Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Sweetwater Wetlands

Molting Mourning Dove.
Very beautiful shot.
Song Sparrow
Hello everyone! It's been a few days since out last birding adventure! We went to Sweetwater Wetlands, where there was reports of a Peregrine Falcon. That would be a nice addition, but we did not see that falcon.

We did see a lot of dragonflies and other birds we already have on our list. I have some pictures of the things we saw there~

Arizona Cotton Rat

Pied-billed Greb

There was many interesting species there including a Pied-billed Grebe with two young chicks. They were so cute! We spent a good amount of time there taking pictures and enjoying watching them swim around.

After we left the Grebes we came across some Neotropic Cormorants and an American Coot sitting on her nest! Wish we could have gotten to see the babies but they hadn't hatched yet.

Neotropic Cormorant

Eastern Amberwing
Coot on her nest

We saw three different Arizona Cotton Rats on our way out. We have never seen them before. We also saw some different species of frog; not been able to identify it yet. Nice variety of nature was out and about in Sweetwater that morning, but by 8:30am we were sweating and it was time to get on the road.

Sweetwater Wetlands, Tucson, Arizona

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Three More and A Non-ABA

Mallard Chicks
Well, we were at Whittier Narrows Recreation Park, El Monte, CA, yesterday and picked up three new birds! We haven't been out too much lately; I believe the last time was up in Montana over a week ago. It sure was nice to get out and bird again!

Caspian Tern

Before we arrived there, we did an eBird.com search for any new sightings and their was three birds that we did not have yet. Those birds were Caspian Tern, Hooded Oriole, and the other a non-ABA Yellow-chevron Parakeet. Every time we go out birding anywhere we always check out the reports on eBird. It gives us a much better idea of what may be there and what to keep an eye out for.

House Finch Yellow Variety
Once we arrived at Whittier Narrows we saw all the domestic geese and then we spotted some bird flying over the water, could it really be the Caspian Tern already. It was indeed the Caspian Tern and then it did a dive bomb into the water. What a amazing thing to watch and they dive into the water and then a second later they pop out and fly away. After we watched the tern for a little bit we made our way around the lake and spotted some Canada Geese. There was about eight geese floating in the lake some of them walked up on the shore there was one who had it's neck extender, I thought that to be the mamma. She was in alert mode; I was using a tree for cover and I decided to come out in the open and squat down. That was when they all started coming out of the water and began eating grass. I got a few nice shots of them close up.

Domestic Goose Napping
Hooded Oriole
After taking a bunch of pics of the geese and so me Mallards, we walked a little further I heard some chirping that was not a familiar to me. I pointed this out and Simon was still searching for the bird when I came back from the bathroom. We finally found the bird that was making all the noise and it was actually a Hooded Oriole standing on top of her nest tending to her chicks! We took some shots and tried to get a little closer, but that was too close for her; she flew away. Well took a few pictures of the nest, backed away and waited for her return. Her chicks were starting to call out for her again and within a few minutes she came back. Click, click on the camera and we got her! We left her alone so she could feed her chicks in peace!

American Coot with chicks

Next, we came to a flock of Domestic Geese, Domestic Mallards and a pair of American Coots with their two young chicks. Then a Caspian Tern flew over head again! The terns gave us plenty of chances to get a good picture of it!

Pied-billed Grebe
Simon was successful in getting a great picture of a Pied-billed Grebe! These little grebes are so little, only twelve inches long; head to tail! Such a cute little bird!

Next we saw more Caspian Terns, Forester Tern, Rock Pigeons, Downy Woodpecker and Black Phoebe. Along the back side of the lake we saw some Tri-colored Blackbirds! Wow! Every time we drive through California we look for that bird and we finally found it!

Yellow-chevron Parakeet

Tri-colored Blackbird

Great Blue Heron

Come check out my Facebook page for my photography! We are now up to 335 and as always Happy Birding!!!!