Fan-tailed Warbler

Fan-tailed Warbler

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Fountain Hills Lake, AZ - 13 Nov 2012

Fountain Hills Lake, in the community of Fountain Hills, AZ is a man-made lake with a HUGE fountain that that can be seen for miles when it is shooting water far up into the sky.  But not only are the local inhabitants drawn to this spot, it has also become quite the hot spot for birds, especially migrants.  Ellen and I stopped here on Tuesday and we saw large numbers of waterfowl and some were birds that are normally only seen in this area during migration and on this day the Hooded Mergansers were the ones that were putting on quite a show.  We found 1 group that consisted of 10 males and 1 female and the the males were putting on quite a show for the lone female with their displays and strange croaking sounds. A short distance away, another male was with a group of 6 females, but they were more interested in feeding and constantly diving.

 Hooded Merganser-Male

Hooded Merganser-Male

Hooded Merganser-Male

Along with all the waterfowl, we also found a few shore birds and a plover as well.  The Killdeer is considered a plover and spends a lot of time on dry land, but usually in the vicinity of water.  This photo of a Killdeer is actually one of my favorites from this visit.  We also found Greater Yellowlegs, Spotted Sandpiper and some Least Sandpipers.


 Greater Yellowlegs

 Spotted Sandpiper

 Least Sandpiper

We also found a Great Blue Heron that allowed us close enough that I could focus in on a close-up of its head.  We also watched a Green Heron fly into a tree and it stayed there long enough for us to get close enough to capture its photo as well.

Great Blue Heron

Green Heron
Back to some waterfowl and some Lesser Scaup, with a photo that included a male and a female.  And finally a group of Northern Shovelers all taking part in a feeding frenzy.
Lesser Scaup

Northern Shovelers


  1. Great shots Gordon!

    It looks like things are only getting better in Fountain Hills. I was out there last Saturday and there were only two male Mergansers. They stayed far away and weren't displaying to anyone.

    I love your photos here--make me want to go back too.