On another recent day when we had a reprieve from Phoenix’s heat, we headed to a destination about 30 miles away…Chandler, AZ…and Veteran’s Oasis Park, a new-to-us park. It’s a Chandler City Park with a community fishing lake but it also has several recharge (water treatment) ponds that are very wild. In fact, they are almost too wild to be able to see much wildlife but I’m sure the animals appreciate it. This is a very pretty park.
Black-tailed Jackrabbits galore
Turkey Vultures galore
Flame Skimmer Dragonfly
San Tan Mountains
Great Blue Heron
Blue Dasher Dragonfly
They have blinds scattered around to observe/photograph the wildlife but the reeds and other plants are so overgrown that there isn’t much of a view.
From the recharge ponds, you can look out over farmland…from arid desert to green crops.
Homes with a farm view
These photos were from a recent late afternoon visit to Papago Park in Phoenix.
Ring-Necked Duck Drake
Snowy and Cormy
Papago has a lot of reeds which can make for interesting patterns on the water.
Common Gallinule, immature
I went there in search of these lifers, Northern Pintails, and I found them. There were 3 drakes and a popular hen.
After posing nicely, they swam off into the sunset.
Aren’t these the cutest things? They are Pied-billed Grebe babies. They look like something you’d see in the Galapagos instead of Papago Park Ponds, where they actually were. So here’s a few too many photos I took of them a couple days ago.
This is an adult, above. The males and females are indistinguishable.
Catching lunch with parental supervision
There are actually 2 sets of babies. One has 3 babies and they are a little older than another group of 2 babies. Unfortunately, in that group, there were 4 babies until the other day…No one knows what happened.
“I can swim, I can walk, when can I fly?”
Entertaining as these guys were, and as many local bird photographers who have gathered there over the last couple weeks to see them, there were some other fun birds to see, too.
I never get tired of spotting Green Herons, much smaller birds than you would think.
There were many punk juveniles there with their little spiked head feathers.
He/she felt like dancing. I also saw a chick with her but it scampered into the reeds before I could get a shot.
Flame Skimmer Dragonfly
Sharp-Shinned or Cooper’s Hawk (hard to distinguish)
Red-Eared Pond Slider
I spent the first day of spring at Papago Park and made a brief visit to the Desert Botanical Garden, which is in the park. Not much luck there as it was later in the day and packed with people but the ponds at the park made for a decent day of birding. I have a 3-day weekend and I’m planning to go shooting somewhere everyday. More photos to come, I hope…
Northern Shoveler, female
Northern Shoveler, male
This is what winter looks like in Phoenix, specifically the ponds at Papago Park, a Phoenix Point of Pride. (Click on photos for more detail.)
Ring-Necked Duck, male
American Wigeons, male and female
Do you wonder where your waterfowl went? They’re here with more arriving daily!!!
Green Heron, the American Birding Association’s Bird of the Year 2015!
Canada Goose, C77, with American Wigeon and Ring-Necked Duck
And some girls out having a good time…