March 7, 2013


After a frantic but unsuccessful search for the Elegant Trogon that has been seen at Patagonia Lake State Park lately I birded around the lake until dark, finding a brilliant male Vermillion Flycatcher, a few Gray Flycatchers, and a variety of duck-like creatures.

The next day I hit up the Paton's yard early morning, a spot notorious for bringing in great birds to the feeders that are stocked year round.  I saw the usual suspects, but was happy to find four or five Lazuli Buntings tentatively eating seed.

Yellow-rumped Warbler taking a break from the suet.

Bridled Titmouse

I then spend the rest of the morning exploring Patagonia-Sonoita Creek Preserve, where I was greeted by a large flock of Lark Sparrows, a species I'd really only seen a handful of before.

Lark Sparrow

Northern Cardinal

Though not extremely birdy, the two miles of trail I walked were great, showing lots of Abert's and Canyon Towhees, my first Phainopepla*, my first Hepatic Tanager in the US, and more Gila Woodpeckers than I needed.

Hepatic Tanager

Canyon Towhee

One of the fun discoveries here was a small section of stream where I found a Say's, Black, and Eastern Phoebe all feeding within 20 feet of each other.  Though the former two are quite common in the area, the Eastern is somewhat of a rarity and was great to have next to the other two.

Eastern Phoebe

A Cooper's Hawk that was undoubtedly snacking on a Lark Sparrow only moments ago.

My final excitement for the reserve were the two Rufous-winged Sparrows I spotted in the parking lot on my way to my car.  This was a bird I was hoping to see, but was told I'd be lucky to find, but I think they're fairly common at this location and was just lucky to have not passed them off as something else.

Ah yes, and this dummy, an Inca Dove

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