Saturday, March 9, 2013

A Day of Birding Fun!!

Ring-necked Duck
Abert's Towhee
  On Wednesday my husband and I were traveling through Tuscon, AZ and thought we'd check out Sweetwater Wetlands. Sadly they were doing their annual burn and were closed for the day. We talked to the guy down by the gate at Sweetwater and he suggested for us to check out Roger Road WRF down the road, so we walked down there and headed over to the two small ponds that had a bunch of ducks. The first one had a few Mallards, Ring-necked Ducks and American Coots. We saw some Gila Woodpeckers along with some Lesser Goldfinches and a Abert's Towhee.

Harris's Hawk
Before we left we spotted this cute pair of Mourning Doves. After leaving there we headed back to our truck and saw a pair of Harris's Hawks! Got some nice shots of those!

Mourning Doves

On Thursday we joined up with my aunt and her bf! We headed over to Sweetwater Wetlands and the bird activity was down a little bit probably from the burn the day before. 

Burrowing Owls
These Burrowing Owls were spotted at Casa Grande,  AZ where we were getting our trailer unloaded. Always nice seeing these owls there!
Burrowing Owl
The first bird we saw was of course a House Sparrow! Never a shortness of those! We headed over to the first pond and spotted some Northern Shovelers and Coots.

Northern Shoveler Male
Northern Shoveler

A close relative of the American Coot is the Common Gallinule, its biggest field mark is the red shield and beak instead of white beak on the American Coot. We hardly ever see this species so it was a delight to see so many yesterday.

Common Gallinule
Great-tailed Grackle

Next we came to another pond and spotted some Blue-winged Teals, American Wigeons (Doing a breeding bobbing of their heads), and a Pied-billed Grebe preening.

American Wigeons
Pied-billed Grebe
Blue-winged Teal

The next birds we found were a Black Phoebe and Ruddy Ducks. One Ruddy Duck in particular was protecting a female from all the other males and another female, whenever they got too close. It was very interesting to see him charge the others in the water.

Ruddy Duck

After leaving there we headed to Saguaro National Park just east of Tuscon. Sadly I didn't bring my short lens to take llandscape shots just had my 500mm lens. We saw a few birds there too, not as many as I thought would be there. Gila Woodpecker was plentiful. Also saw Cactus Wren, Pyrrhuloxia and my husband almost stepped on a Western Diamondback Rattlesnake. It hissed and slithered away rattling its tail. Couldn't find it again after it went under a bush.


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