I got to the edge of town at around 7:30pm, but then the speed bumps and heavy traffic delayed my return to the hotel in Guadalajara for another hour. Cerro de San Juan was a great site to bird and I was saddened to leave after running into a stationary flock at around 2pm near MP14 where I turned around. Also very birdy was Lower Singayta. None of the other stops came even close. A note on safety: The San Blas area seemed completely safe, night or day. Due to the recent violence around Tepic one should probably avoid travelling through the area at night. The Mirador did not seem safe to me. It is also an absolutely nasty spot, with trucks barrelling by and the smell of a garbage dump. I was glad to get out there after seeing the Military Macaws.

2. References:

3. Species list (San Blas portion): Total of 142

-Singayta (S), Cerro de San Juan (C), Mirador del Aguila (M)

Black-bellied Whistling-Duck Dendrocygna autumnalis  (>50 at Crucero San Blas)

Muscovy Duck Cairina moschata (1 at S)

Blue-winged Teal Anas discors

Northern Shoveler Anas clypeata

Green-winged Teal Anas crecca (3 at Junction ponds)

Neotropic Cormorant Phalacrocorax brasilianus

Magnificent Frigatebird Fregata magnificens

Great Blue Heron Ardea herodias

Great Egret Ardea alba

Snowy Egret Egretta thula

Little Blue Heron Egretta caerulea

Tricolored Heron Egretta tricolor

Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis

Black-crowned Night-Heron Nycticorax nycticorax

White Ibis Eudocimus albus

Roseate Spoonbill Platalea ajaja

Wood Stork Mycteria americana

Black Vulture Coragyps atratus

Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura

Northern Harrier Circus cyaneus (1 east of Tepic)

Sharp-shinned Hawk Accipiter striatus

Gray Hawk Buteo nitidus

Short-tailed Hawk Buteo brachyurus (1 at S, 1 at sewage ponds)

Red-tailed Hawk Buteo jamaicensis

Crested Caracara Caracara cheriway (1 at S)

American Kestrel Falco sparverius

Bat Falcon Falco rufigularis (2 at S)

Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus

American Coot Fulica americana

Purple Gallinule Porphyrio martinica

Limpkin Aramus guarauna (1 in pond along San Blas Rd)

Semipalmated Plover Charadrius semipalmatus

Black-bellied Plover Pluvialis squatarola

Black-necked Stilt Himantopus mexicanus

American Avocet Recurvirostra americana

Northern Jaçana Jacana spinosa (2 at sewage ponds)

Spotted Sandpiper Actitis macularius

Greater Yellowlegs Tringa melanoleuca

Willet Tringa s. inornata

Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus

Marbled Godwit Limosa fedoa

Least Sandpiper Calidris minutilla

Stilt Sandpiper Calidris himantopus (several at junction ponds)

Long-billed Dowitcher Limnodromus scolopaceus

Laughing Gull Larus atricilla

Gull-billed Tern Gelochelidon nilotica

Rock Pigeon Columba livia

White-winged Dove Zenaida asiatica

Mourning Dove Zenaida macroura

Inca Dove Columbina inca

Ruddy Ground-Dove Columbina talpacoti

White-tipped Dove Leptotila verreauxi

Military Macaw Ara militaris (5 at M)

Groove-billed Ani Crotophaga sulcirostris (4 at S)

Vaux’s Swift Chaetura vauxi

Mexican Woodnymph* (W) Thalurania ridgwayi (1 at C)

Broad-billed Hummingbird Cynanthus latirostris (1 at C)

White-eared Hummingbird^ Hylocharis leucotis (many at C)

Berylline Hummingbird^ Amazilia beryllina (3 at C)

Cinnamon Hummingbird Amazilia rutila (2 at C)

Rufous Hummingbird Selasphorus rufus

Elegant Trogon Trogon elegans (1 at C, 1 at S)

Belted Kingfisher Megaceryle alcyon

Acorn Woodpecker Melanerpes formicivorus

Golden-cheeked Woodpecker* (W) Melanerpes chrysogenys (3 at S)

Gila Woodpecker Melanerpes uropygialis

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker Sphyrapicus varius (2 at S)

