Oak Creek Canyon - Cave Springs (spring migration)
17 Mar 2011, 1:57 PM,
#1
Oak Creek Canyon - Cave Springs (spring migration)
As in the past I plan to visit Cave Springs at least weekly to track the spring migration there. I enter my sightings into ebird (ebird.org) and have it send me an email with a compiled list. Then I cut and paste it here. This year I'll just keep adding to this post (and hope that others will too) rather than adding a new post every time. Nothing unusual in this first posting, but happy spring migration, everyone!

- John

Mallard 1
Common Merganser 2
Great Blue Heron 1
White-throated Swift 2
Belted Kingfisher 1
Hairy Woodpecker 1
Northern Flicker 3
Black Phoebe 3
Steller's Jay 6
Violet-green Swallow 3
White-breasted Nuthatch 5
Pygmy Nuthatch 3
House Wren 1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 3
American Robin 6
Dark-eyed Junco 2
Lesser Goldfinch 2
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27 Mar 2011, 5:23 PM,
#2
 
Nice to see the painted restarts in -- just saw and heard males. The gray flycatcher was identified by its behavior of wagging its tail downward relatively slowly. The Lincoln's sparrow was the first I remember seeing at this location. Let's hope the blackhawk finds a place to nest. They've given up the last two years.

Great Blue Heron 2
Common Black-Hawk (Common) 1
Belted Kingfisher 1
Acorn Woodpecker 2
Northern Flicker (Red-shafted) 5
Gray Flycatcher 1
Black Phoebe 3
Steller's Jay 9
White-breasted Nuthatch 4
Brown Creeper 4
House Wren 3 Singing
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 7 Singing
American Robin 5
Painted Redstart 4 Singing
Lincoln's Sparrow 1
Dark-eyed Junco (Gray-headed) 4 2 pairs
Lesser Goldfinch 1
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27 Mar 2011, 7:22 PM,
#3
 
Hi John,

I'm curious where you find the birds at Cave Springs. I'm back in Oregon now, but I went to Cave Springs last week, and found an Osprey and 2 robins. That's it! I drove around the campground, and walked a short way through the meadow and along the creek. Did I miss the spot?
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28 Mar 2011, 2:35 PM,
#4
 
This time of year, Cave Springs is kind of hit & miss. You could go one day and see nothing and another and see some interesting sightings.

Things don't really start picking up until April-May. That's when the real show begins, until August-September.

I find your Osprey sighting interesting. I have never seen one there. Has anyone else?
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28 Mar 2011, 2:52 PM,
#5
 
A few years ago during a field trip for a plant ID class to Page Springs I saw an Osprey flying over. I presume that they hang out near the hatchery further up canyon.

Eric
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28 Mar 2011, 9:09 PM,
#6
 
The Osprey flew low over the road with a fish in its talons as we were driving out of the campground. This was on Thursday, March 24.

Diane
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29 Mar 2011, 5:07 AM,
#7
 
During migration Osprey show up nearly anywhere. The oddest one I recall seeing was standing atop a saguaro along one of the scenic drives at Organ Pipe Cactus NM miles from the nearest water one March day.
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29 Mar 2011, 11:33 AM,
#8
osprey oddities
Osprey are not necessarily close to water, unless they are fishing Wink An Osprey nest has been active (fledging 1 to 3 youngsters each season) for many years at Broillar Park on the Coconino Forest, half-way between Stoneman Lake and Mormon Lake. Even in wet years the fishing trip to either of these lakes is about 11 miles round-trip. In very dry years when only Kinnicknick, Ashurst and Upper Lake Mary had water, the osprey fishing trip was lengthened to about 20 miles round-trip - and performed at least 3 times a day!

