On the way to and from Luke AFB,
during lunch hours, and after work, I went exploring and snapped some
species (list follows at end
thumbnail pictures for full-sized shots.
My first stop was in the
alfalfa fields east of Tacna, where the wintering Ferruginous Hawk and
large sparrow flocks were still present. The Brewer's and
White-crowned Sparrows were singing away, as was the Say's Phoebe.
Farther east, off of 45E, a solitary LeConte's Thrasher popped up to see
who was whistling for him. Alas, 15 minutes of walking through the
saltbush failed to turn up any Sage Sparrows (for the first time this
At the rookery on the west edge
of the Paloma Ranch, just south of the Painted Rock Road exit, there
were over 55 Black-crowned Night Herons, and a wide variety of other
waders and passerines. My first two Wilson's Warblers of the year
flitted around. It was a wonderful morning, both weatherwise and
Male Eurasian Wigeon
|Unfortunately I left my Sony digital camera in Yuma,
so I tried out two new digitals to see how much technology has
progressed over the past two years. Both the JVC and Canon
models had good points, but neither was better overall than my
Sony DSC 70. After work on Thursday I rushed into town to
see the world's most photographed Eurasian Wigeon, and to
try my hand at it using the JVC camera.
On Friday after work I tried out the super-compact Canon Optio 100
digital camera. The camera lens didn't mate well with my
scope eyepiece; I only got a few good pics over the
weekend. Saturday I was working out at Gila Bend Auxiliary
Field all day, where I watched a nice pair of Crissal Thrashers.
Female Mallard - Litchfield
The Tres Rios Experimental Wetlands off of 91st Ave includes the
Cobble Ponds, which are on the east side of 91st Ave, across from
the treatment plant.
|It was very birdy on Sunday noon, and I saw my first
Yellow Warbler of the season, plus dozens of Yellow-rumpeds and
several Orange-crowneds. There are always good numbers of
waders at the Cobble Ponds, like this patient Green Heron
Black-crowned Night Heron
the warblers, this Black-crowned Night Heron in breeding regalia
flew into a tree on the opposite side of the creek.
afternoon I drove over to the north side of the White Tanks and
wandered about the chollas and saguaros. Spectacular scenery
and a pair of Gilded Flickers greeted me.
White Tanks at sunset
On Monday afternoon I
stopped at the Estrella Parkway bridge over the Gila River. There was
a fine selection and excellent numbers of waterfowl: Cinnamon &
Green-winged Teal, Redhead, Gadwall, Mallards, Pintails, Lesser Scaup,
Ring-necked Duck, Northern Shoveler, and American Wigeon. At the Gila
Bend Sewage Ponds was a Dunlin, and across from it in the drainage ditch was
my first Lucy's Warbler of the year.