Sunday, December 23, 2012
Continental Golf Course - 23 Dec 2012
Decided to visit a new site today and that was a pond on the Continental Golf Course in Scottsdale, AZ. A Ross's Goose had been reported there and although it is not a new life bird for me, they are rather scare in Arizona and it would be something new to see instead of all the desert birds. The goose was easy to find as it was foraging on grass with a large flock of American Wigeons. All I had to do was park in the parking lot on the north side and walk across the street. But while checking it out and inventorying all the other birds on the pond, I also noticed that the end of the parking lot where my car was parked, a few small birds were flitting about, so I went to check that out and discovered a small stream of water running along the side with a few trees on the side and rocks in the water and a bonanza of birds coming and going. Many were getting their morning drink of water, but many were bathing as well and a few ducks were also in the midst where some of the water was pooling. All the photos in this post were taken by standing in one spot near this stream, except for the photo of the Ross's Goose at the end of the blog.
The most colorful birds to visit were some Rosy-faced Lovebirds. I heard them before I saw them with their noisy chatter. This species is one of the newest species accepted by the ABA (American Birding Association) as an established bird in the state of Arizona. For those birders that keep track of lists, it is another one they can add to their list. In the first photo with 3 birds, bird on the far right is a juvenile; notice the brown bill and less intense facial coloring.
A beautiful male Gadwall was foraging in a small pool of water and right behind it in the stream, there were visits by House Finches, Yellow-rumped Warblers, and Red-winged Blackbirds.
Across the stream 3 Mourning Doves were attempting to blend in with the rocks and stones and a Curve-billed Thrasher was probing around for morsels of food. And a Killdeer was not the least upset by the golf balls in the water.
The post would not be complete without a photo of the objective of my trip, the Ross's Goose. The bird did not seem too skittish, but the American Wigeons were and when they would scatter, the goose would make its way to the water, but not nearly as fast as the wigeons.
When I first found this spot, I did not expect to find much other than the goose, but was quite surprised by the show that many of the other birds put on for me in front of my camera and all I had to do was stand there and swivel from one side to another to take photos. Birding hot spots can happen just about any place. A lot of times it has to do with being in the right place at the right time. Thanks to Walter Thurber for reporting the goose and to Jon Mann for validating it was still around.