January 5th, 2010-Scottsdale NORTHERN PARULA
The NORTHERN PARULA in Scottsdale was still present today around 4 PM by
the lake right behind Buster's Restaurant, in the place where Troy saw it
yesterday, in the last cottonwood at the southeast end of the lake. I
really enjoyed watching this bird, it was a lifer for me and it's been on
my wishlist for a long while! The BROWN CREEPER was still present too, in
the same tree. That's an unusual sight to have both those to birds
practically side by side in Scottsdale, I'll probably never be able to see
that sequence again! Also, the Northern Parula was my 250th bird for
Maricopa County, an awesome bird for the 250 mark. In the year of 2009, I
had 246 birds for Maricopa. Hopefully this year I'll be able to find many
Hopefully all of your new years are off to a great start!
Tommy DeBardeleben (Glendale, Arizona)
January 6th, 2010-Tres Rios Wetlands: NORTHERN PARULA
this afternoon after work I spent a few hours at Tres Rios Wetlands where I got lucky and
found a NORTHERN PARULA, which was my second Parula in two days. The location of this
bird was at the very eastern end of the cottonwood grove that is in the middle of the two
ponds. I went to Busters last night to see that Parula in Scottsdale, and I was surprised when
I looked up and saw the one today. The one at Busters is probably alot more reliable to see.
I also stopped at the Glendale Recharge Ponds on my back home where I saw the young
BALD EAGLE make an attempt to snatch a coot. The coot won the battle after the Eagle
made a few minutes worth of swoops down the coot. The coot would literally wait almost right
when the eagle was just a few feet away before diving underwater. It was actually really
funny. A VERMILION FLYCATHER male was also nearby to close my night out.
Tommy DeBardeleben (Glendale, Az)
January 8th, 2010-Birding along Salt River east of Mesa, plus Gilbert
Yesterday (8 January), I decided to spend the day at the recreation sites
along the Salt River east of Mesa, and I followed that up with a brief
visit at Gilbert Water Ranch on my way home. The places I visited along
the Salt River where the Granite Reef, Phon D. Sutton, Coon Buff, Butcher
Jones, Water Users, and Pebble Beach Recreation Sites, all along the Bush
Highway. What an awesome day it was birding wise, my first visit to these
My first stop was at Granite Reef, the very first sight you come across if
heading up north from Power Road which turns into the Bush Highway. This
sight was actually my favorite out of the six sights I visited, and on my
way back, I made another stop as well here. On my first stop, my favorite
highlight was the continuing COMMON LOON, who sat on the water for a long
time without diving. I was able to watch it for a good length of time,
and it spent alot of time preening itself. Also present were two BALD
EAGLES along the river. Both circled over the river, and also sat on
snags and in cottonwoods along the river. One was a young (probably
second year), and the other was an adult. Ducks were also very abundant
in numbers here, I've never seen so many CANVASBACKS. Good numbers also
included BUFFLEHEADS, AMERICAN WIGEONS, and RUDDY DUCKS, and there were
also several LESSER SCAUPS, REDHEADS, and NORTHERN PINTAILS, as well as a
few GADWALLS and RING-NECKED DUCKS. A flock of about 20 LONG-BILLED
DOWITCHERS flew over the river. A male VERMILION FLYCATCHER flew around
in the picnic area, and a few BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHERS and BEWICK'S WRENS
were also present. I saw a Bewick's Wren at every one of these locations
I visited today.
Phon D. Sutton and Coon Bluff were fairly quiet. Most of the action of
these two came from Coon Bluff, which held SHARP-SHINNED HAWK, GREATER
YELLOWLEGS, GRAY FLYCATCHER, a COMMON RAVEN, and a flock of WESTERN
Butcher Jones was next, which I really enjoyed. I hoped to find the
previously reported Tyrannulet, but I struck out on that. A trail that
goes right along Sahuaro Lake at this sight is a great place to get great
views of wintering ducks, which had good numbers here also. LESSER
SCAUPS, BUFFLEHEADS, and RUDDY DUCKS were all in good numbers, and a few
COMMON MERGANSERS flew across the lake a few times. At the Butcher Jones
picnic area, I found another GRAY FLYCATCHER, BEWICK'S and ROCK WRENS, and
a mixed flock of DARK-EYED JUNCOS which included Oregon, Slate Colored,
Pink-sided, and Gray-headed forms.
