Thursday, January 31, 2013

Big January 2013 Stats and Photos

 1. Hammond's Fly-kab

 Hammond’s Flycatcher Tubac, AZ 1-13-2013

 Sunset wilcox lake-kab

Well, the sun has set on my Big January attempt and it has been my best year EVER! In spite of brutal cold weather and family crisis and the flu I still managed to get out to more places and see more birds than any other Big January Year. This is partly due to Chris Rohrer who pushed me to go birding more often and to more locations than ever before. I would say that we are both exhausted by now, but you can bet this weekend we will be out birding once again! While I would have liked to tell the stories as they were happening I am going to do things a bit backwards this time and post the stats, then tell the stories of how I got to this point.  So, for now, enjoy a few photos and look over the statistics if that interests you! The Year and month stats will be the same since this is the start of a new year. Next month that will change!

3. NOPI Whitewater-kab Northern Pintails at Whitewater Draw 1-3-2013

Life Totals 2013

Life List 2013 Life Year/Month
Total Species 435 145
Total Checklists 4939 90

 4. FEHA Kansas Settlement-kab

Ferruginous Hawk, Kansas Settlement Rd. January 3, 2013

Stats Broken Down by County:

County Life Year/Month
Pima 235 96
Santa Cruz 172 70
Cochise 159 46
Pinal 114 67

5. NOFL-kab Northern Flicker in Tubac, AZ 1-13-2013

 6. Curlews Wilcox-kab Long-billed Curlews at Lake Cochise, Wilcox, AZ 1-3-2013

7. Spot towee Florida Cyn-kab Western Spotted Towhee, Florida Canyon, AZ 1-4-13

8. HETA Madera-KAB Hepatic Tanager Madera Canyon 1-4-2013

9. Bluegnat Tumacacori-kab Blue-gray Gnatcathcer, Tumacacori NHP 1-6-13

10. WCSP Tubac-kab White-Crowned Sparrow, Tubac, 1-13-13

11. RWSP Tumacacori-kab Rufous-winged Sparrow, Tumacacori NHP 1-13-13

12. OCWA Tumacacori-kab Orange-crowned Warbler, Tumacacori NHP 1-13-13

Big January by the Years


2008/AZ 2009/AZ 2010/AZ 2011/MA 2012/MA 2013/AZ


89 107 113 55 68 145

13. Sparrows Tumacacori-kab Chipping, Lark, and White-crowned Sparrow at Tumacacori NHP

Big January 2013 Bird List in order of species seen:

(Bold type denotes a new location and/or a new date)

