Reddish & Snowy Egrets


Paloma Ranch
Oct 8, 2002, 90 degrees, 4:30-5:45PM
- narrated by Henry Detwiler

A short stop on the way home to Yuma from Luke AFB.

Click on thumbnail pictures for full-sized shots.

Wilson's Snipe

On my way from Luke AFB to Yuma, I stopped at the Paloma Ranch Pond, about 3 miles n. of the Paloma exit on I-8.  Song Sparrows and Wilson's Snipes were feeding on the edges of the pond, and mosquitoes soon began feeding on me.

Pretty much the entire eastern side of the pond was covered with ducks, waders, pelicans, and shorebirds.  Lighting was poor for photography, but I took a number of pictures anyway.  I walked to the edge of the pond from the NE corner.  It smelled of effluent, which probably explained the high number of flies.

Great Egret

Reddish Egret
My new vantage point allowed me to view the SE corner of the pond, and I was delighted to see a juvenile Reddish Egret.  And then, as I was snapping pictures of the first one, another juvenile Reddish Egret walked into view!

As I was watching them, a large falcon swooped over the shorebirds and set them into a frenzied flight.  One of the Reddish Egrets raised the short feathers of its crest, giving it the appearance of a bad crew cut.  That would have made a nice picture!

Reddish Egret


Shorebirds were represented by a number of different species.  The most numerous were Least Sandpipers, followed by Long-billed Dowitchers and Killdeer.  Smaller numbers of Pectoral Sandpipers, Dunlin, Greater & Lesser Yellowlegs, Wilson's Snipe, an American Avocet, and two Wilson's Phalaropes rounded out the collection.

American White Pelicans

  American White Pelican


A flock of 24 American White Pelicans were also taking advantage of the pond.  They were best seen from the dike on the north side of the pond, as they favored the central part of the pond.

I made the pelicans nervous, and they flushed as I got too close.  To my surprise one large bird remained--a Sandhill Crane.  They're common at Cibola NWR and along the Gila River close to Palo Verde, but this was a first (for me) at the Paloma Ranch. 

Swaying salt cedars, bad lighting, and lack of time prevented me from capturing a decent picture.  Perhaps it will stay until my return next month!

  American White Pelicans & Sandhill Crane (Sandhill Crane just left of center)

Sandhill Crane

Paloma Ranch, 8 Oct 2002
# Species Qty
1 American White Pelican 24
2 Great Blue Heron 2
3 Great Egret 9
4 Snowy Egret 24
5 Reddish Egret 2
6 White-faced Ibis 46
7 Sandhill Crane 1
8 Gadwall 2
9 Mallard 2
10 Cinnamon Teal 6
11 Northern Harrier 1
12 Red-tailed Hawk 4
13 American Kestrel 8
14 Gambel's Quail 1
15 Killdeer 14
16 American Avocet 1
17 Greater Yellowlegs 1
18 Lesser Yellowlegs 1
19 Least Sandpiper 30


# Species Qty
20 Pectoral Sandpiper 6
21 Dunlin 3
22 Long-billed Dowitcher 26
23 Wilson's Snipe 4
24 Wilson's Phalarope 2
25 Turkey Vulture 6
26 Mourning Dove 234
27 Burrowing Owl 2
28 Black Phoebe 1
29 Say's Phoebe 3
30 Tree Swallow 80
31 Rock Wren 2
32 House Wren 2
33 Yellow-rumped Warbler 1
34 Brewer's Sparrow 1
35 Savannah Sparrow 6
36 White-throated Sparrow 2
37 Red-winged Blackbird 32
38 Great-tailed Grackle 6
39 House Finch 11

Photos Henry D. Detwiler