August 23rd, 2012-Glendale Recharge Ponds
My apologies for the late post, I haven't had a chance for internet until
I checked the Glendale Recharge Ponds on Thursday, August 23rd, for a few
hours in the morning. Things change constantly at these ponds, and I saw
a few different things during my visit than what has been reported.
I was dissapointed to see that Melanie's awesome find in the Roseate
Spoonbill has departed, something I was hoping for when I went.
Thankfully, I did see the Spoonbill in 2010 that came to Glendale.
Main highlights for me was the single STILT SANDPIPER that Melanie also
reported, a single BAIRD'S SANDPIPER, as well as a flyover FRANKLIN'S
GULL. I was happy with the Franklin's Gull, which is the first time I've
seen this species in any timeframe in Arizona outside of late March-
April. One EARED GREBE was present, as well as 4 SOLITARY SANDPIPERS,
both GREATER and LESSER YELLOWLEGS, an early WILSON'S SNIPE, about 60 or
so WILSON'S PHALAROPES, a PACIFIC-SLOPE FLYCATCHER in the riparian area,
LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE, and a few flyover LARK SPARROWS.
I also had a brief look of what I'm 95% sure of was a Semipalmated
Sandpiper. I got on the bird briefly and was able to make out good
details, but with a brief look I wasn't able to rule out something else
Visit the ponds, they change by the day! I also made some new features on
my Maricopa County birding website. See the links below if interested.
Tommy DeBardeleben (Glendale, Arizona)
August 28th, 2012: Mount Ord-hearing a Montezuma Quail
Jim Kopitzke and I spent a tiring seven hours at Mount Ord yesterday on
August 28th, 2012. Six of those seven hours were spent hiking an
exhausting loop hike by taking Road 1688 to it's end and hiking a dense
and rocky drainage back to the main road. We were both almost dead by the
time we got back to the truck. We had some very good birding highlights
during the exploration.
The best observation we had was hearing a male MONTEZUMA QUAIL calling
consistently over the course of about thirty minutes. This bird was heard
by walking the beginning stretch of Road 1688 (which is about 3 miles up
the main dirt road up Ord, where that road first comes into contact with
the pines), and was on the east side of 1688. I tried to track the bird
down and get a visual without success. The Maricopa County/ Gila County
lines are close and wierd from where the bird was calling, but it sounded
to me like the bird was in both counties, as it moved around a little,
more strongly being on the Maricopa County side. I know this species has
never been detected in this region before, but they have been found near
the Payson area, which isn't far at all from Mount Ord. Mount Ord doesn't
seem to support the grassy undergrowth habitat this quail would more
strongly prefer, so who knows how long this bird has been here. The hills
are dry and arid at this spot however, with good oak/pine habitat
otherwise. It would help greatly if birders can listen for this bird when
birding this section of Mount Ord. Documentation is needed greatly,
whether a voice recording or much better a picture.
We had a few other really good highlights on Mount Ord. One was two
GOLDEN EAGLES (adult and juvenile) soaring together above a ridgeline, who
were very vocal. Three BAND-TAILED PIGEONS on Road 1688 were also very
nice, a species we don't see too much of in the county. Six PYGMY
NUTHATCHES near the beginning of the drainage we hiked were also a very
nice surprise. Pygmy Nuthatch is often hard to find in Maricopa County,
and this was only my 5th record in all the visits I've had to Transition
Zone. It was Jim's first record for Maricopa, which was awesome!
Other highlights among the 44 species were 1 WHITE-THROATED SWIFT
overhead, 1 BROAD-TAILED HUMMINGBIRD coming to Jim's hummingbird feeder we
set up, plenty of RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRDS, good numbers of ACORN and HAIRY
WOODPECKERS, 2 DUSKY FLYCATCHERS, 2 GRAY VIREOS, 3 PLUMBOUS VIREOS, 2
HUTTON'S VIREOS, a flock of BUSHTITS, both RED-BREASTED and WHITE-BREASTED
NUTHATCHES for a three Nuthatch day, 1 CRISSAL THRASHER, 4 VIRGINIA'S, 3
GRACE'S, and 2 HERMIT WARBLERS; 8 PAINTED REDSTARTS, 1 HEPATIC TANAGER and
a female SUMMER TANAGER at lower elevations in the drainage.
Also encountered were two ARIZONA BLACK RATTLESNAKES, an adult and baby
over the course of the hike. Another great day of birding!
Directions to Mount Ord can be found at my website.
Tommy DeBardeleben (Glendale, Arizona)