  1. Cooper’s Hawk-My Yard 1-1-2013
  2. Rock Pigeon
  3. Mourning Dove NOMO Tumacacori-kab
  4. Anna’s Hummingbird
  5. Common Raven
  6. Yellow-rumped Warbler 
  7. House Finch
  8. Lesser Goldfinch
  9. House Sparrow
  10. American Widgeon-Reid Park
  11. Mallard
  12. Canvasback
  13. Redhead
  14. Ring-necked duck
  15. Common merganser
  16. Pied-billed Grebe
  17. Great Blue Heron
  18. Great Egret
  19. Snowy Egret WEME Whitewater-kab
  20. Black-crowned Night Heron
  21. Red-tailed Hawk
  22. American Coot
  23. Gila Woodpecker 
  24. Northern Flicker
  25. Vermillion Flycatcher
  26. Cassin’s Kingbird
  27. Verdin
  28. Ruby-crowned Kinglet
  29. Western Bluebird
  30. Curve-billed Thrasher
  31. European Starling
  32. White-crowned Sparrow
  33. Great-tailed Grackle
  34. Cactus Wren-Saguaro National Park Rincon Unit
  35. Phainopepla
  36. Black-throated Sparrow
  37. Black-tailed Gnatcatcher
  38. American Kestrel-Lakeside Park 1-2-2013
  39. Say’s Phoebe
  40. Red-winged Blackbird
  41. Brewer’s Blackbird
  42. Bronzed Cowbird
  43. Brown-headed Cowbird
  44. Snow Goose-Whitewater Draw 1-3-2013
  45. Gadwall
  46. Cinnamon Teal
  47. Northern Shoveler
  48. Northern Pintail
  49. Green-winged Teal SACR Whitewater-kab
  50. Northern Harrier
  51. Sharp-shinned Hawk
  52. Sandhill Crane 
  53. Killdeer
  54. Spotted Sandpiper
  55. Greater yellowlegs
  56. Long-billed Dowitcher
  57. Barn Owl
  58. Black Phoebe
  59. Marsh Wren
  60. Brewer’s Sparrow
  61. Lark Bunting
  62. Savannah Sparrow
  63. Song Sparrow
  64. Pyrrhuloxia
  65. Yellow-headed Blackbird
  66. Eurasian Collared-Dove
  67. Greater Roadrunner
  68. Loggerhead Shrike
  69. Eastern Meadowlark
  70. Western Meadowlark
  71. Ferruginous Hawk-Kansas Settlement Road
  72. Vesper sparrow
  73. Ruddy Duck-Kansas Settlement Faria Dairy Pond
  74. Long-billed Curlew**-Lake Cochise, Wilcox
  75. Chihuahuan Raven-South Nogales Highway 1-4-2013
  76. Northern Mockingbird-Whitehouse Canyon Road
  77. Acorn Woodpecker-Florida Canyon (lower) NOCA Tumacacori-kab
  78. Ladder-backed Woodpecker
  79. Mexican Jay
  80. Rock Wren 
  81. Bewick’s Wren
  82. Hermit Thrush
  83. Green-tailed Towhee
  84. Spotted Towhee
  85. Black-chinned Sparrow
  86. Northern Cardinal
  87. Bridled Titmouse-Madera Canyon, Santa Rita Lodge
  88. White-breasted Nuthatch
  89. Chipping Sparrow
  90. Dark-eyed Junco
  91. Yellow-eyed Junco
  92. Hepatic Tanager
  93. Pine Siskin
  94. Magnificent Hummingbird-Madera Canyon Kubo B&B
  95. Canada Goose-Kennedy Park, Tucson
  96. Western Grebe
  97. Hooded merganser-Sam Lena Park and KERP
  98. Costa’s Hummingbird-My Yard 1-5-2013
  99. Red-naped Sapsucker-Tumacacori NHP 1-6-2013
  100. Gilded Flicker
  101. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
  102. Black Vulture-Rio Rico
  103. Turkey Vulture
  104. Gambel’s Quail-private backyard in Tucson 1-9-13
  105. Broad-billed Hummingbird
  106. Lesser scaup-Amado Wastewater Treatment Plant 1-13-2013
  107. Hammond’s flycatcher-Ron Morris Park, Tubac Merlin Rio Rico-kab
  108. Gray Flycatcher
  109. American Robin
  110. Orange-crowned Warbler
  111. Abert’s Towhee
  112. Swamp Sparrow
  113. Golden Eagle-Tumacacori NHP
  114. Hutton’s Vireo
  115. Rufous-winged sparrow
  116. Lark Sparrow
  117. Least Sandpiper-Rio Rico
  118. Merlin
  119. Pacific Loon*-Christopher Columbus Park, Tucson 1-19-2013
  120. Neotropic Cormorant
  121. Creasted Caracara-Red Rocks Feedlot
  122. Horned Lark
  123. Common Yellowthroat
  124. Lincoln’s Sparrow
  125. White-winged Dove-Santa Cruz Flats Travel Count
  126. Common Ground Dove LESA rio rico-kab
  127. Burrowing Owl
  128. White-throated Swift
  129. Prairie Falcon
  130. Bendire’s Thrasher*
  131. American Pipit
  132. Chestnut Collared Longspur**
  133. Sage Sparrow**
  134. Eared Grebe-Arizona City Lake
  135. Black-necked Stilt
  136. Inca Dove
  137. Great Horned Owl
  138. Wood Duck-Roger Road WRF 1-24-2013
  139. Harris Hawk
  140. Bufflehead-Sweetwater Wetlands
  141. Wilson’s Warbler
  142. Wild Turkey-Madera Canyon 1-25-2013
  143. Belted Kingfisher-Christopher Columbus Park 1-30-2013
  144. Northern Rough-Winged Swallow
  145. Tree Swallow

