grasslands NW of Valle--Bendire's Thrashers
20 Apr 2013, 2:05 PM,
grasslands NW of Valle--Bendire's Thrashers
This morning, 20 Apr 2013, I spent some time out in the grasslands NW of Valle (Willaha and Anita roads on the DeLorme Atlas). I've made a few trips out here (Cassin's Sparrows were here in 2011), and it's a scenic and interesting area which I'm guessing has not otherwise been birded since the AZBBA.

As expected, Horned Larks, Vesper Sparrows, and Brewer's Sparrows were all singing in good numbers. A Swainson's Hawk, a couple American Kestrels, and at least 6 Loggerhead Shrikes were also present, as were a few Pronghorn.

On a hillslope where grasslands mixed with some shrub live-oak, cliffrose, and a few scattered junipers, I observed a pair of Bendire's Thrashers. The AZBBA had found scattered instances of the species in this general area, and I was pleased to see them. In the same area was a Ladder-backed Woodpecker.

I did not see Burrowing Owls in the place where they were last year, but it is perhaps still early.

At an utterly desolate unnamed cow tank I saw one Willet, to go with 4 that I had seen earlier at Rain Tank.

4 Least Sandpipers were at the South Rim Sewage Lagoons.

Brian Gatlin
Grand Canyon, AZ

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