Saturday, August 29, 2015
Reports of two rare migrating birds spotted at the Glendale Ponds over the past several days got me moving early this morning when I could avoid commuter traffic on I-10 West.
Arriving at 5:45 a.m., I headed to Pond 5 with hopes of finding the Sabine’s Gull reported there by Magill Weber as late as last evening. There, I found another birder, Janine McCabe, but no Sabine’s where it had last been seen. I scanned the pond; Janine must have scanned the sky. “Here it comes!” was music to my ears. A mature gull still in full breeding plumage, the gull circled the west side of Pond 5, turned and aimed directly toward us and landed on the flats not too far away. How great was that!
|Sabine's Gull arrives at 6:06 a.m., Pond 5|
|Sabine's Gull; Pond 5|
The gull walked along the edge of the water for just a few minutes before taking off again at 6:09 a.m. But we had three minutes to study the bird and take a few photos.
|Sabine's Gull lifting off in front of us; then flying east (below)|
|Bye-bye, pelagic bird: Sabine's Gull; Glendale 6:09 a.m|
Two birders approached; they had seen the gull fly eastward. It was Caleb Strand and Joe Ford so Janine and I hung with them while birding the remainder of Pond 5.
Last week, I had seen, but not photographed, a Baird's Sandpiper. Today, it was also at the shoreline directly below the berm where I walked.
|Baird's Sandpiper; Pond 5|
|Sanderling at Pond 5, Glendale; 8/29/15|
Instead, I took a photo of an Ash-throated Flycatcher perched near my car.
Then, on my way home, I turned toward ASU Research Park in search of the Nanday Parakeets which, again, were a no show. But, as usual, I couldn't leave without a photo of the bird that started my birding hobby.
For me, this was another very rewarding day in the field.
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View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S24802414
View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S24802853