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.
Posted in Phoenix
Tagged Black Phoebe, Common Gallinule, cormorants, egrets, grebe, Northern Pintail, Northern Shoveler, Papago Park, Parks, Ring-Necked Duck, Snowy Egret
Fountain Hills, AZ, is home to a world-famous fountain that operates daily and shoots water 562 feet high. I was there on December 15th and today, New Year’s Day, Tony and I went back. Fountain Park is a beautiful place with a 29 acre lake and the park is filled with sculptures and recreation areas. It has changed a lot since the last time I was there years ago. This is my favorite sculpture there:
But…the reason I initially went was because I wanted to see these guys, and I did…fun-loving Hooded Mergansers, a lifer. Both drakes and hens were there.
The second lifer I saw there was this female Common Goldeneye:
And the third lifer I saw, today, to start out 2016, was this Eared Grebe.
Love those red eyes. And I also saw these guys:
Ruddy Duck, male
Ruddy Duck, female
Northern Shovelers, churning up their food
The first day I was there, which was cold and windy, I also saw these birds:
Great-tailed Grackle, female
Red-winged Blackbird, male
House Sparrow, female
I hope the new year has started out fortuitously for you, too.
Posted in Art
Tagged Art, Common Goldeneye, ducks, fountain, Grackle, grebe, Holidays, Hooded Merganser, Northern Shoveler, Parks, Red-Winged Blackbird, Ruddy Duck, Sandpiper, Say's Phoebe, sculpture, Sparrow
Last week I went in search of two rarities in town. Both are not only rare in AZ but rare in North America. This Mandarin Duck (drake) resides at Tempe Town Lake, just across the bridge in Tempe.
It’s a pretty big lake (for here) but he was the first duck I spotted in the water. No one quite knows his origins but I guess he has been there “awhile.”
“Mandarin Ducks are found in southeast Russia, China, Japan, and Korea. They were introduced into Britain and exported to many other countries. The largest populations are in Japan and Britain. Ducks found in North America are usually escapees from collections or feral ducks in small numbers. There is a small colony of Mandarin Ducks in northern California. Their habitat is marshes, streams, and pools in wooded areas. They are partial migrators, migrating in early September.” (Birding Information)
I have about 80 shots of him but I whittled them down to these few. He was extremely handsome, colorful, and small.
While there, I also spotted this immature Herring Gull, 1st winter, above. I stopped at another Tempe park after that, Evelyn Hallman Park, but spotted no more rarities or lifers, just these cute guys:
Stay tuned for the next rarity I saw last week…
American Wigeon, female
Ring-Necked Duck, drake
Anna’s Hummingbird, male
Yellow-Rumped Warbler, female
Here are some baby birdies from late summer that I never posted. This is a Green Heron youngster, cartoonishly peeking out from the reeds:
And this is a Pied-Billed Grebe adolescent:
Fall’s in full swing here, finally!
Posted in Home
Tagged American Wigeon, ducks, grebe, heron, Home, Hummingbirds, Mockingbirds, Parks, Ring-Necked Duck, Rosy-Faced Lovebirds, Yellow-Rumped Warbler
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