Sunday, August 12, 2007

Arivaca Cienega

Bolstered by yesterday’s successful trip, I met the TAS group for a trip led by new executive director, Paul Green. Paul and his wife, Ang Li led about 20 of us to Arivaca Cienega in the Buenos Aires WMA. This was my first trip to this area. It’s very green right now because of all the monsoon rain we’ve gotten this year. The mosquitoes were probably more numerous than anywhere I’ve ever seen except in Cape May. We all used a lot of bug goop and after a few encounters with some big biting ants, many of us also tucked our pants legs into our socks. P.S. an ant still got up into my hip area and bit me leaving a huge welt that is only now receding.

It was all worth it though as the birding was as good as it gets. The first bird we saw was a Lark Sparrow, quickly followed by a rather grungy Blue Grosbeak. We watched Vermillion Flycatcher and Cassin’s kingbird feeding young with bugs almost too big to carry. The youngsters swallowed them whole. Yellow-billed Cuckcoo and *Tropical Kingbird allowed good, but fleeting looks as did several *Varied Buntings. A single *Gray Hawk was harassed out of sight by a kingbird. Liz found a great Black-throated Sparrow perched on a branch and two Yellow Warblers, but no one had to go out of their way to find the Yellow-breasted Chats that were everywhere we looked. Others seen or heard were: Common Yellowthroat, Northern Cardinal, White-winged Dove, Mourning Dove, Common Ground Dove, Northern Flicker, Black Phoebe, Canyon Towhee, Summer Tanager, House Finch, Red-winged Blackbird, Barn Swallow and Turkey Vulture (and not one yellow-eyed Junco the entire morning!).

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