Arizona. December 2018.

Began our trip in Phoenix Arizona in Encanto Park to see Rosy-faced Lovebird now countable by ABA standards, to our surprise these were very easy to find by their noisy calls, a bonus bird was Inca Dove of which we saw several mixed with Mourning Doves. The park is a super introduction to American duck which included Ring-necked following us around looking for food amid Mallard and American Coot. Great-tailed Grackle, Neotropic Cormorant, Snowy and one Great Egret. Next day we spent the morning in the Botanical Gardens as all native Cacti species were present, we did a guided tour and recommend same. Cactus Wren is common as are Anna's Hummingbird, We saw our only Costa's of the trip here. Bonus bird being Prairie Falcon sitting on the side of the mountain overlooking the gardens for quite some time. Later we visited The Riparian Wetlands which is outstanding for water and land based birds. We saw our only Song Sparrow here, other birds of note Canvasback, Redhead, Ring-necked Duck and Lesser Scaup. Dabbling Duck were Green-winged Teal and American Wigeon not to mention several species of European duck. About a dozen American White Pelicans were present including one which was satellite tagged from Mexico. We found two first winter Snow geese amid the Canada. Waders were well represented with Long-billed Dowitcher, Greater Yellowlegs, Least Sandpiper, American Avocet, Black-necked Stilt, Wilson's Snipe and Killdeer. This is the only site we saw Harris's Hawk and Osprey.

Our next stop was Sierra Vista in the southeast, this was to be our base for the Mexican border sites. Tubac was our first port of call for Green Kingfisher which we saw very well picked up by it's wren like call. Next Chiricahua Mountains for Mexican Chickadee, we planned to give this difficult species three attempts, we got it in one thanks to the wardens at the gate house which one should check in. They also pointed us in the right direction for Blue-throated Hummingbird of which we saw and found a second just for good measure. Gambel's Quail is common here but failed to see Montezula.

Next to San Rafael Valley for Longspurs but failed to reach same due to heavy overnight rains which did not suit our rental saloon, A higher based car/jeep would have suited, on advice we tried Sonoita which was getting Longspurs and huge numbers of Sparrows. Rain hampered our day but we did manage one McCown's Longspur amid hundreds of Vesper Sparrows. Only one Horned Lark amid same. The grassland were abounding with several species of sparrows, Northern Harrier were to be seen every few minutes, two White-tailed Kites were ever present, one Rough legged Hawk and a Ferruginous Hawk. We saw several Eastern Meadowlarks which are considered Lilian's on range. By the end of the day snow was falling and more forecast, we decided to play safe and head back to Tucson. From here we spent half a day in the Paton's Centre for Hummingbirds which gave us Broad-billed and Anna's.

Our next few days were well spent in Santa Rita just to catch up with some now familiar birds, the big surprise though was Northern Pygmy Owl! lifer and bird of the trip performing very well, daytime hunting and tame. Other notable birds during out tenure being two Magnificent and Blue-throated Hummingbirds. We struggled to find Olive Warbler but were eventually rewarded with a performing male, stunner!. Hammond's flycatcher, Greater Pewee, Arizona Woodpeckers, Hepatic Tanagers to mention just some. Santa Rita is just a magnet for good birds.

We spent our last morning in Green Valley looking at more superb diving and dabbling duck, the lake was surrounded by sparrows including Lincoln's, Lark and two Cassin's before heading to Phoenix for our flight home. We had ample time and revisited Riparian Wetland for more of the same but including Inca Doves this time.

We have visited Arizona several times over the years and will certainly be back as the birding is just fantastic, we seem to see something new every time which is a bonus, driving is very easy, people are just relaxed and friendly and everything just works as it should.

