Fountain Hills

Fountain

Ftn Lake

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:

Heron Sculp FH

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.

Hoodie Boy 4

Hoodies M and F

Hoodie Up

Hoodie Group

Hoodie Girl 2

Hoodie Couple 2

Hoodie Boy

2 Hoodies

The second lifer I saw there was this female Common Goldeneye:

Goldeneye 2

And the third lifer I saw, today, to start out 2016, was this Eared Grebe.

Eared Grebe 1

Love those red eyes. And I also saw these guys:

Ruddy BoyRuddy Duck, male

Ruddy GirlRuddy Duck, female

Pied-Billed GrebePied-billed Grebe

Shovelers ChurningNorthern Shovelers, churning up their food

Spotted Sandpiper FH

Spotted SandpiperSpotted Sandpiper

The first day I was there, which was cold and windy, I also saw these birds:

GrackleGreat-tailed Grackle, female

RWBB 2

RWBBRed-winged Blackbird, male

Say's Phoebe 2

Say's PhoebeSay’s Phoebe

SparrowHouse Sparrow, female

I hope the new year has started out fortuitously for you, too.

Happy 2016!

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Park Pals

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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.

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Gambel’s Quail, female

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Green Heron

Killdeer

Killdeer

Lovebird

Rosy-Faced Lovebird, juvenile

Thrasher

Curve-Billed Thrasher

Verdin 2

Verdin

Verdin

Verdins

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Sandpiper

Spotted Sandpipers

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Black Phoebe, chowing down

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Gila Woodpecker, female

Cowbird Girl

Brown-Headed Cowbird, female

Red-Winged Blackbird

Red-Winged Blackbird

Finch Yellow

House  Finch, yellow variety

Cormy

Neotropic Cormorant

Matching Ducks

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:

Georgie

Georgie Wet

Georgie

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Back to the Falls

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I went back to Arizona Falls a couple of weeks ago because I heard there were Green Herons there. Well, they must have been out and about fishing when I was there because I saw none.

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I last wrote about Arizona Falls here. Located on the canal, it is a functional hydroelectric plant that furnishes power for 150 homes as well as a public art project called WaterWorks.

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There are 2 sets of falls here but there are also some smaller falls. Arizona Falls has been in existence since the early 1900s (in different incarnations) when it used to be a popular picnic destination.

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This photo, below, is from my post several years ago but gives you an idea of the current structure. Only one of the falls was running that day.

AZ Falls Distance

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I had to amuse myself with capturing water effects and experimenting with shutter speeds.

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Spotted Sandpiper 2

The star of the day, for me, was this Spotted Sandpiper, since I’ve never photographed one before.

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Gotta get a few more birds in…

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This is an interesting and strange place but I would have enjoyed a little more bird action since that seems to be my preference lately.