Lake & Laguna Dam
2001, Cooler than
Birding & Nature Festival Trip, Henry
We hunted for and found
rails, warblers, and other migrants!
69 species total
We left the Shilo Inn at the ghastly hour of 5:30AM, on an
unseasonably cool morning. Fortunately, as we drove east toward
the Gila Mountains, the sun peeked over the horizon and the birds
started singing. Our first stop was at the old Reclamation Bridge,
decorated in 1907 with swastikas, an Indian good luck charm.
During WWII the bureau had to post guards on the bridge to prevent it's destruction.
Verdins, Song Sparrows, doves, and egrets started us off.
Our next stop was at a overlook above Mittry Lake. We located
a few lingering waterfowl and then tried to lure in the rails with
my tape. A couple of soras and a Virginia Rail responded, but the
Black Rails weren't playing.
|Back at Betty's Kitchen, we were greeted by Black
Grosbeaks and a Black Phoebe in the parking lot. On the
trail through the tamarisks, mesquites, and phragmytes we picked
up warblers, flycatchers, and the bird of the day, a singing
|Back at the parking lot, a Cassin's
Vireo was another nice treat. In the mesquite bosque west
of the Gila Gravity Canal we were treated to a nice look at a
transient Hermit Warbler.
Verdin nest in Desert
|We tried for Black Rail one more time in a marsh
south of Hidden Shores RV Resort, and were finally rewarded by a
single bird calling off in the distance.
At Laguna Dam we saw a few
more Cinnamon Teal and more swallows. Our final stop for
the morning was West Pond. A male Gambel's Quail putting
on a good show, singing and displaying atop a bush next to our
vans. But the ever-present Black Rails didn't feel like
calling any more that day!
White-winged Dove at
After a quick stop at the
Date Gardens, we delivered everyone back to the Shilo in time