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Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Arizona Rarities

After arriving in Phoenix about noon, I drove down to Casa Grande and was able to see the Northern Jacana that has been hanging out there on the golf course pond. The Long-tailed Duck and Snow Goose reported there earlier this month was still there as well. Never thought I'd see a jacana with these two northern waterfowl species. Thanks to Bob from Virginia who I met there and helped me find the jacana.

Next I drove down to the Santa Cruz flats area and saw lots of good birds, including Mountain Plover, Ferruginous Hawk, Crested Caracara, Brewer's Sparrow, Lark Bunting, and Prairie Falcon. I had a Long-billed Curlew fly over the road at one point--a good bird for the area this time of year. Since it rained yesterday, the dirt roads were a mess and it was a bit scary driving.

Eventually I made it to the Red Rock feed lots to look for Ruddy Ground-Dove. Lots of Eurasian Collared-Doves, a couple White-winged Doves, but no small doves. Finally I found six Inca Doves and a female Ruddy Ground-Dove in a mesquite tree in the corner of the house at the feed lots.

Last new bird of the year was a Burrowing Owl north of Eloy at dusk. A great day, lots of new year birds and a couple ABA birds for me (the jacana and ground dove). Very cool.

Daily List: 60 species (300% of Bird RDA)
2008 List: 131 species

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