birderfrommaricopa.com

Tommy J. DeBardeleben

May 2010

May 1st, 2010-AZ: Agua Fria Riverbed-Marbled Godwit flock

Hi all,

I went out to the Agua Fria riverbed between Camelback and Indian School
Road and saw the flock of MARBLED GODWITS that Gary just mentioned in his
post. I didn't see Gary's post until I got home, and I'm glad someone else
got to see this large number of Godwits.  In this flock, I counted at
least 50 birds, and I think there were a few more that were harder to see
because some of them were covered by the bank at times.  What an
incredible flock to see!  A SEMIPALMATED PLOVER and BANK SWALLOW were
present as well.  

I stopped at the Glendale Recharge Ponds on my way home and didn't see
much there at all.

Good birding,

Tommy DeBardeleben (Glendale, Arizona)

 

May 3rd, 2010: Agua Fria Riverbed, Glendale Recharge Ponds

Hi everyone,

This afternoon/evening I made stops at the Agua Fria Riverbed and the
Glendale Recharge Ponds.

At Agua Fria the large MARBLED GODWIT flock continued, I counted at least
47 birds.  The flock huddled together so at times it was hard to tell if
there were possibly more.  Also present were 8 WILSON'S PHALAROPES, many
EARED GREBES, a SPOTTED SANDPIPER, and several AMERICAN WIGEON.

At Glendale Recharge Ponds my main highlight were 3 RED-NECKED PHALAROPES
in the northeast pond.  3 WILSON'S PHALAROPES were in the southeast pond
also.  A SPOTTED SANDPIPER was here as well.

Good birding,

Tommy DeBardeleben (Glendale, AZ)

 

May 6th, 2010-Glendale Recharge Ponds: Black-bellied Plover

Hi all,

For anyone interested, I just watched a nice breeding-plumaged BLACK-
BELLIED PLOVER at the Glendale Recharge Ponds who was still foraging when
I left, hopefully it will stay awhile.  What an awesome bird to see!  Good
numbers of WILSON'S PHALAROPES are also present with about 10 birds, and a
SEMIPALMATED PLOVER was here as well. 

I also stopped at Baseline and Meridian Wildlife Area this morning.  Many
singing BLUE GROSBEAKS are back and I also got lucky with two BARN OWLS.

Good birding,

Tommy DeBardeleben

 

May 11th, 2010-AZ: Mount Ord to Gilbert

Hi everyone,

Yesterday on May 10th, 2010, I geared up for another huge day of birding. 
My travels lasted from 4 A.M. until I got home at 9 P.M., a 17 hour day
that was very tiring, but more than the tiring part, extremely fun and
worthwhile!  I first worked the northeast part of Maricopa County by
visiting Mesquite Wash, Mount Ord, and Sunflower and then I continued
south to a few Salt River Recreation Sites and Gilbert Water Ranch.

Mesquite Wash was my first stop, but before I got to Mesquite Wash, I saw
my first of the year LESSER NIGHTHAWK just before 5 A.M. while driving
down Shea Blvd.  I arrived at Mesquite Wash around 5:30, where it was
extremely active and birdy, and I really enjoyed myself here.  It's a
rather difficult place to bird because of the water flowing down the wash
if you don't want to get wet, but I brought along my crappy shoes and
waded in the river as I birded almost the entire time I was here.  By
doing this my outing here was much more successful and walking down the
middle of the river makes it very easy to bird, and I really enjoyed this
style of birding.  I was thrilled by Jim Kopitzke and Jay Miller's birding
trip here and I was hoping to refind some of their goodies.  My luck was
perfect with the NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH.  As I walked down the wash I heard
it singing and like Jim and Jay's experience, I lost it and it stopped
singing.  However on my way back down the wash it was vocal once again,
where I got very lucky and found it perched and singing.  What a cool
sight to see, I was able to film it and will post the video.  INDIGO
BUNTINGS were numerous, at least 5 singing males, especially near the
beginning of the wash.  One female LAZULI BUNTING was present, my first of
the year (where are all the males!)  I also was impressed as I came across
a nice male MACGILLIVRAY'S WARBLER drinking and bathing in the water at a
very narrow and vegetated part of the wash.  Other notables here were
COMMON BLACK-HAWK, GREAT HORNED OWL, many WESTERN WOOD-PEWEES, PACIFIC-
SLOPE FLYCATCHER, BROWN-CRESTED FLYCATCHERS, WARBLING VIREOS, abundant
WILSON'S WARBLERS, one YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT, WESTERN TANAGER, and BLUE
GROSBEAKS.

