Estrella Mountain Regional Park

Red-tailed Hawk

RTHA Over ShoulderRed-tailed Hawk

Isn’t he/she gorgeous? We went to another of Maricopa County’s Regional Parks the other day. It was a gloomy, cloudy day and the park left a lot to be desired. It was definitely the least attractive of all the county parks we’ve visited. This hawk was really the only redeeming factor for me.

RTHA 2

RTHA Flying

We saw a Red-tailed Hawk 3 different times while there so I don’t know if this is the same one as the first 2 photos. The one in the first 2 photos was a very cooperative poser and there was even a little sun by then so it was a great photo op. Thank you, Hawk.

Everything else was pretty mediocre. I had a couple of target birds but we didn’t see them…

Sag Old

Sag Detail

Mtns

Purple Flower

Say's PhoebeSay’s Phoebe

VEFLVermilion Flycatcher

EM Yellow Flowers

EM Scrub

Not a park I would go to again but we did get a free pass to go to another county park so it kind of evened out.

Valentine’s Day is also Arizona Statehood Day. This is a very big saguaro superimposed on a 1912 map. Happy 107th Birthday, Arizona!

Map and Sag

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4 thoughts on “Estrella Mountain Regional Park

  1. I was surprised to read such a disappointing review of Estrella Regional Park. This is near my home and is a park that I go to quite often. I will agree that it is probably more desert-oriented than some of the other Regional parks (like the White Tanks or Skyline Park) but there are many different habitats that allow for a variety of birds, especially if you cross over vineyard to the other side where you can get down to Gila River.

    Perhaps it was the gloomy weather and time of year that you went; in the spring it is alive with migrating birds that have chosen to raise their babies there. I’ve seen Tanagers, Phainopeplas feeding babies and gnatcatchers and Vermilion Flycatchers teaching their babies to fly. There are also other Flycatchers and a variety of woodpeckers and flickers, as well as Lark Sparrows, White-crowned Sparrows and even a Golden-crown Sparrow showed up this year. They’ve done a lot of improvements to the park since I’ve been visiting there, putting in Ramadas and walking paths in the picnic area. Perhaps the construction has been keeping birds away. I would encourage you to give the park another chance and visit in the spring when there is likely more activity. Your pictures are lovely and highlight the desert beauty of the area.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to be so negative and I’m sure the weather had something to do with it. The desert just looks better in the sun. But, yes, there was construction going on so that is never pretty and the person at the gate told us not to walk on the turf area because they had just sprayed something very toxic for weeds. So when we were in the Nature Center I asked them about that and if that was not also hazardous to the birds and other animals. “Oh, no, it won’t hurt them.” So…it would hurt us to walk in it in our shoes but it’s okay for little animals with bare feet to walk there. I don’t know, it doesn’t seem “right” that a park sprays toxic chemicals. It was just a little off-putting.

      I’m sure there were some very pretty areas that we didn’t see at all since it is a very large park and we didn’t cover that much of it. I guess I had thought it would be more mountainous like White Tanks or lusher like Cave Creek. And I really wanted to see Crissal Thrashers as well as the Golden-crowned Sparrow but luck was not with me. I know the weather contributed to the overall gloom, though. Thank you for the comment, Lyndie.

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  2. That red tailed hawk is pretty phenomenal. And I really love that photo you took of the Phoebe as well. So nice to ‘visit’ the park through your eyes.

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