Today Gavin Bieber, Celina Blouin, Jerry Bock and I checked out the Santa Gertrudis Lane area today along the Santa Cruz River just south of Tumacacori National Historic Park. When we first arrived after day-break Jerry called back to alert us to the continuing VARIED THRUSH sitting on the fence very near the #(12) sign on the north side of the lane. Later in the morning Jerry had the RUFOUS-BACKED ROBIN in the same general area sitting on top of one of the pyracantha trees eating berries. Also here a fly-by CRESTED CARACARA added to the odd flavor of the morning.
At 8:54 a.m. Gavin called me to report he was watching a VIOLET-CROWNED HUMMINGBIRD as well as a remarkable WHITE-EARED HUMMINGBIRD which was very obliging to having its picture taken (as seen below).
After Jerry, Mark Stevenson and I successfully saw these 2 late-season birds (and perhaps the lowest WEHU record?) we met up with Molly Pollock who informed us of a HUGE flock that had gone by her including lots of sparrows and warblers. Gavin, Celina and I continued SOUTH beyond the road along the river where we eventually met up with the flock again. Good thing we did because in it Gavin spotted a female ROSE-THROATED BECARD that flew in briefly. I tried to get some pictures but, as is sometimes the case with this species, it was very high in a cottonwood tree and managed to stay almost completely obscured by foliage the entire 5 minutes I tried snapping shots. When I lost track of the bird it called quite loudly once and flew off. About 10 minutes later Jerry arrived (when we had to depart back to Tucson) but luckily the bird vocalized 2 more times before we left.
Location is a few hundred meters south of the Santa Gertrudis Lane/Santa Cruz River intersection where the river takes a slight jog east. We were stopped by the ranch owner that is in charge of the land south of the road along the river and he had the following to say:
"You guys are on my land ... which is o.k.! Just wanted to let you know there are some bulls running through this area with the cows and to watch out. You do know how to tell the difference right, haha?"
This is NOT regarding the areas beyond the NO TRESPASSING signs just west of the river along the lane. Not sure whose land that is...
an excellent day of birding was had by all!