To celebrate my birthday today, good birding friend, Lois Lorenz invited me to go birding and to enjoy lunch on her. Couldn't turn that down but forecast called for a strong chance of showers in the Phoenix area. Closest place I could find with sunshine was Tucson so we left the gloomy Phoenix area early in the morning to start birding at Sweetwater at 8 a.m.
Love the name Sweetwater for these Waste Water Treatment ponds. In the summer, the smell isn't exactly sweet but today with temps in the 50-60° range, it seemed like a marshy pond park, complete with gazebo and viewing platforms.
After noting a Song and Lincoln's Sparrow on the SE bank from the pedestrian bridge, I turned and took photos of the Green Heron and some finches drinking on the west side of the inlet.
|Two House Finches & One Lesser Goldfinch|
Among our other sightings were several small groups of young Pied-billed Grebes.
|Three Pied-billed Grebes|
|Cooper's Hawk keeping watch over the ponds and reeds and pathways|
|Ruby-crowned Kinglet (ruby feathers on top of head lying flat; not visible) Small 4.25: bird always active.|
|Northern Parula, first year female|
Lois and I walked over 2.5 miles in 3.5 hours hearing and seeing 48 species of birds.
Even with quality species that I've mentioned above, the birds, today, were trumped by the BOBCATS!
A mother bobcat and two young appear acclimated to people. The young ones were curious and walked toward us but Mom was trying to get them to fend for themselves.
|When the Bobcats first noticed us|
|Without cropping the photo, you can see how well they blend into their environment|
|Curious Bobcat walks in our direction|
|Young Bobcat crouched and waiting for something to move. After about five minutes, what moved was its sibling within the marsh, so this one pounced toward it! Note the back of its ears.|
|Adult watches the young from her perch on the viewing platform|
|Young Bobcat looking toward its parent perhaps wishing for some help in securing a meal|
|Scientific name for North American Bobcat is Felis rufous (a bit smaller than the Canada Lynx)|
Could not have asked for a better Birthday celebration, Lois, THANK YOU! [Mint Thai hit the spot afterwards, too.]
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View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S26438219