March 1st, 2009: Birding at Patagonia Lake State Park-my first Elegant Trogon
Went birding and camping at Patagonia Lake State Park. I didn't have alot
of luck with a variety of different birds, but there were a few great
sightings that I saw with my brother.
1. ELEGANT TROGON-The male trogan was along the mesquites this morning
around 10 am on the birding trail, close to where the trail goes down by
the stairs along close to the cattail marshes. Saw him where the creek
runs into the lake as well. About 10 other birders eventually came to
look at him as well, he was very tame and didn't mind human presence,
everybody got right under him, literally.
2. BARN OWL-Saw him around 7 am on the Birding Trail as well where the
Soniota Creek starts to run along the trail. Would fly back and fourth in
the cottonwoods when i'd try to get better looks. Very awesome bird to
see! Keep an eye out for that as well.
3. AMERICAN BITTERN-saw him yesterday at 2.30 PM on the birding trail,
along the cattail march, close to where the stairs go down. He stood out
in the open, almost motionless, another birder showed him to me, and he
was hard to pick out at first.
VERMILION FLYCATHERS in good numbers as well.
For those interested, I shot video of the male Elegant Trogon at Patagonia
Lake State Park on Monday. I have it on Youtube now, here is the link if
you wish to view it:
And also, here is my video of the Barn Owl I found at Patagonia Lake State
Park along the Birding Trail. Click on the link once again to view it.
Also, to view the videos in higher quality, click the "HQ" button in the
bottom right-hand corner of the screen.
Tommy DeBardeleben (Glendale, Arizona)
March 10th, 2009: Birding in Gilbert, Chandler, and Phoenix
Birding turned out real good today!
I started my day of at the Riparian Preserve in Gilbert, and I saw 47
species there in two hours. Highlights included PEREGRINE FALCON, two
RING-BILLED GULLS, and alot more AMERICAN AVOCETS than I have ever seen
there. Not many different warblers for me, just abundant YELLOW-RUMPED
and a few ORANGE-CROWNED.
After that, I headed over to the Veterans-Oasis Park in Chandler on
Chandler Heights Road. While driving down Gilbert Road and when I was
nearing Chandler Heights, I drove by on my right a large pond which is
chained off and it had an AMERICAN WHITE PELICAN on the water. If you
wish to view this pond, you'll have to park somewhere else and walk up to
it, they don't want people parking in front of the fence either.
Once at Veterans Oasis Park, I went to the north part of the park which
has alot of farming fields by it. A PEREGRINE FALCON was flying over when
i first got out there. I then saw a large group of TURKEY VULTURES
soaring over the fields and when I scanned the flock, I was surprised to
see a BLACK VULTURE in the middle of them. It seems like a Black Vulture
would be pretty rare to see in these parts. A NORTHERN HARRIER adult male
and a RED-TAILED HAWK ended up soaring with the vultures as well. What
was really weird, I then saw this CROW/RAVEN flying over to the
Vulture/Hawk flock making this really weird noise, and the crow/raven was
really weird looking. He was really light on the bottom on his wings,
like this whitish color, and it was on his belly as well, not just the
wings. He was almost patterned like a Turkey Vulture on his wings, only
alot lighter, sometimes he almost looked like a hawk or vulture, it was
really weird. He was more crow sized. I couldn't get my camera on him
good, but I got audio and put it on youtube. If anybody here is an expert
on raven/crow calls, please listen on this youtube clip and tell me what
you think it most likely is. He soared with the Vultures and Hawks for
awhile. And if someone knows how common or rare a Black Vulture is in
Chandler, i'd love to know.
CROW/RAVEN? CLIP ON YOUTUBE:
I then finished my day up at Tres Rios Wetlands in 91st Ave. in SW
Phoenix. Highlights there included SHARP-SHINNED HAWK, many WHITE-FACED
IBIS, and two BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING DUCKS.
-Tommy (Glendale, Arizona)