Paul and Andrea Kelly 2019

Pied-billed Grebe (C) Phoenix. Wilson's Snipe (C) Phoenix. House Wren (L)
American White Pelican (12) Phoenix. Mourning Dove (C) Everywhere. Cactus Wren (L) Phoenix Bot Gardens.
Neotropic Cormorant (C) Phoenix. Collared Dove (C) Phoenix. Rock Wren (1) Chiricahua Mts.
Snowy Egret (C) Phoenix. Inca Dove (C) Phoenix only. Ruby-crowned Kinglet (C)
Great Egret (1) Phoenix. Rosy-faced Lovebird (C) Phoenix only. Black Gnatcatcher (L)
Black-crowned Night Heron (2) Phoenix Greater Roadrunner (2) Santa Rita. Black-headed Gnatcatcher (2) Santa Rita.
Canada Goose (C) Phoenix. Northern Pygmy Owl (1) Santa Rita. Western Bluebird (L) Santa Rita.
Snow Goose (2) Phoenix. Broad-billed Hummingbird (1) Paton's Centre. Hermit Thrush (L) Santa Rita.
Wood Duck(2) Phoenix. Broad-throated Hummingbird (1) Santa Rita. Northern Mockingbird (C)
Mallard (C) Phoenix. Magnificent Hummingbird (1) Santa Rita. Brown Thrasher (C)
Gadwall (6) Phoenix. Anna's Hummingbird (1) Santa Rita. Curve-billed Thrasher (C)
Northern Pintail (C) Phoenix. Costa's Hummingbird (1) Bot Gardens Phoenix European Starling (C) Phoenix.
American Wigeon (C) Phoenix/Green Valley. Broad-tailed Hummingbird (1) Paton's Centre. Brown Thrasher (C)
Northern Shoveler(C) Phoenix. . Green Kingfisher (1) Tubac. Phainopepla (L) Road to Santa Rita.
Ciannamon Teal (4) Phoenix. Acorn Woodpecker (C) Orange-crowned Warbler (C)
Green-winged Teal (C) Phoenix. Gila Woodpecker (C) Phoenix. Yellow-rumped Warbler (C)
Canvasback (C) Green Valley. Red-naped Sapsucker (2) Chiricahua Mts. Painted Redstart (C)
Redhead (C) Green Valley. Arizona Woodpecker (C) Santa Rita. Olive Warbler (1) Male Santa Rita.
Ring-necked duck (C) Green Valley/Phoenix. Gilded Flicker (2) Santa Rita. Hepatic Tanager (2) Santa Rita.
Lesser Scaup (C) Green Valley/Phoenix.
Northern Flicker (2) Santa Rita.
Pyrrhuloxia (L) Chiricahua Mts.
Ruddy Duck (4) Phoenix. Greater Pewee (3) Santa Rita. Northern Cardinal (L)
Northern Harrier (C) Anywhere. Hammond's Flycatcher (2) Santa Rita. Spotted Towee (L)
White-tailed Kite (2) Sonoita. Grey Flycatcher (1) Chiricahua Mts. Albert's Towee (L)
Sharp-shinned Hawk(L) Anywhere. Dusky Flycatcher (1) Chiricahua Mts. Cassin's Sparrow (2) Green Valley.
Cooper's Hawk (L) Anywhere. Black Phoebe (L) Black-chinned Sparrow (1) Santa Rita.
Harris's Hawk (1) Phoenix. Say's Phoebe (L) Chipping Sparrow (C)
Red-tailed Hawk (C) Anywhere. Vermilion Flycatcher (L) Savanagh Sparrow (C) Sonoita.
Zone-tailed Hawk(1) Santa Cruz. Cassin's Kingbird (1) Green Valley. Vesper Sparrow (C) Sonoita.
Ferruginous Hawk(1) Sonoita. Loggerhead Shrike (L) Lark Sparrow (L) Green Valley.
Osprey (1) Phoenix. Hutton's Vireo (1) Paton's Centre. White-crowned Sparrow (C) Green Valley.
American Kestrel (C) Anywhere. Mexican Jay (C) Santa Rita. Song Sparrow (L) Phoenix.
Prairie Falcon(1) Phoenix Bot Gardens. Common Raven (C) Lincolin's Sparrow (1) Green Valley.
Gambel's Quail (C) Anywhere. Chihuahuan Raven (L) Sonoita. Dark-eyed Junco (C)
Wild Turkey(C) Only in Santa Rita beside centre. American Crow (1) Tombstone. Yellow-eyed Junco (2) Santa Rita.
American Coot (C) Anywhere near water. Horned Lark (1) Sonoita. McCown's Longspur (1) Sonoita.
Kildeer (C) Phoenix. Voilet-green Swallow(6) Sonoita. Eastern Meadowlark (L) Sonoita.
American Avocet (C) Phoenix. Bridled Titmouse (C) Brown-headed Cowbird (C) Phoenix.
Black-necked Stilt (C) Phoenix. Mexican Chickadee (1) Chiricahua Mts. Red-winged Blackbird (C) Phoenix.
Greater Yellowlegs (5) Phoenix. Verdin (L) Great-tailed Grackle (C) Phoenix.
Spotted Sandpiper (1) Green Valley. White-breasted Nuthatch (C) House Finch (C)
Least Sandpiper (L) Phoenix.
Brown Creeper (C)
Pine Siskin (C)
Long-billed Dowitcher (C) Phoenix. Bewick's Wren (L) Lesser Goldfinch (C)
    American Goldfinch (C)
    House Sparrow (C) Phoenix.