If you live in Arizona, a visit to Page Springs Preserve may conjure up visions of many vineyards and wine-tasting opportunities. But many birds are hidden in uncultivated sections of the community along Lower Oak Creek at an approximate elevation of 3200'.
Taking Yavapai County Road 30 that exits off of I-17 north, and after it passes through Cornville, there, on the east side of S Page Springs Road, is a nifty place called Bubbling Ponds Fish Hatchery, part of the Page Springs Preserve.
Just after 6:30 a.m. when Julie Clark and I arrived to a chilly 51°F, we heard and saw a SUMMER TANAGER sunning in a nearby snag of a tree.
|Summer Tanager (male)|
Quickly, I turned my attention to a Western Kingbird that flew past and briefly settled on an overhead wire before continuing. A handsome bird, too busy to pause for a portrait.
There were Common Yellowthroats singing and Red-winged Blackbirds (both males and females) active in marshy sides of the Bubbling Ponds. Even though we thought we were moving silently toward the ponds, a Green Heron flushed from a distant one.
Not put off by our presence was one of our best sightings of the day.
They aren't "just" ducks; they are WOOD DUCKS! Look at that special white outline around the female's eye. She's taking her young out to forage for breakfast staying close to the edges of the pond; they don't stop until they've found a protective place in the shade. Why are female birds not highly colorful? For just this reason; they need to blend in to nest and take care of young. The highly colorful male did not show up. An uncommon species, it can sometimes be found on sheltered ponds with trees around. It nests in tree cavities or boxes.
A more familiar bird flew into the next pond.
A wonderful day at Page Springs Preserve with Julie.
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View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S29925832