Monday, July 16, 2012
Munds Park, AZ
On Sunday July 15th, 2012, I drove to Munds Park, Arizona which is a short distance south of Flagstaff, to join a fine group of birders in exploring the bird life in and around Munds Park. Another birding friend Wayne, joined me, and we were treated to some wonderful birds. Our host, Margaret, started us out first on the local golf course with some ponds on the edges. We got a lucky break as they had given about a 1 hour rain delay to the golfers and we were fortunate to actually get to venture out on the course for a better viewing vantage for a while. The nearest pond was very busy with bird life including many juveniles and babies from this year's hatch. Got my first photos ever of a baby Pied-billed Grebe and they look quite different than their parents, but are quite cute to say the least. There were several youngsters in the water, but this one was kind enough to pose for a photo.
Pied-billed Grebe Juvenile
Also in the same pond were young American Coots. The American Coot is a very common bird and sometimes the numbers are so great it is quite easy to just ignore them, but to actually see a youngster from this year's hatch was quite special.
American Coot Juvenile
One of the groups favorites was the Yellow-headed Blackbird. Males are quite stunning with their bright yellow heads and shiny black bodies. This photo is an immature male.
Yellow-headed Blackbird Immature
On the way back to the vehicles to move on to a different spot, I spied a woodpecker high up in a tree, but could not quite make out what it was, but the photo helped verify it as another youngster, but in this case a young Red-naped Sapsucker. So it was a morning of youngsters! Also seen on the golf course were Black Phoebe, Barn Swallow, Violet-green Swallow, Tree Swallow, Red-winged Blackbirds, Great-tailed Grackles, American Crows, and a Yellow Warbler.
Red-naped Sapsucker Juvenile
Next stop was Lake Odell and it was very busy with abundant bird life. Unfortunately, most of the birds were a bit of a distance away yo capture photos, but we found Canada Geese, Mallards, Great Blue Herons, a male Ruddy Duck, Eurasian-collared Dove, Northern Flicker, Black Phoebe, Western Bluebird, and Pygmy Nuthatch.
Next we were invited to sit in the front yard of one of the residents and watch their feeders for a bit. It was not a disappointment and the owners generosity was greatly appreciated by all. The feeders were visited by House Finches, Lesser Goldfinches, White-breasted and Pygmy Nuthatches, a Hairy Woodpecker, and a Mountain Chickadee.
Also at the club house we were also greeted by a Say's Phoebe. What a beautiful place to spend a couple of hours enjoying the birds and great company.