Quigley Wildlife Management Area & Baker Tanks
Apr 21, 2001, beautiful morning, 60-80, increasingly cloudy & cool as noon approached
Yuma Birding & Nature Festival Trip, Henry Detwiler & Mark Brown

A trip with nineteen adventurers from the Yuma Birding and Nature Festival to visit Quigley Pond, the Gila River, and Baker Tanks.  
61 species total (list is at bottom of page)

Tina, our fearless driver, had us loaded up in no time, and just after 6:30AM, we took off to the East.  Mark Brown brought up the rear in his Game & Fish pickup with two additional guests.  Another beautiful sunrise over the Gila Mountains gave way to a fine morning.  

Minibus on the way
Our first birding stop was at Quigley Pond, an oxbow off of the Gila River, now managed for wildlife by Arizona Game and Fish.  We were atop a sandy cliff,  giving us a bird's eye view of the marsh and ponds below.
We played a Sora tape and the Sora rail answered.  We played a Virginia Rail tape and the Sora answered.  We played the Clapper Rail tape and the Sora answered.  Oh well!

Green Heron on Gila River

Gila River
Mark explained the history of Quigley Pond, how it is gradually filling in and becoming nothing but marsh, and how Fish & Game is trying to keep some of the ponds open.
The moist soils unit in the Wildlife Management Area had Western Meadowlarks, a Mallard, and Common Ground Doves.  In the adjoining willow grove we saw Wilson's & Yellow-rumped Warblers.  Then it was on to the Gila River. 

Quigley Pond

Yellow-headed Blackbird
Cinnamon Teal, a single Blue-winged Teal, Shovelers, and an American Wigeon were feeding in the shallows.  From the levee we watched a Great-blue Heron feed its young while several Great Egrets perched in the trees nearby.  
As the clouds built up in the West, we moved further down the river and spotted a Common Snipe, Greater Yellowlegs, Yellow-headed Blackbirds, and a beaver.
Our final stop was south of  the interstate at Baker Peaks & Baker Tanks.  On the sandy road we screeched to a halt to examine this "Horny Toad".  

Desert Horned Lizard

Baker Tanks
In a well-vegetated wash, we were thrilled to see thousands of Painted Lady & Monarch butterflies fluttering about.  Another mile down the "road" we reached Baker Tanks.
Whiptail lizards greeted us upon our arrival to Baker Tanks, along with a few lingering wildflowers.  Erosion has cut a small but scenic canyon through the hard sandstone bedrock to create a natural tank for rainwater.   

Baker Tanks
As we drove home over Telegraph Pass, cold rain and winds pelted our minibus.  But still, we had stayed dry and found lots of interesting birds and other wildlife!
# Species Name
1 Pied-billed Grebe
2 Double-crested Cormorant
3 Black-crowned Night Heron
4 Least Bittern
5 Great Egret
6 Great Blue Heron
7 Snowy Egret
8 Green Heron
9 White-faced Ibis
10 Northern Shoveler
11 Cinnamon Teal
12 Blue-winged Teal
13 American Wigeon
14 Mallard
15 American Coot
16 Virginia Rail
17 Common Moorhen
18 Sora
19 Killdeer
20 Common Snipe
21 Greater Yellowlegs
22 Least Sandpiper
23 Spotted Sandpiper
24 Turkey Vulture
25 Red-Tailed Hawk
26 Sharp-Shinned Hawk
27 American Kestrel
28 Gambel's Quail
29 Common Ground Dove
30 Rock Dove
# Species Name
31 Mourning Dove
32 White-winged Dove
33 Greater Roadrunner
34 Burrowing Owl
35 Black-chinned Hummingbird
36 Anna's Hummingbird
37 Belted Kingfisher
38 Ladder-backed Woodpecker
39 Western Kingbird
40 Black Phoebe
41 Cliff Swallow
42 Barn Swallow
43 Northern Rough-winged Swallow
44 Common Raven
45 Verdin
46 Marsh Wren
47 Loggerhead Shrike
48 Northern Mockingbird
49 European Starling
50 Orange-crowned Warbler
51 Yellow-rumped Warbler
52 Common Yellowthroat
53 Wilson's Warbler
54 Great-tailed Grackle
55 Red-winged Blackbird
56 Brown-headed Cowbird
57 Yellow-headed Blackbird
58 House Sparrow
59 Savannah Sparrow
60 Abert's Towhee
61 House Finch

Photos Henry D. Detwiler