New Years Day at Tumacacori 1/01/10

Jerry Bock, Thomas Staudt and I decided to bird Santa Gertrudis Lane at Tumacacori to begin the New Year out right. Birds were plentiful along the lane with Western Bluebirds, Cedar Waxwings and White-crowned Sparrows greeting us as we began our walk to look for the stakeout Rufous-backed Robin and Varied Thrush. We spent a little time there with many familiar and new faces peering at the pyracantha with hopes of the two rare thrushes. No luck during the rather short time we spent there, but this obliging Sage Thrasher snacking on
pyracantha berries was a great consolation!

Sage Thrasher

We decided to bird the river and within about 1oo yards we heard the distinctive call of Rose-throated Becard. We were able to find him after several minutes of searching. Jerry went back to alert other birders while Thomas and I kept the becard in sight. It flew west over the fence towards the de Anza trail. Fortunately Dick Palmer and crew were present and we soon relocated the bird and got everyone on it. What a great start to the New Year! I was able to obtain a few marginal shots while it very actively fed.

Back view of Rose-throated Becard
Side view of Rose-throated Becard
Front view of Rose-throated Becard

Other notable species along the river include a male Ruddy-ground Dove, a rare but increasing visitor from Mexico, a very rare winter "Western" Flycatcher and Painted Redstart. This Crissal Thrasher entertained us on our way out.

Crissal Thrasher

We checked the flooded fields south of Tumacacori and found ca. 15 American Crows with greater numbers of Common and Chihuahuan Ravens. Western Meadowlarks cavorted with the three expected species of blackbirds. It has been a truly great year for crows!

Good Birding,
Keith Kamper

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