Gilbert Water Ranch, Maricopa County, AZ

March 25, 2015
For two main reasons, I returned to one of the most prolific birding spots in the Phoenix area this morning. I wanted to give my new "replacement" [see yesterday's blog] Canon SX 50 HS a good work out to determine whether it would work properly.  And, while there, I held out hope that I might see at least one of three potential "year" birds there.

Although I collected 47 species in three hours without covering the whole place, I ended up taking photos that would convey a little bit of what the Riparian Area at Gilbert Water Ranch looks like. As usual, some of the best birds, like the Black & White Warbler eluded the camera but I got awesome looks at it. It's very strikingly handsome.  

Cactus Garden at East walking path

White-crowned Sparrow

Trail between Ponds 7 & 1; Gambel's Quail in distance

Two Curve-billed Thrashers

While the Black-chinned Hummingbird below was not my first sighting of it this year, it was the first time I had seen it at the Water Ranch.

Two Black-chinned Hummingbirds (same bird)

Palo Verde tree in bloom (ah-choo)

Blue-winged Teal (male) Pond 6 
I never tire of seeing the American Avocet below, especially in its breeding plumage shown here on two males.  The females, whose bills are more steeply curved upward than the males, were too far out on Pond 7 for photos.

So, I think I'll keep the replacement camera.  Of the three potential year birds I might have seen, I dipped on all three: White-throated Sparrow, female Ring-necked Pheasant seen by a photographer this morning at mostly dry Pond 5; and the rare Brown Thrasher still hanging out at the south end of Trails 3 & 4.  I spent 45 minutes at that location and did not find the skulking visitor from the east.

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1 comment:

  1. They are tricky:) The three you mention. I heard the White-throated Sparrow earlier this year there. Brown Thrasher...forget about it:) I'm not going after that bird again. It requires the patience of a saint. And the pheasant.......that one is just getting her at the right time. Morning is the best with her. You have some great shots. Thanks for sharing your adventure!