Wednesday, August 29, 2012

And then there was one - Common Black Hawk!

August 29th, we got up early to go to Montosa Canyon, exit 56, Highway 19, south of Tucson. On the way in, we saw a strange hawk on a post, black back, white streaks on head and neck, finely striped tail, not a short tail which threw us at first, Common Black Hawk, immature! 634 Maybe one of the juvvies from Sunflower!

Montosa is a cool spot. John got pics of the Black-Tailed Gnatcatcher, Warbling Vireo and Canyon Wren. He has a picture list for the year that is up to about 557.

Should I confess? I played the Pygmy Owl down by the stream. In came the Black-Capped Gnatcatcher, but John did not see the tail. Drat! We are going back tomorrow AM to try to get him to see it. Why are gnatcatchers so coy about their tails?

Back up on the road, a Prairie Falcon zoomed over our heads, perched on the cliff and then dived down the canyon. 635 A Cooper's Hawk got all the little birds excited as we drove out the canyon.

We spent the afternoon at the La Cienagas Grasslands. Of course, John could not hear the Grasshopper Sparrow, the Botteri's Sparrow, the Lark Sparrow or the Cassin's Sparrow, but he saw them all and got fair pictures.

At Patton's, we found out about the Plain-Capped Starthroat at Ash Canyon. John has Narba updates but hasn't been going on line. We will go back to Montosa tomorrow morning to give John another try for the Black-Capped Gnatcatcher then head for Ash Canyon.

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