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
Oops, I didn’t mean to be gone for so long. I haven’t been out birding much lately due to household issues and numerous chores. Now it’s starting to get really hot (117° coming up this weekend) so I hope I can motivate myself to get back out there or it will be a long, blogless summer.
Fortunately, I have a few recent photos laying around taken in various places, including my yard.
Red-winged Blackbird, male
I heard this Red-breasted Sapsucker was in a park in Scottsdale and even had directions to the exact tree he likes the best. As it was, he was in the tree across the path but two women were already photographing him so I didn’t even have to look for him. He’s an Arizona rarity as he is really a northern Pacific coast bird who likes coniferous forests. He’s settling for mesquite trees in Arizona for now.
He’s beautiful and totally cooperative as shutters click all around him.
I have about 80 photos of him so he might reappear on my blog again someday. I then went to a nearby pond and saw 2 Mute Swans.
And some Killdeer.
As if all that wasn’t exciting enough, I stopped at Granada Park on my way home and saw this cousin of the Red-breasted Sapsucker:
And, speaking of coniferous forests, this guy dropped by our Goldwater Pine just in time to wish everyone Happy Holidays!
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
Gilded Flicker, male
I go to several urban parks on a regular basis. Weekly I head over to Granada Park, the closest to my house, but I also visit several others. Here are a few friends I met over the last month, mostly at Granada but also 4 other parks.
Gambel’s Quail, female
Rosy-Faced Lovebird, juvenile
Black Phoebe, chowing down
Gila Woodpecker, female
Brown-Headed Cowbird, female
House Finch, yellow variety
I guess these guys, above, must be Mallard hybrids (or domestic ducks), but they’re funny, always swimming together and looking similar but different. Must be related.
And another little buddy that I see at the park often, Georgie, a water dog: