After exploring the Lower Salt River, we headed to Saguaro Lake, set in the Sonoran Desert and rimmed with canyon walls. It is only about 40 miles northwest of downtown Phoenix.
And…I got a lifer (below)!
Red-winged Blackbird, immature male
The lake is divided into two sections connected by narrows between canyon walls. The above is considered the marina side and the other side is my favorite, Butcher Jones Beach.
The Salt River wild horses, mentioned in my last post, often congregate here on hot, summer days. A lot of people also congregate at this lake all summer long. As you can see, we beat the rush by waiting.
There was a really nice trail there but it was almost dusk so we were not able to go very far on it…maybe next time…it seemed pretty “birdy.”
Great Blue Heron
Most of these photos will be pretty ugly…There is a place I’ve been to a few times just west of Phoenix called Glendale Recharge Ponds. These ponds belong to Salt River Project, one of our electric companies, and they attract a huge amount of waterbirds and shorebirds and quite a few rarities. They are next to New River, which is part of the attraction for the birds. The only problem is it’s a very unattractive area and the birds are usually way out on the ponds so it’s hard to sneak up on them and get good photos.
I was out there a couple weeks ago, again, looking for a specific rare bird…that I never found but here are a few shots of birds I did find there.
Although I didn’t find the bird I was looking for (Long-tailed Duck), I did get one lifer there:
These photos give an idea of how “industrial” looking the area is and how it also attracts people who enjoy graffiti and tagging. Even though there are houses nearby, the area is kind of creepy and remote, in my opinion. Almost every time I go there, I’m the only one around.
Seriously not my favorite place to go but the variety and quantity of birds there is amazing. There are always several hundred birds in the water plus plenty of raptors flying overhead, including Bald Eagles.
Bald Eagle, immature
This was my 700th post!