On Saturday, after double dipping (missing two target birds), I skipped a Bird Walk on Sunday led by Troy Corman (possibly the top birder in the state) to manage my life . . . laundry, grocery shopping, pay bills, etc.
So, of course, they spotted a bird - rare for Boyce Thompson Arboretum (BTA) - that I had searched for in the White Mountains every time I went up there this year: Williamson's Sapsucker would be a Year Bird for me in Arizona. [eBird's database keeps track of things like this for us} With 40 sets of eyes (in two groups) looking for birds on Sunday, the total group turned in an awesome list of species seen including, not only the Williamson's Sapsucker, but a Red-naped and Yellow-bellied.
Way too good to stay home on Monday. My life will sort itself out. Staking out the first location where the bird was seen in the Demonstration Garden, I met two other women who arrived for the same purpose. One difference: one woman had photographed it on Sunday and wanted to show it to her friend. Birds were quiet. After they gave up on that spot, I drifted off to other areas in the Demo Garden, re-checked the pine trees, then also decided to bird my way over to the pump house area where it/one had been reported yesterday, too.
I walked faster than usual, caught voices and sights of some good birds and checked out pine trees everywhere as I hiked the perimeter of the arboretum. Birds were remarkably quiet. With a triple DIP hanging over me (Saturday plus today), I decided to head for what I hoped was a sure thing.
Yesterday, a birder friend posted the sighting of a Mandarin Duck at Tempe Town Lake. Instead of stopping at home, I continued west to the lake. Parking close to the location it had been found, I walked quickly to the lake and saw a couple from Gold Canyon that also dipped on the Williamson's earlier at BTA. They were sitting on the wall with camera clicking. I walked up and did the same - surprised to find the Mandarin Duck practically at my feet.
This post is essentially to show some of these photos to friends/family (who don't use Facebook).
In David Sibley's Second Edition [Guide to Sibley Birds] he identifies this duck as being native to Asia. A small population is established in Sonoma County, CA, and individuals can be encountered anywhere.
Whether it blew in from California or is an escapee, I don't know. It was associating with two Muscovy Ducks that I had seen previously and didn't photograph yesterday, but had done so previously.
Tomorrow: Bird Walk at Lost Dutchman State Park.
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View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S25769841
View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S25769959