Pacific Wren

Pacific Wren
Pacific Wren

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Glendale Recharge Ponds - Again!

Once again, I headed out to the Glendale Recharge Ponds and knowing it was going to be another scorcher (Friday it hit 113° in Phoenix), I arrived right around sunrise to find 4 other people had arrived be fore me.  Guess I am not the not only crazy bird person!  And all 4 of these happened to be people I already knew, Jeff Ritz and his mother Shirley, Dick Ashburn, and Pam Barnhart.  Pam was a new face, but I knew her through many Facebook postings.  Luckily the cloud cover allowed me to linger out a bit longer than I would have had the sun been beating down on me with no shade trees to offer any respite.  

The most interesting find, happened to be a juvenile Long-billed Curlew.  These birds are usually found in Arizona during migration in fall and spring, and some can be found in the winter.  They are most frequently seen in farm fields that have been flooded by framers irrigating their crops in Arizona.  They breed much further north from the western high plains of the United States and on up into parts of southwestern Canada.  This bird has a much shorter bill than the adults that I normally see, which is an indication of a juvenile, probably a hatch-year bird and just now finding its way south for the first time for its first winter.

Long-billed Curlew, juvenile

 Long-billed Curlew, juvenile

Long-billed Curlew, juvenile

A Green Heron was quite undisturbed by us as we watched it feeding along the canal.  The birds can look so short and compact when resting, but when they make a strike for a small fish, one can really see how long those necks really are.  Looks can be quite deceiving.  First photo is of it getting ready to strike, the second photo is of the strike itself and finally the third photo is the recoil.

 Green Heron

  Green Heron

 Green Heron

3 White-faced Ibis were also present, which was another species that I did not see the week before.  This one was being photo-bombed by a Black-necked Stilt.

White-faced Ibis (rear) & Black-necked Stilt

The most numerous birds were the Least Sandpipers and Killdeer, which were everywhere.  These are birds that many times, I just count them and ignore them as they can be so plentiful.  It is always worthwhile though to check out every Least Sandpiper as there area a couple of species that can look very similar and are a bit rarer to find, especially in migration.  

 Killdeer

 Least Sandpiper

 Least Sandpiper

While nothing rare was found, just finding and studying a juvenile Long-billed Curlew was definitely worth the trip.  Birding is a never ending education and learning process and one that gives me a lot of enjoyment.






3 comments:

  1. Lovely variety of birds and beautiful photos.

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  2. I love the Curlews! Actually any bird with a strange bill is fascinating. You obtained some great photos of the birds:) It sounds like you all had a great time meeting each other face to face:) Perhaps this winter??

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    1. Visiting this area and Tres Rios!....and the Thrasher spot:) Tucson is hot enough right now but the birds are coming through....so it has been difficult to not try and go out. But we have found brief moments of escape:)

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