Tommy J. DeBardeleben

September 2010

September 7th, 2010-Glendale Recharge Ponds, Agua Fria Riverbed

Hey everyone,

This afternoon I went birding for several hours to the Glendale Recharge
Ponds and the Agua Fria Riverbed.

I started at the Glendale Recharge Ponds first, where my main highlight
was a pair of SANDERLINGS.  I also saw some of the goodies Melanie
reported earlier, including 6 RED-NECKED PHALAROPES, one of the SORAS, and
of course the OSPREY.  The waterlevels aren't very good for shorebirds
right now, although the very northeast pond is rather shallow in some
parts, where most of the shorebirds are.

I then went to the nearby Agua Fria Riverbed, where shorebirds were
numerous and the waterlevels were low in many areas and I was able to get
close up looks at many birds.  5 BAIRD'S SANDPIPERS were present as well
well as an OSPREY and PEREGRINE FALCON. Sadly, this was probably my last
visit to this location.  As I was leaving, I was followed by the police
and they pulled me over for tresspassing at the river bed.  The signs at
this location are certainly confusing for what's ok and what's not ok as
far as tresspassing goes.  Birders visit this spot regularly and nothing
has happened before now, so I don't know what the problem is.  I won't
visit this place again though, which I'm very upset about it because I
have seen so many great birds here already at this great spot. If any of
you want to bird here- enter at your own risk, I'd thought I'd share this
to warn everyone.  Luckily, the police didn't give me a ticket!  So
hopefully the more of the good birds will show up at the recharge ponds
where I can go for sure.

Good birding,

Tommy DeBardeleben
(Glendale, Arizona)


September 10th, 2010-Salt River Area: Sabine's Gull, Black-and-white Warbler, Wood Duck

Hello everyone,

Today I had some very good highlights from the Salt River, with the main highlight being the adult Sabine's Gull at Sahuaro Lake that Jim reported for me earlier.  After I saw the bird flying towards the marina from where I was standing by one of the docks at Butcher Jones Beach, I headed over to the marina area and failed to refund the bird despite a long and patient scan of the lake.  If anyone goes in the area tomorrow, keep your eye out for this bird. 

At the goldfield site, I was happy to find a Black and White Warbler, which I got long and extensive views of the bird.  My second one this year, and certainly always a treat!

A Wood Duck male in eclipse plumage that Jim and I saw on Saturday (Sept. 4) was still around at the Granite Reef site.

Good birding,

Tommy DeBardeleben (Glendale, Arizona)


September 13th, 2010-Glendale Recharge Ponds: SABINE'S GULL

Hey everyone,

I birded at the Glendale Recharge Ponds tonight on September 13th, 2010
for a few hours, and what a nice evening it was to be birding.

My main highlight was the subject bird, a juvenille SABINE'S GULL who
sat in the shallow ponds in the southwesternmost basin the entire time
I was birding.  This bird only flew a few times of short distance
unfortunately, so I didn't get to see it's beautiful wing pattern much.
   It is likely to spend the night I hope, as it didn't show any signs
leaving as I reached the end of my birding.  I have submitted my
pictures to AZFO.  This was also my second Sabine's Gull in four days
after I found the adult bird at Sahuaro Lake on friday, so they are
certainly passing through.

There were several other highlights here at Glendale Recharge Ponds
which included the previously reported BLACK TERN.  A single MARBLED
GODWIT flew in and I also saw a juvenille STILT SANDPIPER.  Many
present as well as an OSPREY.

Good birding,

Tommy DeBardeleben (Glendale, Arizona)


September 19th, 2010-Gilbert Water Ranch: PROTHONOTARY WARBLER continues...