Arizona Woodpecker Picoides arizonae

Lineated Woodpecker Dryocopus lineatus (1 at Matanchen)

Pale-billed Woodpecker Campephilus guatemalensis (1 at C in coffee)

Ivory-billed Woodcreeper Xiphorhynchus flavigaster (3 at C)

Tufted Flycatcher Mitrephanes phaeocercus (3 at C)

Greater Pewee Contopus pertinax (2 at C)

Willow Flycatcher Empidonax traillii (2 at S)

Western Flycatcher Empidonax difficilis/occidental (S)

Vermilion Flycatcher Pyrocephalus rubinus (S)

Dusky-capped Flycatcher Myiarchus tuberculifer (common at C, 1 at M)

Brown-crested Flycatcher Myiarchus tyrannulus (1 at S)

Great Kiskadee Pitangus sulphuratus

Boat-billed Flycatcher Megarynchus pitangua (1 at S in coffee)

Social Flycatcher Myiozetetes similis (lowlands)

Tropical Kingbird Tyrannus melancholicus

Rose-throated Becard Pachyramphus aglaiae (1 at S in coffee)

Masked Tityra Tityra semifasciata (M, S)

Black-capped Vireo Vireo atricapilla (3 at S)

Cassin’s Vireo Vireo cassinii (2 at S)

Golden Vireo* (W) Vireo hypochryseus (1 at C)

Warbling Vireo Vireo gilvus swainsoni group

Black-throated Magpie-Jay* (NW) Calocitta colliei (2 at M)

Green Jay Cyanocorax [yncas] luxuosus (1 at C)

Sinaloa Crow* (NW) Corvus sinaloae (many at S)

Common Raven Corvus corax

Northern Rough-winged Swallow Stelgidopteryx serripennis

Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica

Sinaloa Wren* (W) Thryothorus sinaloa (1 at C, 1 at M)

Happy Wren* (W) Thryothorus felix (3 at S)

“Northern” House Wren Troglodytes a. aedon (C)

Ruby-crowned Kinglet Regulus calendula (C)

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher Polioptila caerulea

Brown-backed Solitaire^ Myadestes occidentalis (2 singing at C)

White-throated Thrush Turdus assimilis (many at C, S)

Rufous-backed Robin* (W) Turdus rufopalliatus (2 at M)

Blue Mockingbird* Melanotis caerulescens (2 low at C)

Gray Silky(-flycatcher)^ Ptilogonys cinereus (1 at S)

Orange-crowned Warbler Vermivora celata (~10)

Nashville Warbler Vermivora ruficapilla (25+ at C, a few at S)

Crescent-chested Warbler^ Parula superciliosa

Yellow Warbler Dendroica p. aestivia group (S, 1 possible Mangrove near Matanchen)

“Audubon’s” Yellow-rumped Warbler Dendroica c. auduboni group (C)

Black-throated Gray Warbler Dendroica nigrescens

Townsend’s Warbler Dendroica townsendi (many at C)

Hermit Warbler Dendroica occidentalis (1 at C)

Black-and-white Warbler Mniotilta varia (3 at C, 2 in mangroves near Matanchen)

American Redstart Setophaga ruticilla (many at S)

Northern Waterthrush Parkesia noveboracensis (2 at S)

Lousiana Waterthrush Parkesia motacilla (1 at S)

MacGillivray’s Warbler Oporornis tolmiei (4) yellowthroat sp (sewage ponds)

Wilson’s Warbler Wilsonia pusilla

Painted Redstart Myioborus pictus (3 at C)

Slate-throated Redstart Myioborus miniatus (2 at C)

Rufous-capped Warbler* Basileuterus rufifrons (2 at C)

Yellow-breasted Chat Icteria virens (2 at S)

Summer Tanager Piranga rubra (1 at S)

Flame-colored Tanager Piranga bidentata (1 at C)

Red-headed Tanager* (W) Piranga erythrocephala (1 at C in coffee)

Rusty-crowned Ground-Sparrow* (W) Melozone kieneri (2 at C)

Stripe-headed Sparrow Aimophila ruficauda (5 at S)

Rusty Sparrow Aimophila rufescens (1 at C)

Chipping Sparrow Spizella passerina (15+ at C)

