Holbrook: LB Curlews, Bendire's Thrasher, Fox Sparrow
16 Apr 2011, 7:06 PM,
#1
Holbrook: LB Curlews, Bendire's Thrasher, Fox Sparrow
4/16/2011
This morning my mother, Elaine, and I met up for birding at our favorite spots along Golf Course Rd. (exit 283) in Holbrook. At first we were just seeing the usual suspects, along with spring arrivals like Wilson's Warblers, Common Yellowthroat, and Black-crowned Night-Herons along the wastewater ponds. Then, we were going along the road by the agricultural fields towards the petroglyph site and tree farm when we came upon three LONG-BILLED CURLEWS. This was only my second time, and my mother's first, seeing this species in Navajo County. After watching the curlews for a while and taking photos, we parked and walked into the abandoned tree farm. As we entered, we heard a constantly singing thrasher and after a few minutes recognized the song as that of BENDIRE'S THRASHER, before finally getting to see it zigzag between brush on the road ahead of us through the grove. This was our first time finding this species in Navajo County. Along with the thrasher we were astonished to find several American Pipits perched about 3 meters up in some dead trees in the grove (I can't recall ever seeing pipits perched on a substrate other than the ground!). At first we couldn't figure out what they were, until a few flushed and gave their distinctive calls. Just past the tree farm going towards the large field before the reservoir, we briefly encountered a FOX SPARROW (appeared to be a "Slate-colored" form) in the weeds and tamarisk (our first observation of this species at the Holbrook site). Besides these great birds, we also had lots of swallows, singing sparrows, lingering waterfowl, a pair of American Avocets, and Eared Grebes in alternate plumage. A fantastic day of birding!

Here is the full species list for the Golf Course Rd. site (54 species total):

Mallard
Gadwall
Green-winged Teal
Cinnamon Teal
Northern Shoveler
American Wigeon
Ring-necked Duck
Bufflehead
Ruddy Duck
Pied-billed Grebe
Eared Grebe
Turkey Vulture
Red-tailed Hawk
Black-crowned Night-Heron (2)
American Coot
Killdeer
American Avocet (2)
LONG-BILLED CURLEW (3)
Greater Roadrunner (2)
Mourning Dove
White-winged Dove
Northern Flicker
Say's Phoebe
Common Raven
Barn Swallow
Cliff Swallow
Violet-green Swallow
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Marsh Wren
Bewick's Wren
Rock Wren
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
American Robin (1)
Northern Mockingbird (1)
BENDIRE'S THRASHER (1)
American Pipit (10+)
Yellow-rumped Warbler (1)
Wilson's Warbler (2)
Common Yellowthroat (1 male)
Chipping Sparrow (5+)
Brewer's Sparrow (25+)
Black-throated Sparrow (10+)
Savannah Sparrow (2)
Vesper Sparrow (1)
Lark Sparrow (1)
Lincoln's Sparrow (1)
Song Sparrow (2)
FOX SPARROW (1 "Slate-colored")
White-crowned Sparrow (50+)
Western Meadowlark
Red-winged Blackbird
House Finch
Lesser Goldfinch


Good birding!!!
Eric Hough
thebirdwhisperer22@yahoo.com

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