*Life Bird, (2 new species)

**Arizona Life Bird (5 species new to my AZ Life List)

SASP Whitewater Draw-kab Savannah Sparrow, Whitewater Draw 1-3-2013

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Flying High, Flying Low

DSC_0016 Sandhill Cranes-KAB Sandhill Cranes January 3, 2013 Whitewater Draw

January started out very busy for me with kids still here and me trying to do a Big January. For the first week I went out birding almost every day with Chris Rohrer because he was still on vacation. Once he went back to work so did I, trying to get caught up on housework and such and saying good-bye to my last child and his wife on January 8th. However, just when I thought I might start to get caught up with my blogging again we were plunged into the crisis of Gus’ vision loss. We spent a week waiting for him to have cataract surgery and worrying it that it would not work. Thankfully it did and Gus is now scheduled to get the next eye done. Vision is so precious!

However, in the way that life can just come at you so fast at times the same day Gus had his surgery my father-in-law was rushed to the hospital with a bleeding ulcer. After spending a week in the hospital I am happy to report that he is back home and on the mend. However, I came down with the flu on Saturday and have been dragging myself around the house ever since. I have been too tired to go out or count birds other than in my own backyard. During the last week we have had numerous rain storms and temperature fluctuations, but nothing like the brutal cold snap in the middle of the month!

In spite of all of this I did manage to get out and go birding at numerous places. I have the largest Big January count I have ever done, mostly thanks to Chris who pushed me to go, go, go! I have finally started processing the thousands of photos and hopefully I can use this time spent at home playing catch-up with my blogging!

So, in a month that has seen many highs and many lows, both emotionally and temperature-wise, I am starting to get my wings back and I hope to soon be flying high once again. Then maybe, just maybe, you will see a blog post here more than once a week!

P.S. Big January results will be seen here soon!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


1. Roosevelt Bridge-gusto Roosevelt Bridge Arizona 6-6-2010

Vision. Most of us take it for granted. We love to see colors. We love to see nature. And who doesn’t love to watch a sunset!

2. darkness-gusto But 10 days ago a great darkness fell on us as Gus suddenly lost his vision. We went from one doctor to another. The diagnosis was cataracts. Surgery was scheduled for this Monday, but…would it work? The fear that it wouldn’t made me sick to my stomach. Gus couldn’t even see well enough to drive! This would change our whole lives. This would rock our world if he went blind. All of the pictures in this post were taken by Gus. He hasn’t done much photography lately because his vision has gotten so bad. It is no longer fun for him. This makes me sad. He is a good photographer! I like the big picture, but he is a detail man. He sees things that I don’t.

3. sand-gusto Like these blades of grass poking up through the snow and sand at Salisbury Beach in Massachusetts, or…

4. flower-gusto these golden flower petals…

5. coot toes-gusto or Coot Toes!


6. black n white-gusto Back in January of 2010 Gus saw this black and white warbler in Phoenix along the Salt River while I was hurrying ahead to count birds. He took its picture. I never saw it so I never got to add it to my Arizona Life List! He tried to draw my attention to it, but I thought he was just seeing another yellow-rumped warbler! I guess I should have listened to the detail man!

7. peregrine-gusto Gus was thrilled to get this photo of a Peregrine Falcon eating a freshly killed dove on a utility pole in Sycamore Canyon in 2010 when we lived here before.

8. sunset-gusto And Gus has always loved sunsets.

9. fire in the sky-gusto Now I wondered, would he ever get to see one again?

Below are just a few of the things his eyes have seen and photographed.