Hi everyone,

I was able to relocate the PROTHONOTARY WARBLER that was previously reported, thank you to Mark and Nick for getting the word out.  The bird was reported earlier as being seen on the northwest end of the water  ranch across from the lake.  The bird apparently moved a lot, and I got lucky enough to find it at 5:15 along the path that runs between ponds 1 and 7.  I wasn't expecting it at all which wasn't close to where it was reported from, so I basically got extremely lucky!  It was by a educational sign that reads, "Various Birds", which is right in front of a bench without a name subscribed on it.  The warbler was actually on the side of pond 1, I thought this was probably the best way of explaining the location.  It was in dense cover, which overlooked the water and felt like the Prothonotary's typical swampy habitat.  I got great looks for thirty to forty seconds, and a good photo opportunity that I passed up, sometimes it's funner to enjoy a bird live then worry about a picture. I found and photographed a Prothonotary here last year on September 24th, so this is a great time frame for them at least in Gilbert! 

Other highlights included 3 SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS, LESSER NIGHTHAWK, and BLUE GROSBEAK.  Good luck to anyone who tries for the warbler tomorrow!

Good birding,

Tommy DeBardeleben (Glendale, Arizona)


September 22nd, 2010-West Phoenix: Another SABINE'S GULL, TRICOLORED HERON continues...

Hi everyone,

As I was in the area by Tres Rios, I scanned the ponds that are viewable from the road to the new Tres Rios project, that are just north of Tres Rios Wetlands now, and on the west side of 91st avenue.  A juvenile Sabine's Gull worked the ponds and I was shocked I found my third one in less than two weeks.  I got word from Jim Kopitzke that the Sabine's at Glendale Recharge was still present as well, as Jim and Jay Miller visited the ponds and the gull there put on a nice show. 

At the El Rio Research area, the Tricolored Heron was still present as well.  A large number of 5 Ospreys were present here as well as a Wilson's Snipe and a Pectoral Sandpiper. 

Watch out for more Sabine's!!!

Good birding,

Tommy DeBardeleben (Glendale, Az)



September 25th, 2010-Southwest Phoenix Birding

Hi everyone,

Today on September 25th, 2010, I birded the southwest areas of Phoenix,
starting off at Tres Rios Wetlands followed by shorter visits to the
Baseline and Meridian Wildlife Area and Glendale Recharge Ponds.

I arrived at Tres Rios at 6:30, where I recorded 47 different species
in 2.5 hours.  The migrants were very numerous and in high numbers,
especially ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLERS.  I stood by a stand of Cottonwoods
pishing and it seemed like endless Orange-crowned Warblers kept coming
to join the others, they were everywhere within seconds and it was
quite the sight!  There must have been at least fifty of them in that
short amount of time.  I hoped to get other warblers in the flock, and
one male NASHVILLE was all I could come up with.  I also saw one LUCY'S
WARBLER and the YELLOW-RUMPED "AUDUBON'S" have returned as I saw three
of them.  Several WILSON'S and numerous YELLOW WARBLERS were present
also.  I'm sure I missed something rare in the Orange-crowned flocks. 
Another migrant highlight were a few CEDAR WAXWINGS, who were very
LAZULI BUNTINGS, and also SORA and LEAST BITTERNS were present as well.
  Walking past the main area of the wetlands to the big pond adjacent to
83rd avenue, my main highlight of the morning came as I got very lucky
with a BROWN PELICAN who soared over the pond for a few minutes before
flying westward towards the wetlands.  It was my first Brown Pelican
for Maricopa County this year, and certainly one I was hoping to get!

At the nearby Baseline and Meridian Wildlife Area, and hour and a
half's worth of birding produced LEAST BITTERN, OSPREY, BELTED
SPARROW, and LAZULI BUNTINGS for the highlights among 36 species.

My final stop was at Glendale Recharge Ponds.  The water levels in the
ponds as of early afternoon today are very high in the three ponds that
have water.  One basin had a few small ponds in it, but was for the
most part very dry with the other two having no sign of water in them
at all.  Several good birds are still around though, including twenty
RED-NECKED PHALAROPES in the northwest pond.  The BLACK TERN is still
present which flew over the ponds that had water and it even perched in
the middle of a large Black-necked Stilt flock.  That little guy is
sure fun to watch.  A single SEMIPALMATED PLOVER was also present. 
Waterfowl are also starting to slowly come back as the Ponds held one
was present as usual with a fish in it's talons.

70 species for the morning.

Good Birding,

Tommy DeBardeleben (Glendale, Arizona)



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