Thursday, March 19, 2015

March Madness!

I was on my computer waiting for the Arizona basketball game to start when the shocking news came in: A Slate-throated Redstart had been found on Mt. Lemmon in the Catalina Mountains on the last day of winter!  This Mexican immigrant has been documented about ten other times in Arizona, mostly from the Chiricahua and Huachuca Mountains.  This is the earliest and northernmost record for Arizona and maybe the U.S.  The other sightings are from New Mexico and Texas.  But Texas (Southern) is no match for Arizona when it comes to basketball and Slate-throated Redstart sightings.

After Arizona's dominating basketball performance, I zoomed up to Gordon Hirabayashi Recreation Area (elev. 5,000 ft.).  I immediately ran into Andrew Core and in a minute we found four birders aiming their optics intently into the trees.  Good sign, they had the bird and we knew it!  As we got there, I saw a flash of a bird fly to the back of a juniper as the other birders called out its movement.  It was overcast and the bird busily moved from tree to tree and up a wash stringing us along and rarely sitting still.  What a beautiful bird!  I can't complain about its activeness.  It put on quite a show fanning and flashing its tail, giving much better looks than the bird I saw two years ago in Huachuca Canyon.



 March Madness has officially begun!

Slate-throated Redstart range map