10. PRNWR sunset 1-22-11 gusto Sunset at Salisbury Beach, Massachusetts 2011


11. snow shadows-gusto Snow Shadows


12. winter beach-gusto Winter Beach


13. snowscape-gusto Snowscape at Salisbury Beach 2011


14. sandy point-gusto Footprints


15. sky full of gulls-gusto A Sky Full of Gulls


16. Sunset 1-22-11 gus Salisbury Beach Sunset 1-22-2011 Massachusetts


18. copper mine-kab Gus took this photo of the Morenci Mine in Greenlee County, AZ in August of 2010. This was right before we moved to Massachusetts. He later sold it to a publishing company! They had seen it on my Sycamore Canyon blog! Now we are back in Arizona. Now we had to wait. The fear stood before us like a mountain.


  • On Monday Gus had surgery on one eye.
  • On Tuesday morning he went for his post-op check-up.
  • On Tuesday afternoon he could see clearly enough to drive to work!

19. light-gusto Finally the light has dawned,


20. calm-gusto Things have started to calm down…

21. color-gusto Lake Cochise, Wilcox, AZ 8-1-2010

…and Color has returned to our world.

Gus can’t wait to get the next eye done! I can’t wait until he picks up a camera again! (Maybe now I can finally get caught up with my blogging?)

Note: All photos in this post were taken by Gus Brown and are copyrighted by him! Please do not use without his permission!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Cattle Call Park

1. cattle call park-kab Cattle Call Park 11-24-12 Brawley, CA

On the morning of November 24 last Thanksgiving Gus and I checked out of our hotel in the Imperial Valley of California and prepared to leave town. But before we left we made one last stop at the town park. I saw it was an eBird Hotspot on the eBird map of that location. We arrived just before 7 a.m. and I was so glad that I came. It turned out that this was the only location where I spotted Gambel’s Quail and Gila Woodpeckers! They were the last 2 species I added to my California Life List!

2. palms-kab Most of the Gila Woodpeckers and some of the Northern Mockingbirds were hanging out in these palm trees that lined the park.


3. mockingbird-kab I found a mockingbird and a house sparrow in some thick bushes near the edge of the park.

4. mockingbirds-kab Northern Mockingbirds were everywhere!

5. Gambel's quail-kab  A small Flock of Gambel’s Quail were in the same corner of the park.

They actually came leaping down out of the palm trees!

6. kestrel-kab On top of a tree an American Kestrel perched.

7. nomo n WCSP-kab Hiding in the same bushes behind the mockingbird was a White-Crowned Sparrow!

8. RTHA-kab And far off in the distance a Red-tailed Hawk surveyed the world.


9. nomo-kabI counted 12 Northern Mockingbirds in all.


These are the birds I saw at Cattle Call Park on 11-24-12:

  1. Gambel’s Quail 12
  2. Red-tailed Hawk 1
  3. Rock Pigeon, 12
  4. Gila Woodpecker, 2
  5. American kestrel, 4
  6. Black Phoebe, 3
  7. Verdin, 1
  8. Northern Mockingbird, 12
  9. European Starling, 36
  10. Yellow-rumped Warbler, 6
  11. Abert’s Towhee, 2
  12. White-crowned sparrow, 4
  13. Great-tailed Grackle, 6
  14. House Sparrow, 12
  15. gull species, 12

We drove away from the Imperial Valley after this and with the addition of the Gila Woodpecker and the Gambel’s Quail it brought my California Life List up to 74 species! Not bad for a 48 hour trip! I am sure it could have been much higher if I could have identified all the shore birds and gulls I was seeing!

Note: Things are finally starting to get back to normal around here. I will post an update tomorrow. Suffice it to say that it was a stressful week and I still went out birding on Sunday with Chris Rohrer and Rich Hoyer in the Santa Cruz Flats! They reminded me of the Salton Sea area without the sea! Lots of agricultural fields and flatland surrounded by mountains. We even saw abandoned and decrepit buildings, though not in the same quantity as the Salton Sea area. We did see a lot of bird species and my Big January List soared! I also added 3 species to my life list! There is so much to tell and barring any more crises I should be able to get caught up this week!