Fun Birding Tours Newsletter, November 2011
Fun Birding Tours - Burrowing Owl copyright R.P. Fray
Welcome to the
Fun Birding Tours Newsletter

I hope you're having a great fall so far. Welcome to my first monthly newsletter. I'll keep you updated with all the latest Fun Birding Tours news, including upcoming Fun Birding Workshops, tours, events and news of birds and birding in SE Arizona.

I hope you enjoy it! If you don't want to receive my monthly newsletter, I apologize for the intrusion. You may unsubscribe safely and quickly using the unsubscribe links above/below.

See you soon...
Next Fun Birding Workshop:
Saturday 12 November - Rarity Chase! 

Rufous-backed Robin
November often produces unsual birds and we'll spend the day looking for any that have been reported locally. Anything could happen as we decide our destination/s a day or two in advance.

In the past couple of weeks, just around Tucson, there have been sightings of Ruddy Ground-Dove, Red-breasted Sapsucker and Prothonotary, Chestnut-sided and Black-and-white Warbler. A few Rufous-backed Robins have been seen (including one I found in the Santa Cruz Flats last month). This week I was lucky enough to find a Golden-crowned Sparrow at Pena Blanca Lake, so there are interesting birds out there. We could even go further afield and chase a Black-legged Kittiwake in Casa Grande or American Golden Plover at Willcox. 

* Full day: $30 per person   
* Spaces available, please please book now


Fun Birding Workshops for 2012

I've designed a series of Fun Birding Workshops for 2012 (up to September, at least) which are now on the Fun Birding Tours website.

I'm going to make them more educational in 2012, with a distinct topic each time, whether it be sparrows, hummingbirds, raptors, thrashers or shorebirds. We'll even have our first night birding workshop! I'll be preparing more detailed materials aimed at identifying each member of the group we will be concentrating on.

I've also added extra workshops, so there are even more opportunities to improve your ID skills. Most of them are designed as full days as we will be moving around the region to find the right birds at the right times.

Here's the schedule until September 2012. Please make a note of these dates:
  • Sunday 4th December 2011
    Winter Raptors, Sparrows & Thrashers - Santa Cruz Flats
  • Sunday 8th January 2012
    Winter Sparrows - San Rafael Grasslands & Las Cienegas
  • Saturday 28th January 2012
    Thrashers - Buckeye Thrasher Spot
  • Sunday 5th February 2012
    Winter Raptors (and Cranes!) - Sulphur Springs Valley
  • Saturday 17th March 2012
    Early Spring Migration - Santa Cruz River at Tubac and Marana
  • Sunday 8th April 2011
    Swallows - Sweetwater Wetlands and Christopher Columbus Park
  • Friday 25th May 2012
    Night Bird Special - Mt Lemmon
  • Saturday 2nd June 2012
    SE Arizona Specialties - Madera Canyon
  • Sunday 22nd July 2012
    Summer Sparrows, Buntings and Grosbeaks - Montosa Canyon
  • Saturday 28th July 2012
    Hummingbirds - Huachuca Mountains
  • Sunday 5th August 2012
    Shorebirds - Willcox Twin Lakes
  • Saturday 11th August 2012
    Hummingbirds - Patagonia and Madera Canyon
  • Saturday 25th August 2012
    Warblers and Mixed Flocks - Mt Lemmon
  • Sunday 2nd September 2012
    Hummingbirds - Patagonia and Madera Canyon
  • Saturday 8th September 2012
    Shorebirds - Willcox Twin Lakes
Paton's Hummingbird Haven

I'm sure you all know of my involvement with Paton's, the famous hummingbird house in Patagonia, Arizona. I've promised to keep you all updated, so here's the latest...

Firstly, for those who don't already know, I now live at Paton's, not in the main house but in the casita next door. It's small, but it's an incredible place to live!

We've formed a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization named Paton's Hummingbird Haven, Inc. Currently we're waiting to sign a contract with the Paton family, and once that's done we'll be launching a campaign to raise the funds to buy the property.

The word is already out to some degree, as the campaign was mentioned in the Tucson Audubon magazine last month. From that we've had several thousand dollars in donations and two major donors have come forward. So we're well on the way, without actually starting yet!

Please take a look at the Paton's website to read about the family's story and what we plan to do here in the future.

Donations would be very welcome! Please send checks to:

Paton's Hummingbird Haven
P.O. Box 817
Patagonia, Arizona 85624-0817 USA

You can also donate online, although checks are preferred if possible, as they don't attract online fees. Soon we'll have an online sign up for annual membership, which I hope you will all consider.

More importantly, when we are finally able to launch our campaign, we need your support in helping spread the word. I'll be in touch again as soon as we launch our campaign, asking you to help us get the message out far and wide.

I know everyone wants to help in whatever way they can, so my grateful thanks in advance, and please stay tuned...
Issue: 1
In This Issue
Next Fun Birding Workshop: Saturday 12 November - Rarity Chase!
Fun Birding Workshops for 2012
Paton's Hummingbird Haven
 Belize Birding and Mayan Culture Tour
Xunantunich, above, and Blue-crowned Motmot, below


We've had a few communication problems between Arizona and Belize but in the next week I will DEFINITELY be announcing dates for a fabulous Fun Birding Tour to Belize.
The tour will be for nine days with an optional extension, and will take place in the latter half of February 2012.


This is going to be a really exciting tour! The main event will be birding, of course, but as the best birding is often at the many stunning Mayan archaeological sites Belize has to offer, we'll take in lots more than birds. We'll even take a trip to the most famous Mayan site of all, Tikal in Guatemala. 
We'll be based at the amazing duPlooy's Jungle Lodge, a gem of a place with fantastic on-site birding and  two of the best birders in Belize on staff. The duPlooy family founded and run the adjacent Belize Botanic Gardens. Beside birding, there's a host of activities, from canoeing to horseback riding to simply chilling out at the canopy bar or in your hammock.
Therefore, this tour is ideal for couples where one partner is more keen on birding than the other.
Please let me know if you are interested, and I'll get more detailed information to you as soon as I have it.


Good Birding! 

Richard Fray
Fun Birding Tours
Phone: 520-394-0132 - Cell: 520-490-9287