Total ABA Species Recorded During 2010 - 731

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Third Time's the Charm

As you may recall, dear readers, yesterday no new birds were added to the cumulative total. However, as we left the trail where the Rufous-capped Warbler has been seen, we found a note on our windshield that said that the warbler had in fact been seen that morning. That gave us high hopes. But to make it happen, last night I made an effort to contact local people who could give us better directions than we currently had. One of those people was Mark Stevenson . So this morning after a run up and back on Ruby Road hoping for Montezuma Quail to be feeding along its edges, we stopped for lunch. I launched my laptop using the Mifi wireless router and found a message from Mark with quite complete directions to the three locations in Florida Canyon where the warbler has been seen. Needless to say I didn't finish my lunch, but instead drove up to Florida Canyon where we again walked up the same trail. However, at a crucial point, we diverted right and ended up where we should have been, with all the landmarks in the right places...the dam, the sycamore, the burned oaks. Plus we passed a couple who had JUST seen the bird. That, as it turned out, somewhat distracted us, but since we couldn't find the bird where we thought they said it would be, we went back to a systematic survey of the possible areas. Not long after that John yelled that he had the bird along the creek. I got over in time to have the warbler fly into a bush at my feet before it recrossed the creek and disappeared only to reappear forty yards away. We saw it a couple more times but I couldn't get a photo. The Rufous-capped Warbler became the second ABA bird for me on the trip (web photo).
With so much time left in the day we took off for a site near Yuma AZ where Paul Lehman has had Ruddy Ground-Dove. Unfortunately, even though we made good time, we didn't arrive at the location until it was really too dark to see anything well. So we're bunked up in a motel ready to give the search a try first thing in the morning.
By the way even though we didn't get the quail along Ruby Road this morning, we did see a nice flock of Lawrence's Goldfinches, a new bird for the year (photo). The species total is now 341.
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  1. Glad you saw the Rufous-capped warbler Bob !

  2. Congrats on the Rufous-capped Warbler! Exciting and thrilling I'm sure. Cheers to you and John, Renee

  3. Montezuma quail cannot be as common as they were years ago. I suspect urban growth & hunting have really tipped their population balance into the negative. The grasslands are really hospitable places for houses, and the unbridled growth of the last real estate epoch probably was not good for habitat preservation. Might there be then a silver-lining ecologically to the mortgage defaults sweeping through Arizona?

    "This used to be real estate
    Now it's only fields and trees
    Where, where is the town
    Now, it's nothing but flowers"

    - Talking Heads (David Byrne)