Red-necked Phalarope


Yuma to Madera Canyon 
24-26 Sep 2004
by Henry Detwiler

While traveling to Tucson for an Arizona Bird Committee meeting, I thought I'd do a little birding!  
species -- bird list is at the bottom of the page
Click on thumbnail pictures for full-sized shots.  

Warbling Vireo

Jim Logan and I started off at the Yuma West Wetlands, picking up a couple of the regulars like Burrowing Owl and Ladder-backed Woodpecker.  Our next two stops were west of Wellton on Co 10th, where we added Crissal Thrasher, House Wren, and several Warbling Vireos.  

The Dateland Shrimp Ponds was a primary reason for Jim to visit Yuma County, and he had seen the Ruff there on Thursday. We re-located it quickly enough, getting great views before it flew off.  In addition to a Peregrine Falcon and all the shorebirds listed below, we found a new "ponds" bird--a Rock Wren.  After the shrimp ponds Jim and I parted company--he headed to Flagstaff and I towards Madera Canyon.


A quick stop at Paloma Ranch netted me a Prairie Falcon, some warblers, and a few Vermilion Flycatchers.  At Gila Bend I turned south, and drove until I reached the lush chain-fruit cholla/Saguaro-riddled Sonoran desert west of Sells.  Here the common birds were Canyon Towhee, Cactus Wren, and Black-throated Sparrow.

Chihuahuan Raven

I had planned to check for Five-striped Sparrow at the base of Kitt Peak, but the road closed at 4:00pm, so I settled for lots of Rufous-winged Sparrows right at the gate.



In Sells I found my Black Vultures and Chihuahuan Raven--see the white feathers on the neck.  Close to the sewage lagoon I found a Vesper Sparrow and a Lucy's Warbler.


Rufous-winged Sparrow

Arizona Woodpecker

I was still going for a "Big Day", so I made a bee-line for Santa Rita Lodge, where I added a host of hummers, woodpeckers, Mexican Jays, a singing Painted Redstart, and a stripe-backed Skunk, among others.  Once it got dark, I went down the canyon and added Elf Owls, Whiskered Screech-Owls, and a Poorwill.  In the end I finished the day with 120 species.

Shrimp Ponds Sunset

Red-naped Sapsucker

On Saturday morning the feeding station was alive. Lots of birds eating, and even more were coming in to the fountain to drink & bathe.  Acorn & Arizona Woodpeckers, and Red-naped Sapsuckers would feed at the nearby trees and then swoop in to the fountain to drink.  A hike in the upper canyon produced a probable Northern Parula high in the trees and a black bear.

Black Bear

Anna's Hummingbird

After spending a few hours looking at property around Patagonia, I was back on the birding trail.  At the Paton's I snapped pics of  beautiful hummers and both fritillary & swallowtail butterflies.

Broad-billed Hummingbird

Pipevine Swallowtail

Gulf Fritillary

Patagonia Lake State Park was full of cows, campers, boaters, soras, song sparrows, marsh wrens, & gnatcatchers--but no Black-capped Gnatcatchers.  

On the way home from the Arizona Bird Committee meeting on Sunday I stopped at Paloma Ranch.  A beautiful Red-naped Phalarope was riding the current in one of the irrigation canals, and a crisp Cassin's Vireo was feeding in the mesquites.

Cassin's Vireo

Red Crossbill (female)

And then three birds flew over--and they sounded like crossbills!  When they landed in the mesquites I saw that they indeed were Red Crossbills--wandering in a desert oasis miles from the closest pine tree.  Then they flew down to the irrigation canal, so I even got a few pics!


My final stop was once again at the Dateland Shrimp Ponds, where the Ruff remained, along with lots of other shorebirds, including this Wilson's Snipe.  It had been a fine couple of days--can't wait to do it again!
Wilson's Snipe


