Springtime is nesting time. Along with tons of birds, we saw plenty of nests at the Riparian Institute at Water Ranch in Gilbert.
Lots of nests and lots of flora…especially orange and yellow-colored.
There were perches and nesting boxes in several places over the ponds. In fact, we thought this osprey was on a perch that some human had fabricated but when I read about them later, this is exactly what their nests look like. He or she was hunting for a delicious fish. Once again, a 400mm lens would have been very handy.
For now, this ends my 3-part series on the Gilbert Riparian Preserve. It’s a beautiful place and I plan to go back again for its many photo opps. Here I thought the only cool thing in Gilbert is my favorite former boss…this place is the 2nd best thing about Gilbert.
Happy Earth Day!
As a continuation of my last post, Gilbert’s Riparian Institute at Water Ranch is a 110 acre park organized into various vegetative zones that range from wetlands to native riparian and upland vegetation areas, not a common landscape in the greater Phoenix area. There are 7 ponds, full of 200 species of water-loving birds, as well as all sorts of other animals.
This pond slider is enjoying the sun.
If you want to see birds, this place delivers! Hangin’ with some Canada Geese.
Click to see a lot of grazing birds in the marsh (above).
Black-necked stilts and many other shorebirds abound.
I love this place, so pretty and diverse, an oasis in the midst of a busy urban area. It’s big enough that you see far more animals than people. More photos to come…
We went to a new-to-us place last weekend, the Riparian Institute at Water Ranch in Gilbert, AZ, one of the Phoenix ‘burbs. This 110-acre preserve is full of ponds, marshes, and lakes, and is home to over 200 species of birds.
The above two photos are of Cormorants, a different bird in each photo. I’m not sure if they are Double-Crested Cormorants or Neotropic Cormorants since both have been seen at this preserve. And I could have spent hours (well, I guess I did) watching this endlessly-fascinating Great Blue Heron.
Of course, I didn’t have my camera on auto-focus so I was totally unprepared when he took a brief flight.
I was never able to get very close to the graceful and ethereal Great Egrets we saw. It sure would be fun to have a 400mm lens, rather than my 200mm, but I don’t think that will be in my budget for a long, long time. They are expensive!
If the below photo is not animated, click on it, to see some blurry shots of the flying heron.
Stay tuned for more wildlife photos from the beautiful Gilbert Riparian Preserve…
Filed under: Arizona, The Route to Work | Tags: Arizona, Flora, Holidays, Paradise Valley, Religion
I have always loved the desert. One sits down on a desert sand dune, sees nothing, hears nothing. Yet through the silence something throbs, and gleams… ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
After walking by the “eye of the tree” in my last post and climbing to Lykes Lookout at the Hassayampa River Preserve, we were able to see a more “typical” desert landscape than the gnarled trees below us.
Mountains, blue skies, and saguaros in every direction.
BNSF Railway tracks wind through this area. And this concludes my winter series of the Hassayampa. Maybe we will head back later in the spring or early fall when the gnarled trees aren’t all bare and more wildlife is around. I have a feeling that summer would be very hot and humid there.