Wednesday, January 22, 2014

AZ - Mexican Chickadees - 01/22

Today I headed for Willcox hoping for longspurs and found plenty of them. Perhaps as many as 300-400 Chestnut-collared Longspurs came into during the two hours that I was there. Unfortunately for me, they never settled so after a couple of hours I gave up chasing ghosts and headed for the mountains. In fact, it was my first visit to the Chirichahuas in about three years, a sobering experience to say the least with the devastation from the great 'Horseshoe Two Fire' in 2011 still very much in evidence. Birding was slow until I reached the snow line just below Barfoot Junction where I found a nice party of about 8 Mexican Chickadees closely associating with a feeding flock of Bushtits and all three expected nuthatches, and both kinglets. On the descent towards Portal I came across another similar sized flock of Mexican Chickadees along with two female-type Cassin's Finch, rounding off a magnificent drive through Cave Creek Canyon with a Townsend's Solitaire in the valley bottom.

Chestnut-collared Longspurs - Cochise Lake, Willcox, Cochise Co., AZ. January 22nd, 2014. 

Mexican Chickadees - Barfoot Junction, Chiricahua Mountains, Cochise Co., AZ. January 22nd, 2014. 

Cassin's Finches - two individuals, the lower bird being darker with heavier streaking and closer to Purple Finch in overall appearance. Chiricahua Mountains below Onion Saddle, Cochise Co. AZ. January 22nd, 2014. 

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