After spending over two hours at Mesquite Wash, I then headed to Mount Ord
for just over three hours, where birding was pleasant as usual.  I first
went to the summit, where I was very happy to find two BAND-TAILED
PIGEONS, a new county bird for me.  They were "coo-ing" softly at first,
and I then caught a few glimpes of them flying around.  I also saw a
medium to large young ACCIPITER flying which I didn't get a good enough
look at, but it looked very possible for a Goshawk.  Those ones that get
away can sure kill you inside! I didn't really add much to my previous
reports at Mount Ord on this trip, but I got many satisfying views of
species in the short time I was here.  Other notables included ZONE-TAILED
HAWK, HAIRY and ACORN WOODPECKERS, many STELLER'S JAYS (summit), OLIVE,
ORANGE-CROWNED, VIRGINIA'S, GRACE'S, TOWNSEND'S, BLACK-THROATED GRAY,
YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS; PAINTED REDSTARTS, one male HEPATIC TANAGER,
WESTERN TANAGERS, BLACK-CHINNED and RUFOUS-CROWNED SPARROWS, and SCOTT'S
and BULLOCK'S ORIOLES.  

After Ord I stopped at Sunflower, which was very birdy in the time I was
here for over an hour.  The COMMON BLACK-HAWKS were present (one perched
low and close to the creek), but no Zone-taileds this time.  Flycatchers
were a good story, with my best bird here being an OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER,
my first this year.  Notable birds here included WESTERN WOOD-PEWEES,
HAMMOND'S and DUSKY FLYCATCHERS, PLUMBEOUS and CASSIN'S VIREOS, JUNIPER
TITMOUSE, CEDAR WAXWINGS, and a MaGILLIVRAY'S WARBLER.

From Sunflower I made stops at the Butcher Jones and Goldfield Recreation
Sites along the Salt River Area.  Highlights at Butcher Jones included
EARED GREBES, LARK SPARROWS, and BRONZED COWBIRDS.  At Goldfield I found
my second OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER of the day.  Loud people tubing down the
river didn't disturb two adult BALD EAGLES sitting in a tree.  Here I
found my third MaGILLIVRAY'S WARBLER of the day, and a HARRIS'S HAWK was
also present.

I then finally wrapped up my day at Gilbert Water Ranch, where I birded
with Brendon Grice for almost the entire time.  Highlights here included
AMERICAN WIGEON, REDHEAD, RUDDY DUCKS, WHITE-FACED IBIS, at least 5
SPOTTED SANDPIPERS, WESTERN WOOD-PEWEE, BANK and BARN SWALLOWS, and many
WILSON'S WARBLERS.  51 species at the ranch in two hours to close my long
day.

123 species for the day, 15 of them Warblers.

Good birding,

Tommy DeBardeleben (Glendale, Arizona)

 

May 11th, 2010-Video of Mesquite Wash NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH

Hi everyone,

Here is the video I shot of the Northern Waterthrush singing at Mesquite
Wash.  The Waterthrush doesn't come into perfect view until 20 seconds or
so into the video.  I had to stick my camera through a bush to get this
shot, so a hint of green is throughout the picture:)  Many birds are also
singing in the background as well, including a Black-Hawk.  Hope you enjoy!

Video link-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pEICSGU4V5o

Good birding,

Tommy DeBardeleben (Glendale, Arizona)

 

May 13th, 2010-Agua Fria Riverbed: SANDERLING

Hi everyone,

Tonight close to 5:30 P.M., I observed a female SANDERLING at the Agua
Fria River Bed, which I reached by going west on Camelback past 107th
Avenue.  This area can be reached by a parking area right by the bridge
that passes over the river, with Camelback and Indian School Roads being
the roads that this part of the river runs between.  There are signs that
do display that vehicles aren't permitted behind the signs which are close
to the road, so just park by these signs and walk to the overlooks of the
river.  I hope it'll stick around another day.  There were several Spotted
Sandpipers by the Sanderling, and the Sanderling was noticeably bigger. 
The Sanderling was white below mostly with a light brownish chest, a long
black bill and black legs.  Scapular color was a light brownish (sandy)
gray color.  When the bird flew it had the black middle tail feather with
the outer white tail feathers noticably showing.  Behavior wise, it would
run along the shore for shorter bursts, and at times, would run further
out away from the water.  By my understanding, Sanderling is casual in
spring time. Unfortunetely, this bird was too far for my camera's lense,
but I had good scope views.  Other birds present were two WILLETS (one
sang which was cool!), one WILSON'S PHALAROPE, many EARED GREBES, and one
NORTHERN SHOVELER.

Good birding,

Tommy DeBardeleben (Glendale, Arizona)

 

May 14th, 2010-Correction in Sanderling Post

Hi all,

I read over my post from last night and realized I made a mistake in my
report.  Due to limited internet connection, I typed it too fast. 
Instead of a long black bill, this bird had a smaller medium length
rather thick black bill, but it did stick out alot and contrasted with
the birds overall light color.  Thought I'd clear that, cause
Sanderlings wouldn't have a long black bill:)  I reviewed my field
guides last night to conclude Sanderling was the only possibility for
what I observed.

Good birding,

Tommy

 

May 18th, 2010-AZ: Agua Fria River Bed-Least Tern, Black-bellied Plover

Hi everyone,

I made a short stop at the Agua Fria Riverbed between Camelback and Indian
School Roads this afternoon and was happy to find a single LEAST TERN on a
small island fairly close to the overlook I was on.  A breeding plumaged
BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER was also present. 

I also made a stop here on Sunday, May 16th.  The Least Tern was present
then as well on this same island, and was side by side with a FORSTER'S
TERN, which the two were a couple of feet away from each other.  Seeing
these two terns side by side was one of my favorite things I've observed
this year, and what a size difference as well! 

Good birding,

Tommy DeBardeleben (Glendale, Arizona)

 

May 21st, 2010-Hassayampa River Preserve, Glendale Area

Hi everyone,

I went birding today at the Hassayampa River Preserve from 7 to 11 (summer
hours in effect now, 7-11 A.M. Friday-Sunday) and I then went to the Agua
Fria River Bed and Glendale Recharge Ponds in the afternoon.

Hassayampa was birdy today, and the day started out perfectly.  I was the
first visitor on the trails today and it payed off.  The River Ramble was
the first trail I went on, and right when I crossed the first bridge, I
saw a juvenille GRAY HAWK perched up in a tree right along the trail.  I
was very happy to see this and it was really the first time I have had the
oppurtunity to see one of the Gray Hawks up close.  A real treat there!  I
managed to get some decent video of the hawk and I hope to post it later. 
My favorite highlight however was getting to see my first lifebird
TROPICAL KINGBIRD right around 8:30 on the Mesquite Meander trail.  I
heard the bird calling and thought I had a Tropical right away, and when I
looked up, there it was!  It called and sat in plain view for about 10
minutes, everything I could of hoped for.  There might have been more than
one present because I'm pretty sure I saw another one.  The Tropical
Kingbird was my initial reason for coming to Hassayampa today cause I saw
someone reported it on ebird at this location.  I can't find the record or
person's name however to give them credit, but thanks whoever reported
it!  Other highlights today included many LAWRENCE'S GOLDFINCHES thoughout
the trails, OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER, CEDAR WAXWINGS, many WESTERN TANAGERS,
BLUE GROSBEAK, and one BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK.

After Hassaympa and a short rest at home, I went to the Agua Fria
Riverbed.  No Terns were present today, but I did have luck and got to see
the COMMON LOON that Melanie reported yesterday.  The wind was horrible
and I thought I would have trouble seeing things in the waves but the loon
seemed to magically appear in the scope as I was scanning. 

I then went to the Glendale Recharge Ponds where the shorebird habitat has
gone down in the Northeast and Southeast ponds.  The water is very high. 
However, the middle-north pond has decent shorebird habitat, and one RED-
NECKED PHALAROPE was still present at the south end of this pond.  No
other shorebirds other than the Phalorope and Killdeer were present, which
surprised me a little.  There is a good amount of tall grass in this pond,
maybe not open enough.  A PEREGRINE FALCON sat in this pond however and
gave some of the Mallards a good scare, but it's hunt came up empty.

Good birding,

Tommy DeBardeleben (Glendale, Arizona)

 

May 21st, 2010-Video of Hassayampa Gray Hawk

Hi everyone,

Here is the video of the juvenille Gray Hawk who was cooperative for my
camera this morning!  Hope you enjoy!

Video Link-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=12ZQVJiVSv0


Good birding,

Tommy DeBardeleben (Glendale, Arizona)

 



 

Birding in Maricopa County

My online guide to the birds and birding locations of Maricopa County

 

The Maricopa County Big Year

Two Big Years I did in Maricopa County

 

Birding in Arizona's White Mountains

My online guide to Birding in Arizona's White Mountains