Elaine
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29 Mar 2011, 11:58 AM,
#9
 
That's amazing!
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2 Apr 2011, 2:16 PM,
#10
 
Gary's right about things changing day to day. I go once a week to Cave Springs during spring migration and am always surprised by something. Last week brown creepers and white-breasted nuthatches were easy to find and ruby-crowned kinglets were singing up a storm. This week - not a single one of any of these species. On the other hand, how can you complain about a day with 14 singing painted redstarts in 3 hours. And the Lucy's warblers are in - something I always look forward to. Some species already have young. The black phoebes that nest every year just upstream of the bridge have fledged 3 chicks, and there was a lot of cheeping coming from a robin's nest in the orchard. Also notable is the yearly buildup of house wrens. I heard 11 singing males this morning; last year I had a high count of 20 on April 17. Common blackhawks are flying around but don't seem to be keying on Cave Springs for a nesting site. Here's the list:

Mallard 2
Turkey Vulture 2
Common Black-Hawk 2
Spotted Sandpiper 1
Mourning Dove 1
White-throated Swift 4
Broad-tailed Hummingbird 1
Acorn Woodpecker 2
Hairy Woodpecker 4
Northern Flicker (Red-shafted) 9
Black Phoebe 5
Steller's Jay 10
Violet-green Swallow 2
House Wren 11
American Robin 6
Lucy's Warbler 3
Painted Redstart 14
Spotted Towhee 2
Dark-eyed Junco (Gray-headed) 2
Lesser Goldfinch 4
Reply
11 Apr 2011, 8:59 AM,
#11
 
It was a winter wonderland in upper Oak Creek Canyon Sunday morning after Saturday's storm. The trees were laden with snow and there was 8' on the ground. Naturally, spring migrants were tough to come by.

Great Blue Heron 1
Black-chinned Hummingbird 1
Northern Flicker (Red-shafted) 4
Black Phoebe 6
Steller's Jay 8
Brown Creeper 1
House Wren 3
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 3
American Robin 6
Painted Redstart 3
Dark-eyed Junco (Gray-headed) 4

I decided to give Red Tank Draw a look at about noon and a pair of blackhawks lifted out of the dense cottonwoods about a 1/4 mile downstream of the road. The Bell's vireo was singing continuously in the dense vegetation just southeast of the bridge.

Common Black-Hawk (Common) 2
Bell's Vireo 1
Common Raven 2
Verdin 2
Rock Wren 1
Canyon Wren 1
Northern Mockingbird 1
Lucy's Warbler 2
Chipping Sparrow 7
Black-throated Sparrow 2
Lesser Goldfinch 5
American Goldfinch 2

[file]8921[/file]


Attached Files Image(s)
       
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11 Apr 2011, 2:42 PM,
#12
 
Beautiful scenic photo!
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11 Apr 2011, 5:03 PM,
#13
 
It is a beautiful scene. Eight feet of snow may be pushing it, though :-)

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11 Apr 2011, 5:51 PM,
#14
 
Oops. 8 inches, of course. Big Grin
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11 Apr 2011, 7:54 PM,
#15
Dimensions
That reminds me of that hilarious scene in "This is Spinal Tap" when the 18" Stone Henge descends onto the stage:bigsmile:

Beautiful photo John.
Cheers
Tom
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12 Apr 2011, 11:35 AM,
#16
 
Tom - have you ever noticed how the Painted Redstarts in Oak Creek Canyon sing so loud their volume goes to 11?

It is a beautiful photo John, it must really have been something to see the redstarts in the snow!
Reply
12 Apr 2011, 11:53 AM,
#17
 
I went down to Red Tank Draw early this morning to see if I could dig up John's Bell's Vireo (no luck - BEVI remains stubbornly off my life list!). However, the place was hopping with migrants. Many Lucy's, yellow-rumps, and yellow warblers were working the trees, and I found one orange-crowned. I also saw one each of Anna's, broad-tailed and black-chinned hummingbirds. There were a number of Empids along the stream, I believe all Hammond's flycatchers (see pics below, both of the same bird, showing what I think to be a long primary projection - comments/corrections welcome!). A pair of common blackhawks and a pair of Cooper's hawks both seem to be considering nesting in the half mile below the bridge.

Jason

[file]8933[/file] [file]8935[/file]


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12 Apr 2011, 12:58 PM,
#18
 
Fortunately I've never seen a Painted Redstart drumming.
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12 Apr 2011, 6:03 PM,
#19
 
[rquote=11457&tid=5043&author=jawilder]BEVI remains stubbornly off my life list!
[/rquote]

Jason,

I have had good luck with this bird just on the other (south + east) side of the second bridge at Wet Beaver Cr.

ZTHA has also nested downstream from here.
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12 Apr 2011, 7:21 PM,
#20
 
My favorite BEVI spot is around the southwest corner of the nature trail at Page Springs (south of the hatchery buidlings). Seems like there's always a pair, often fairly confiding, in the thick brush there.
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