Southern Arizona, 24-26 Sep 2004
# Species
1 Pied-billed Grebe
2 Eared Grebe
3 Double-crested Cormorant
4 Great Blue Heron
5 Great Egret
6 Snowy Egret
7 Cattle Egret
8 Green Heron
9 Black-crowned Night Heron
10 White-faced Ibis
11 American Wigeon
12 Blue-winged Teal
13 Mallard
14 Cinnamon Teal
15 Northern Shoveler
16 Northern Pintail
17 Ring-necked Duck
18 Ruddy Duck
19 Osprey
20 Northern Harrier
21 Sharp-shinned Hawk
22 Cooper's Hawk
23 Harris' Hawk
24 Red-tailed Hawk
25 American Kestrel
26 Peregrine Falcon
27 Prairie Falcon
28 Gambel's Quail
29 Montezuma's Quail
30 Sora
31 Common Moorhen
32 American Coot
33 Black-bellied Plover
34 Snowy Plover
35 Semipalmated Plover
36 Killdeer
37 Black-necked Stilt
38 American Avocet
39 Greater Yellowlegs
40 Lesser Yellowlegs
41 Willet
42 Spotted Sandpiper
43 Western Sandpiper
44 Least Sandpiper
45 Baird's Sandpiper
46 Ruff
47 Short-billed Dowitcher
48 Long-billed Dowitcher
49 Wilson's Snipe
50 Wilson's Phalarope
51 Red-necked Phalarope
52 Black Vulture
53 Turkey Vulture
54 California Gull
55 Sabine's Gull
56 Rock Pigeon
57 White-winged Dove
58 Mourning Dove
59 Inca Dove
60 Eurasian Collared Dove
61 Greater Roadrunner
62 Whiskered Screech Owl
63 Elf Owl
64 Burrowing Owl
65 Common Poorwill
66 Magnificent Hummingbird
67 Broad-billed Hummingbird
68 Violet-crowned Hummingbrd
69 Black-chinned Hummingbird
70 Anna's Hummingbird
71 Costa's Hummingbird
72 Calliope Hummingbird
73 Rufous Hummingbird
74 Belted Kingfisher
75 Arizona Woodpecker
76 Acorn Woodpecker
77 Gila Woodpecker
78 Red-naped Sapsucker
# Species
79 Ladder-backed Woodpecker
80 Northern Flicker
81 Gilded Flicker
82 Western Wood Pewee
83 Willow Flycatcher
84 Pacific Slope Flycatcher
85 Black Phoebe
86 Say's Phoebe
87 Vermilion Flycatcher
88 Dusky-capped Flycatcher
89 Cassin's Kingbird
90 Western Kingbird
91 Loggerhead Shrike
92 Bell's Vireo
93 Cassin's Vireo
94 Hutton's Vireo
95 Warbling Vireo
96 Mexican Jay
97 Common Raven
98 Chihuahuan Raven
99 Purple Martin
100 Northern Rough-winged Swallow
101 Bank Swallow
102 Cliff Swallow
103 Barn Swallow
104 Bridled Titmouse
105 Verdin
106 White-breasted Nuthatch
107 Cactus Wren
108 Rock Wren
109 Canyon Wren
110 Bewick's Wren
111 House Wren
112 Marsh Wren
113 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
114 Black-tailed Gnatcatcher
115 Northern Mockingbird
116 Curve-billed Thrasher
117 Crissal Thrasher
118 European Starling
119 Phainopepla
120 Orange-crowned Warbler
121 Painted Redstart
122 Lucy's Warbler
123 Yellow-rumped Warbler
124 Black-throated Gray Warbler
125 Wilson's Warbler
126 Nashville Warbler
127 Common Yellowthroat
128 N. Parula
129 Western Tanager
130 Green-tailed Towhee
131 Canyon Towhee
132 Abert's Towhee
133 Rufous-winged Sparrow
134 Chipping Sparrow
135 Brewer's Sparrow
136 Vesper Sparrow
137 Lark Sparrow
138 Black-throated Sparrow
139 Savannah Sparrow
140 Song Sparrow
141 Lincoln's Sparrow
142 White-crowned Sparrow
143 Dark-eyed Junco
144 Black-headed Grosbeak
145 Blue Grosbeak
146 Lazuli Bunting
147 Red-winged Blackbird
148 Western Meadowlark
149 Yellow-headed Blackbird
150 Brewer's Blackbird
151 Great-tailed Grackle
152 Brown-headed Cowbird
153 House Finch
154 Red Crossbill
155 Pine Siskin
156 Lesser Goldfinch
157 House Sparrow

Photos Henry D. Detwiler