Next stops where the Pebble Beach and Water Users sights, which I didn't
really stop at for a good length of time. The Water Users sight had a RED-
NAPED SAPSUCKER, a nice WESTERN BLUEBIRD flock of around 15, and a flock
of 4 LARK SPARROWS. I then decided to make one more visit to Granite
Reef. Unfortunetely on the drive back there, I accidently ran through a
stop sign going full speed. I've never done anything so stupid, there was
a turnoff sign right by the stop sign which was pointing to another area,
and I was reading it as I was driving up, and I don't know how I managed
to miss the big STOP. The Sheriff was pulling up on the left side of the
four way as my luck had it, and I got pulled over for the first time in my
life. Not a fun experience! I'm very thankful I didn't hurt anyone, one
split second of losing focus can ruin a day or a life.
My second stop at Granite Reef (2. 30 to 3. 30 PM) was successful, and
helped dissolve a little bit of the anger I felt towards myself. My main
highlight was a GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET who was hoping around with a small
flock of BUSHTITS, two species I was looking for and missed on my first
early morning visit here. I didn't see the Loon in the afternoon.
Several COMMON MERGANSERS added to the duck mix at this location. 2
OSPREYS, a NORTHERN HARRIER, and a RED-TAILED HAWK all soared close
together. The Osprey made a bluff dive at the water once while I was
observing it. Another really cool sighting was a SORA along the waters
edge, who gave me amazing views of itself. It went into cover when I came
around a corner and went under a river side fallen tree. I then knelt
down quietly, and the Sora came right out into the open, I was literally
overlooking it by about 5 feet. A neat experience! A MARSH WREN then did
almost a freaky replica of what the Sora did, and I got to observe the
wren at a close range as well while I was sitting there. A COMMON MOORHEN
was also present, a bird I didn't expect to see here! 56 species total
for both visits at Granite Reef.
I then headed home and made a 2 hour stop at Gilbert Water Ranch, where I
birded with Brendon Grice for awhile. My favorite bird here where the
continuing LAWRENCE'S GOLDFINCHES in good numbers. A male VERMILION
FLYCATHER was present along the south end of Pond 5. All three EGRETS:
Great, Snowy, and Cattle where all in close eyerange of each other.
Brendon got a great shot of a RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET displaying probably
more red than I've ever seen on a Ruby-crown. That was cool to see!
91 species for the day (72 at the Salt River Sites)
January 19th, 2010-Tres Rios Wetlands, Rio Salado Project
This morning I birded at Tres Rios Wetlands for 3 hours followed by a 3
hour visit to Rio Salado.
At Tres Rios, I recorded 52 different species. The best bird for me were
two WILSON'S SNIPES who came and landed in the first pond next to me, a
new Tres Rios species for me. 2 BALD EAGLES were also present, as well as
a pair of PEREGRINE FALCONS who sat atop a power pole just east of the
Tres Rios ponds closer to the 83rd avenue pond. In the bigger and more
open pond, BLUE-WINGED, CINNAMON, and GREEN-WINGED TEALS were all present,
as well as AMERICAN WIGEONS and NORTHERN SHOVELERS. A LEAST BITTERN
called, but I haven't caught sight of one here in months it seems. They
sure do hide well! A flock of probably around 150 WHITE-FACED IBISES flew
overhead, always cool to see. Both COOPER'S and SHARP-SHINNED HAWKS were
also present, and I also got a great look at a CRISSAL THRASHER. Always
good times at Tres Rios.
I then went to Rio Salado in hopes of finding the American Bittern
previously reported. No luck on that, but I did get a new lifer which
made it a great outing. The lifer was a LARK BUNTING who was among a
flock of LARK SPARROWS, both enjoyable birds to see. The Bunting foraged
with the sparrows for some time, and perched in the open to give me the
perfect photo oppurtunity. Other highlights here among 46 species I
recorded were numerous COOPER'S HAWKS, a SHARP-SHINNED HAWK, GREATER
YELLOWLEGS, BEWICK'S WREN, PHAINOPEPLA, and GREEN-TAILED TOWHEE.
Tommy DeBardeleben (Glendale, AZ)
January 26th, 2010-Glendale Recharge Ponds
After the I found out Tres Rios was closed, I went to the Glendale
Recharge Ponds for almost 2 hours, where there were some notable birds.
I saw 10 different duck species, with the best being several female COMMON
MERGANSERS, which I don't see at the ponds very often at all. The COMMON
GOLDENEYES are still present as well, everything else usual. The numbers
are still very good duckwise as far as numbers go.
Raptor wise, the young BALD EAGLE, who is actually a third-year bird (not
a sub-adult, excuse my earlier post a few weeks ago) is still present. It
sat on one of the banks when I got to the ponds and was present throughout
my time there. Several NORTHERN HARRIERS and a COOPER'S HAWK were also
Shorebirds had some goodies, including 2 DUNLINS and a WESTERN SANDPIPER.
One LESSER YELLOWLEGS was also present, which I didn't expect to see,
probably because it's been long since I've seen one.
I recorded 47 different species.
Tommy DeBardeleben (Glendale, Arizona)