Fwd: Chuska Mtns. WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLS, PINE GROSBEAKS; NORTHERN SHRIKE
15 Dec 2017, 12:13 AM,
#1
Fwd: Chuska Mtns. WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLS, PINE GROSBEAKS; NORTHERN SHRIKE
I'm amazed this hadn't been posted to this forum yet, but below is Felipe Guerrero's summary of the AZFO expedition to northeastern AZ last weekend where he, Micah Riegner, and Caleb Strand found the subject birds. Here are the links to their eBird lists with photos:
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S41028629
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S41028577
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S40982889

Chuck LaRue and John Coons reported 7 PINE GROSBEAKS on Dec. 12 at the spot that the White-winged Crossbills had been found by the AZFO party, but no sign of the crossbills. Chris McCreedy re-found the NORTHERN SHRIKE in the same area the day after the AZFO crew: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S40991374

Just the messenger,
Eric Hough

-----Begin forwarded message------------

Note: This weekend's expedition to Piute Canyon was postponed due to the potential for issues surrounding access. We redirected to the subalpine conifer forests of the Chuska Mountains, Apache County, to search for Pine Grosbeaks, White-winged Crossbills, and other northern/high-elevation irruptive species. We're glad we did.


On the evening of 8 December, while in transit to Chinle, we were fortunate to cross paths with a Northern Shrike west of Pinon, Navajo County, here: 36.1033410, -110.2714470. The adult bird tolerated close approach, perched atop junipers and sagebrush, allowing for photos and field sketches as sundown neared.

At 36.428937, -109.107526, on the morning of 9 December, a flock of 10 Pine Grosbeaks feeding on aspen buds and spruce seeds along upper Tsaile Creek in the Tunitcha Mountains, Apache County, was an exciting and very rewarding encounter. The group of males and females foraged long enough to obtain photos and recordings, vocalizing only briefly before taking flight to the south and out of sight. 

After a second, full-day of surveying in the Tunitcha Mountains, on the afternoon of 10 December, a flock of Red Crossbills containing two White-Winged Crossbills at 36.3434966, -109.0724906, left us awestruck and euphoric in the final hour of our expedition. The birds were documented thoroughly with photos, recordings, and field sketches - the 2nd State record.

Other birds of note include Northern Saw-whet Owl, American Three-toed Woodpecker, Northern Pygmy Owl, and multiple Red Crossbill types. 

A special thanks to our participants Caleb Stand and Micah Riegner for a particularly memorable expedition! 

Here's to exploration and increasing our knowledge of Arizona birds,

Felipe Guerrero
AZFO Field Expeditions Chair
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