Rez Birds: AMERICAN BITTERN, White-throated Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow
3 May 2012, 4:36 PM,
Rez Birds: AMERICAN BITTERN, White-throated Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow
At the Pasture Canyon Reservoir today I found an AMERICAN BITTERN. There are fewer than 10 records of this species on the Navajo Reservation, and I believe the most recent record in Coconino County is from 2008. The bird was at the upper end of the lake, near the inlet stream.

In Pasture Canyon below the dam there was a single WHITE-THROATED SPARROW in with a flock of White-Crowned Sparrows.


At Cameron there was a single SWAMP SPARROW (didn't get a photo) at the lower seep. Also present was a brilliant Indigo Bunting. Outside the courtyard of the Trading Post I was amazed to watch a Peregrine Falcon come in and nab a Brown-headed Cowbird.


Other notes from the day:
- I saw 12 species of sparrow - my one-day record: White-crowned (everywhere), White-throated (Pasture), Swamp (Cameron), Lark (Cameron), Song (Cameron), Lincoln's (Cameron, Tappan Spring), Vesper (Rimmy Jim), Savanna (Cameron), Chipping (Cameron), Brewers (everywhere), Black-throated (Cameron, Old Hwy 64) and Black-chinned (Old Hwy 64)

- I found Plumbeous Vireos, but no Gray Vireos along old Hwy 64.

- Tamarisk Beetles have emerged at Cameron. I saw many trees covered with adult beetles, 99% of which were actively mating.

- At the Tuba City STP, workers are lining the last of the formerly unlined tanks. All brush around the margins has been cleared. I imagine it will still attract gulls, terns, and ducks, but there is no remaining habitat to attract birds that like to probe in the mud. Bummer.

- Pasture Canyon Reservoir is as full as I've ever seen it, and there is even a small release stream flowing among the cottonwoods below the dam. This spot deserves to get birded as much as possible in the next 3 weeks!


4 May 2012, 10:29 AM,
RE: Rez Birds: AMERICAN BITTERN, White-throated Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow
Some pics of the Black-chinned sparrows, Plumbeous vireos, and scenery along old Highway 64. It just doesn't get much better than enjoying this view while listening to singing black-chinned sparrows...
9 May 2012, 3:36 PM,
Cameron Clay-colored Sparrow, Pasture Canyon Gray Catbird
John Coons, Jim Logan and I went to Cameron and Pasture Canyon (in Tuba City) today. Both places were packed with migrants.

At the Cameron Seep the highlight bird was a CLAY-COLORED SPARROW (seen by Jim and John - meaning that I missed my life CCSP by being about 50 yards off in the wrong direction!). Also notable was 2 or 3 Northern Waterthrush, one of which briefly broke into full song. Many singing Brewer's sparrows were also present. Other warblers included Yellow, Yellow-rumped, Wilson's, Orange-crowned, Black-throated Gray and Lucy's.

Pasture Canyon was also active. Here we picked up a GRAY CATBIRD. We added to our warbler tally 2 additional Northern Waterthrushes, Common Yellowthroat, MacGillivray's Warbler, Townsend's Warbler and Yellow-breasted Chat. It was a good day to test Empid skills and we saw good numbers of both Hammond's and Dusky Flycatchers. Other notable birds in Pasture Canyon included a Band-tailed Pigeon and several Virgina Rails.

A beautiful and birdy day out there!


Lousy catbird picture:
10 May 2012, 12:28 PM,
RE: Rez Birds: AMERICAN BITTERN, White-throated Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow
This morning Chuck LaRue and I took a quick trip up to Cameron to see if we could track down the CCSP that I failed to see yesterday. Unfortunately, we couldn't find it, but any day in May is a good time to be in Cameron. At the trading post we enjoyed a spectacular male ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK (unfortunately it didn't cooperate for a photo), a stunning first-summer male Summer Tanager, and many of the fine expected migrants that pass through.


Rose-breasted Grosbeak:

Who would have thought this plumage would act as camouflage?!?

Northern Waterthrush:

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