Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Phoenix/Tempe Wintering Birds

The second leg of our trip brought us to Phoenix for a few nights.  Temps were cold in the morning, but quickly warmed up.  I watched the Arizona/New Mexico bird list for reports of good sightings.   I also wanted to take my mom to the Phoenix Botanical Garden (PBG) so I hit the Tempe Reservoir at sun up with the intent of spending a few hours before hitting the PBG.  I wasn't disappointed.  I wanted grebe's and I got them (pied-billed, eared, horned, western and potentially Clark's).   The Clark's is still up for debate.  The Sibley's explanation for difference between Western and Clark'sis that the black cap doesn't come below the eye.  Unfortunately the black cap doesn't come below the eye in the juvenile western either.  So another bird challenge for me.  My photos of the Clark's isn't good enough to post so I'll be reviewing other Clark's photos.  If you have a good Clark's photo I'd be interested to see it. 

Eared Grebe

Western Grebe (see the distinct black line below the eye)

Proud Ruddy Duck strutting its junk!

Crazy as a Coot!

After spending just a short period of time at the Tempe Reservoir, we cruised over to PBG to check out the gardens and look for some cool birds.  We weren't disappointed by either.  The gardens were being prepared for a luminary show so they were primping the walkways for a huge tadoo!  Most birds I saw were lifers and fortunately it was Saturday morning so we ran in to a Bird group on their weekly bird walk.  I was fortunate as they pointed out several birds that I would have misidentified.  Take the blue-gray gnatcatcher and the black tailed gnatcatcher.  Winter black tailed sure looks like a BGG to me.  New bird, yay!

Abert's Towhee

Anna's hummingbird

Black tailed gnatcatcher

Cactus Wren

Costa's Hummingbird

Curve-billed Thrasher

Gambrel's Quail (tons of these birds) 
I remember Northern Bobwhites in these numbers
on Cape Cod when I was growing up.  Days gone by. 

I was excited to get my first Verdin, but man by the end I was sick of this excited little bird.
Clearly a very abundant species. 

Lesser Goldfinch (female)

I'm all ears!

Rosy cheeked Luv Birds
I had to stand on my head in the brush for this pic hence the angle. 

Great time in Phoenix with some great birders. 


Cynthia White said...

I love these beautiful images, gorgeous assortment:)

Kathiesbirds said...

Oh, I love seeing all those AZ birds again as I use to live in Tucson. How can you get tired of Verdins/ They are so cute!I never managed to see those lovebirds. nice sighting!

Thanks for your visit to my blog and yes I do realize that Vermont is not very far away. I just moved here last year and it was a very busy one. I hope to make it there this year. Can you tell me any good birding spots?