Gambel's Quail, Bendire's Thrasher, Burrowing Owl, NW of Valle
27 Jul 2013, 2:29 PM,
Gambel's Quail, Bendire's Thrasher, Burrowing Owl, NW of Valle
Today, 27 July 2013, Maddie Tighe, Eric Gdula, and I made a loop through some of the extensive grasslands NW of Valle (along the Willaha and Anita roads).

The surprise bird for the day was a Gambel's Quail that Eric spotted in an area of grasses with scattered juniper and live oak. This was an interesting location, and the AZBBA did not have them here. This was a first for me within the Grand Canyon bird checklist region.

We also had Bendire's Thrasher in the same area where I had them in April. Several Common Nighthawks foraging around 9am was a nice surprise. Horned Larks and Lark Sparrows were plentiful, and Black-throated, Vesper and Brewer's Sparrows were around too. As was the case last year, we did not observe any Cassin's Sparrows in the area where I found them in 2011.

Raptors put on a good show, with 1 Red-tailed Hawk, several Swainson's Hawks, a Golden Eagle, several American Kestrels, and a Peregrine Falcon. This is a reliable area for Swainson's Hawks in the breeding season. Two Burrowing Owls were in the same area where I located some last summer.

Brian Gatlin
Grand Canyon, AZ

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