Lincoln’s Sparrow Melospiza lincolnii (5)

“Western” Grayish Saltator* (W) Saltator c. vigorsii group (3 at S)

Rose-breasted/Black-headed Grosbeak sp

Varied Bunting Passerina versicolor (4 at C)

Painted Bunting Passerina ciris (2 females at S)

Great-tailed Grackle Quiscalus mexicanus

Black-vented Oriole^ Icterus wagleri (2 at S)

Orchard Oriole Icterus spurius (3 at S)

Hooded Oriole Icterus cucullatus

Streak-backed Oriole Icterus pustulatus (2 at S)

Godman’s [Scrub] Euphonia Euphonia [a.] godmani (2 at S)

Lesser Goldfinch Carduelis psaltria

4.  The Primavera Forest (Bosque de Primavera) SW of Guadalajara On 1/27, a coworker and I spent about 1.5hrs in the first 2kms after the guard station of the Mariana Otero access. This area is reached turning south on Mariano Otero Ave from the Periferico Sur until the road turns unpaved and you reach a ranger station. The gate opened at 7am, but access was closed Sunday afternoon. The brief list is here:

Snowy Egret (1) accipiter sp (1) Mourning Dove (5) Inca Dove (4) Rufous Hummingbird (2) White-eared Hummingbird (1) Acorn Woodpecker (2) *Hammond’s Flycatcher (1) *Say’s Phoebe (1) Vermilion Flycatcher (1) *Ash-throated Flycatcher (1) *Cassin’s Kingbird (1) swallow sp (1) Common Raven (2) Northern House Wren (1) Ruby-crowned Kinglet (2) *Curve-billed Thrasher (2) Gray Silky Flycatcher (2) Yellow-rumped Warbler (25) Black-throated Gray Warbler (1) Orange-crowned Warbler (2) Painted Redstart (2) Hepatic Tanager (3) Black-headed Grosbeak (3) Varied Bunting (1) Chipping Sparrow (20) Lark Sparrow (15) *Rufous-crowned Sparrow (1) *Canyon Towhee (2) *Scott’s Oriole (1) *House Finch (2) Lesser Goldfinch (1)

[Note: On 1/28 mid afternoon I briefly checked the area at around the gate and also found Loggerhead Shrike, Broad-billed Hummingbird and Blue Grosbeak.]

On 1/28, another coworker and I accessed the Primavera Forest via Las Tortugas just north of Tala on the west side. On the SE side of the Las Tortugas creek crossing, pull into the dirt road and follow to the end to a small park at the end of the road. There was a 10 Peso fee to enter the area and later another 20 Peso access fee to get into the park. Here is what we saw in about 4 hours:

Great Blue Heron (2) Great Egret (2) Black Vulture (14) Turkey Vulture (6) Red-tailed Hawk (2) Inca Dove (10) White-eared Hummingbird (1) Belted Kingfisher (1) *Green Kingfisher (1) Acorn Woodpecker (25) Ladder-backed Woodpecker (1) Greater Pewee (2) *Gray Flycatcher (1) *Buff-breasted Flycatcher (3) Vermilion Flycatcher (3) Ash-throated Flycatcher (2) Great Kiskadee (4) Cassin’s Kingbird (1) Northern Rough-winged Swallow (3) Common Raven (8) Northern House Wren (2) Ruby-crowned Kinglet (2) Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (2) *Eastern Bluebird (4) Rufous-backed Robin (1) Blue Mockingbird (1) *European Starling (1000s en route) Yellow-rumped Warbler (20) Black-throated Gray Warbler (2) Black-and-white Warbler (1) Wilson’s Warbler (1) Orange-crowned Warbler (3) Hepatic Tanager (1) *Blue Grosbeak (7) Varied Bunting (3) Rufous-capped Brush-finch (3) Stripe-headed Sparrow (12) Chipping Sparrow (40) Lark Sparrow (25) *Grasshopper Sparrow (2) Lincoln’s Sparrow (6) Streak-backed Oriole (2) House Finch (5) Lesser Goldfinch (1)

In town and otherwise, I also has the following during the week: *Loggerhead Shrike *House Sparrow

Species marked with an asterisk in the last section were new for the trip bringing the total to 160.