Fan-tailed Warbler

Fan-tailed Warbler

Monday, March 4, 2013

Sun City, Arizona - 2 March 2013

Yes, I have to admit that I am a 'lister', one who keeps a list of some kind or another of birds.  My list is more of a lifetime list, whereas others keep various types of bird lists.  Maybe when retirement comes, I can specialize a bit more on creating specialty lists, but for now, I enjoy adding new life birds to my list.  And when a rarity shows up in and around the Phoenix area, I will make an effort to add that species to my list.  Such is the case this past weekend with a Golden-crowned Sparrow being reported at a golf course in Sun City, AZ.  A lot of credit for finding that bird has to go to several people in reporting it and giving good directions to it.  First off, to Dominic Sherony for finding this bird and then to Tommy DeBardeleben, Melanie Herring, and Lindsey Story for reconfirming it and giving directions to it.  It had been reported as hanging around with a small flock of White-crowned Sparrows and when I arrived at the Desert Trails Golf Course, I could not find any sparrows of any kind anywhere.  So I spent an hour and a half walking around the ponds and parking lot enjoying all the other birds I was seeing.  I finally gave up and decided to leave thinking I had missed another one.  Once I got in my car, I decided to drive through the far west parking area and as I did, I thought I heard the single tseep note of a White-crowned Sparrow.  Parked my car to take a look around and over a small knoll on the edge of the golf course I found White-crowned Sparrows, and sure enough the Golden-crowned was with them.  Something spooked them and I did not get long looks at it but long enough to capture a couple of poor quality photos, but good enough for an ID.

 Golden-crowned Sparrow

Golden-crowned Sparrow

Remember I mentioned that I was there for about 90 minutes before I found the target bird?  Well that 90 minutes did not go to waste with my camera in hand.  Here are some more photos that I took while looking for sparrows.  

 Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Northern Rough-winged Swalloow


Northern Mockingbird

 Bufflehead- female


Cactus Wren

To finish off my photos I have to include a couple mammals; a baby Cottontail that was as cute as a button and a Coyote that looked a tad bit suspicious and stood perfectly still for my photo.  I think someone had it trained to not run from a camera!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



I think the decoys are there to prevent too many geese from residing around the ponds.



  1. Hey! Way to find and photograph that bird!
    I saw it last Monday but without my camera (shot over straight from work) and then failed on my next two attempts to relocate and photograph it.

    Where'd it finally show for you? By the little practice putting green? The Tennis court bathrooms...ugh I stalked around that place and got so many suspicious looks...

    1. I finally found iton the edge of the golf course and parking lot just to the west of the Pro shop, which was the opposite side of the tennis courts, etc. Looked like an easy place to find the WCSP's, but it was not. Glad you found it it as well!

  2. Cute post! congrats on finding the sparrow. I am sure I would never have even noticed it in with a flock of white-crowns! Next time I will pay more attention!

  3. Kathie, I am no so sure that I would have found it had it not been reported by others. It is easy to overlook something a bit different in a flock of sparrows. Thanks for the comments!