Fain Lake is in Prescott Valley, AZ (in Fain Park). We stopped there on our way home after going to Lynx Lake in Prescott recently. It’s another place that’s supposed to be “birdy,” but wasn’t when we there, of course.
It might look like the lake is dirty but it was really from severe flooding a few days prior to our visit. There was recently a forest fire in that area and then monsoon rains washed a lot of debris down into the lake and over the dam.
More than 2 feet of water flowed over the dam and it looked like this (not my photo, borrowing it from here).
Back in the day, the dam was used for gold mining but I didn’t quite understand how in the information I saw there.
This is where the water flows after it goes over the dam:
There was old mining equipment throughout the park.
It was a very pretty little park and, as it got to be around 5pm, the locals started heading in after work to enjoy it, too. But because of the stagnant water, these guys were everywhere so we headed back to the desert!
This is Lynx Lake in Prescott, AZ, part of the Prescott National Forest. We spent a rainy day up there this past week but, fortunately, the rain did let up now and then giving us time to walk around for quite awhile. It’s not that we’re afraid of the rain but I don’t like the cameras to get too soaked.
See the snag on the left side of the above photo?
It was a tree that seemed to attract these cormorants. There were actually more a few minutes later but this is the only photo I got. This guy was top dog in the tree:
This is the dam which is at the far end of the first photo.
Great Blue Heron
Red-eared Pond Sliders
It was another bad birding day, certainly no lifers. I hope my bird luck changes soon. As always, it was beautiful up there and much cooler than Phoenix but also very humid.
I guess we had not been to Lynx Lake for 7 years! Here are 2 posts I wrote back then (1 and 2).
We apparently stood in almost the same spot as the top photo in this post back then. Here it is almost exactly 7 years ago:
Acorn Woodpecker, female
If you don’t live in the purple range below at an elevation over 4500 feet, maybe you’ve never seen one of these comical woodpeckers before. I hadn’t~at least not since I’ve been paying attention to birds. So I was excited to see a lot of them the other day when we went to Goldwater Lake in Prescott, AZ.
This is a granary tree, above, the main food storage “pantry” created and used by communal groups of these fascinating woodpeckers. They have a complex social system where family groups hold territories, and young woodpeckers stay with their parents for several years and help the parents raise more young. Several different individuals of each sex may breed within one family, with up to seven breeding males and three breeding females in one group (Cornell Lab). There can be up to 50,000 holes in one tree!
Acorn Woodpecker, male
This whole area was very birdy and beautiful! The dam separates the upper and lower lakes.
Western Bluebird, female
Western Bluebird, male
The Bluebirds were also lifers and the female was very accommodating. I have many shots of her. Also easy to photograph were the Juncos. I got a new subspecies, below. I also got another lifer, a Bridled Titmouse, but my photos are very blurry.
Dark-eyed Junco, Red-backed
This is actually a Prescott city park but it is part of Prescott National Forest. Nice trails.
Common Raven, snacking
Ruddy Duck, with blue bill in breeding plumage
Great Blue Heron
Marine Blue Butterfly
Snoopy was our “target” on the day trip we took to Sedona, Jerome, and Prescott last week with Tony’s sister and her husband (Terri and Jim), visiting from Illinois. We found him pretty quickly and went on to see other sights.
Look at all the houses all over Sedona now! Every time we go, there are more and more houses 😦 littering the lovely landscape.
This was not a birding trip and I didn’t bring my long lens but I was still excited when Jim noticed a flash of blue. It was a beautiful Mountain Scrub Jay, a lifer!
I think he/she has babies tucked away in this little cave. See the bee? I think it became a meal a second later.
Not everyone gets to see the elusive Sedona Red Rock bird:
Then we were on to Jerome. Jerome is a former copper mining town turned ghost town turned artist/biker town turned tourist town. I used to find it very quaint; this time it just seemed more junky to me. Maybe it was just me. The drive up and down is still beautiful, though, complete with many switchbacks.
There are three wildfires burning now, the view from Jerome of one of them. That is why the sky is hazy in the Sedona photos…
On to Prescott:
I’ve never been this close to a raven, I guess, because I was shocked it was so huge! It also had a friend in a nearby tree in Prescott’s square. They were very bold; snacks must be bountiful when the tourists are around.
Click photos for more detail. I like the light on this one (above). It looks autumnal, which is what many of us are wishing for now.
To (probably) finish up my Watson Lake-Granite Dells series, here is some of the flora we saw there.
Previous Watson Lake posts (1, 2, 3, 4). Lotsa shots for a one day adventure in beautiful Prescott, AZ!