Eastern Phoebe at Raymond Ranch
10 Mar 2018, 10:42 AM,
#1
Eastern Phoebe at Raymond Ranch
A trip with low expectations out east of Flagstaff this morning turned up some some interesting birds, most notably an Eastern Phoebe at the Raymond Ranch Wildlife Area at the end of Buffalo Range Road:

   

   

  Also evident is a pulse of Lincoln's Sparrow migration, with 8 visible at one time on the lawn at Meteor Crater RV Park, plus at least 4 others scattered around and more seen at Raymond Ranch. A "Prairie" Merlin was hunting the area just west of the campground. A north-bound Ferruginous Hawk was seen along Buffalo Range Road, and Canyon Towhees and Crissal Thrashers were conspicuous at Raymond Ranch.
  Every water hole along Buffalo Range Rd is dry right now, except for the tanks at Raymond Ranch (which are very low), and bird numbers were correspondingly few.

Jason
Flagstaff, AZ
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10 Mar 2018, 4:02 PM,
#2
RE: Eastern Phoebe at Raymond Ranch
I had EAPH on the brain today (10 March 2018) when I went up to Lees Ferry, but no such luck.

I did notice quite a few Lincoln's Sparrows, though, up to 4 at once and at least 6 total.

A nice sign of spring was a flock of about 45 White-throated Swifts circling above Lonely Dell.

The robust numbers of wintering Spotted Towhees may have been augmented by some migrants, as I'm currently looking at at least 10 individuals in my yard at Desert View.

Brian Gatlin
Grand Canyon, AZ
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10 Mar 2018, 8:01 PM,
#3
RE: Eastern Phoebe at Raymond Ranch
That may be a new all record early date for White-throated Swifts in northern Arizona???
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10 Mar 2018, 8:30 PM,
#4
RE: Eastern Phoebe at Raymond Ranch
Pretty sure there are a number of earlier ones. I recall having them in the first 3 days of March on the Tonto Trail in 2009.
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10 Mar 2018, 8:32 PM,
#5
RE: Eastern Phoebe at Raymond Ranch
It seems that the earliest record is from Salt Creek on 22 Feb 1981, by some guy named Charles T. LaRue. Big Grin
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10 Mar 2018, 8:38 PM,
#6
RE: Eastern Phoebe at Raymond Ranch
Zing!
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10 Mar 2018, 8:40 PM,
#7
RE: Eastern Phoebe at Raymond Ranch
I forget my car keys on a daily basis...
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10 Mar 2018, 8:52 PM,
#8
RE: Eastern Phoebe at Raymond Ranch
Typical arrival seems to be around 17 March, but after some further digging, here's some other early dates I've seen WTSW up here:

1, 2, and 3 March 2009 on the Hermit-Tonto-Bright Angel Loop

8 March 2012 at Moran Pt

12 March 2013 on Bright Angel Trail

10 March 2014 at Navajo Pt
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11 Mar 2018, 7:11 AM,
#9
RE: Eastern Phoebe at Raymond Ranch
eBird shows late February records from Cataract Lake by Williams, Sunset Crater, and down at Phantom Ranch. They are much more regular in February in Oak Creek Canyon and Sedona (and absent in eBird records from that area in January), suggesting some regular northward movement in February.

Jason
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19 Mar 2018, 1:28 PM,
#10
RE: Eastern Phoebe at Raymond Ranch
The Eastern Phoebe was still present at Raymond Ranch this morning.  The bird was originally at the tank where I got a photo, although I couldn't get very close as it was sitting on a pole in the tank and I was completely exposed.  It flew over the ranch house and was even on the ground around the feeders.

Other birds previously mentioned were in attendance.
Tom


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