Monday, December 24, 2012

142 Species – A New Record!

I've actually finished entering data, in record time. (Though I still have to enter it online.)

142 species (previous record was 139 in 2008)
11,777 individuals (5th highest)
74 participants (previous high was 68 in 2010)

It will be a couple months before I know how we ranked nationally with numbers of species, but we likely got the national high of Elegant Trogon (6) and Painted Redstart (11). We had low numbers of residents like Rufous-crowned Sparrow, Canyon Towhee, Rock Wren, and Canyon Wren but are still likely to have the national high for those species as usual.

Here's our digibinned Elegant Trogon from Pine Canyon, the first we've had there in winter.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Countdown Dinner Details

The exciting countdown tally, where we find out the total species count, will be held at Wisdom's Cafe in Tumacacori. Celeste Wisdom, the owner of this long-time establishment, is very birder-friendly and has been generous to set aside an area for us to hold the tally during a time of year that is always very busy for them.

They are located 3 miles south of Tubac and 1500 feet north of the Tumacacori Mission, on the east side of the road. Take the Tumacacori/Carmen exit and head north on the east side frontage road. This exit is just 9 minutes south of the Amado Exit for those covering the west side of the circle and escaping via Arivaca Road rather than the Ruby Road exit on I-19.

Their website is, and you can see the menu there. They open at 5:00 p.m., so you can plan to show up any time after then.

I will try to arrive by 6:00 p.m. and will hold the tally as soon thereafter as possible, and then everyone can go home to get some rest.

2012 Area Assignments

As of today, we have a record high of 80 participants. And there's still room for a lot more.

Note: this was edited on 12/23 to show the final participant list

AZAH 2012 Area Assignments 

1. Bear Grass Tank and Murphy Canyon
Gavin Bieber

2. Jalisco and Apache Canyons
Rick Taylor
John Mitchell
Brian Nicholas
Deanna Mac Phail

3. Arivaca Lake and Chimney Canyon
Paul Sheppard
John Williams
Michael Lester

4. Oro Blanco Wash
Tim Helentjaris
Barbara Johnson
Lisa Turecek
Sue Feyrer

5. Warsaw and Holden Canyons
Sue Carnahan
Curtis Smith
Howard Buchanan
Laura Ellis

6. Cedar and Bartolo Canyons
Greg Greene
Vernie Aikins
Kimberly Aikins

7. Ruby and Papago Tanks
Jay Miller
Vicki Hire
Matt VanWallene

8. California Gulch
Reid Freeman
Richard Wilt
Jeff Gilligan

9. Corral Nuevo
Jennie MacFarland
Thomas Gaskill
James McKay

10. Upper Sycamore and Yanks Canyons
Richard Fray
Larry Morgan
Jenise Porter
David Beatty

11. Middle Sycamore and Peñasco Canyons
Brian Gibbons
Art Schaub
Meaghan Conway
Steven Foldi

12. Lower Sycamore and Tonto Canyons
John Reuland
Larry Langstaff
John Jung
Kendon Jung
Colin Jung

13. Pine Canyon to Hells Gate
Rich Hoyer
Yue Max Li
Kimberly Baeza

14. Atascosa Lookout

15. Bear Valley Ranch
Larry Liese
Sonja Ladouceur
Paul Suchanek

16. Rock Corral and Tinaja Canyons
Jake Mohlmann
Niki vonHedermann
Adam Walters

17. Peck Canyon Complex
Laurens Halsey

Scott Olmstead
Norma Miller
Cathy Beck
Jim Beck

18. Wise Mesa and Ramanote Canyon
Morgan Jackson
John Yerger
Matt Brown

19. Bellota Canyon
Erika Wilson
Elaine Emeigh
Leslie Hall

20. Peña Blanca Lake and Canyon
Ken Kertell
Fred Heath
Joan Lucas
Sharon Goldwasser
Beth Russell
Will Russell

21. Ruby Road East
Molly Pollock
Mark Stevenson
Diana Davis

22. Alamo Canyon
Sally Johnsen
Clark Blake
Jim Hays
Linda White

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Some Modest Area Adjustments

Team and area assignments are pretty much settled, with adjustments here and there as we get new people and some drop out at the last minute.

As a result of our seeing how thoroughly burned the forest to Atascosa Lookout was (which is not on the peak of the same name, but rather at the end of a hiking trail), we changed the Wise Mesa area to include the mile of Ramanote Canyon above the end of the road. There's no one assigned to do Atascosa Lookout now, unless there are some serious birder/rock climber-types willing to do an area that has virtually zero chance of getting any unique species, and is into a pleasant hike with fabulous views or an challenging mountain climb to the top of Atascosa and Ramanote Peak. We can probably guarantee stunning views of White-throated Swift from the top.

We also gave some of Peña Blanca Canyon below the dam to Bellota Canyon area and gave Bellota Tank to Peña Blanca Lake area.

Now, to cover the circle thoroughly, we just need 200 more intrepid hiker-birders willing to scale canyons and fight acacia and mimosa thickets.