Thursday, October 2, 2014

Birding at the White Tanks???

On September 20th Mr. Paul Doucett and I went on one of Mr. Joe Ford's many birdwalks he leads, at White Tanks Regional Park. The birdwalk started at 7:00AM we arrived at 6:45 just so we would have some time to spare before hand. We waited at the Visitor Center for about a half hour before deciding no one was showing up so we started thinking of a plan B. Here are a couple creatures we saw while waiting.
                                                                     Say's Phoebe

                                                              Black-tailed Jackrabbit
Well after awhile we departed and ended up driving over to the Glendale Recharge Ponds (one of Mr. Paul's favorite spots) When we reached the parking area and started birdingI realized I had forgotten my scope! A scope is almost always needed to bird the GRP's, but we manged to bird the area quite well without one. It did not take me long to find this strange sandpiper hanging with the peeps.
 The sandpiper above has got to be one of the strangest out there! It has the feeding style of a dowitcher and looks like a yellowlegs, folks I present to you the Stilt Sandpiper!!!
 Note the light colored eye brow, the long down curved bill, long yellow legs, lighter colored belly, and its brown scapulars (scaly back).
As we walked further we ran into fellow bird blogger Mr. Gordon Karre and another birder Mr. Terry Blows. Luckily Mr. Terry had a scope and was more than happy to let us use it. Here are some photos of the birds we saw in or around Basin 4.
                                                                 Greater Yellowlegs

                                                                 American Avocet

                                 (Wilson's Phalarope on left and Red-necked Phalaropes on right)

                                                              Semipalmated Plover

                                                                  Least Sandpipers      

                                                                  Belted Kingfisher (female)
After staying in that one area we moved on and ran into Mr. Troy Corman, Mr. Tom Lewis, and Mr. Joey Alsadi where they told us they just had a couple of exotic White-cheeked Pintails. After we talked to them for a while we started walking down to where they told us they were. We did not see the pintails at first but after about ten minutes of scanning I spied them on the edge of a grassy area.
 Even though the birds were not countable they were still quite fun to watch. While I was watching the ducks Mr. Terry said that there were three Greater White-fronted Geese (which I mistakenly called Canada Geese as they flew in) I was exited but also embarrassed, but hey they were my first for AZ, great call Mr. Terry!!!

 Here are a few photos to end the post.

                                                                 Green-winged Teal

                                                                   White-faced Ibis
Thanks for reading this post and it will hopefully not be long before my next one!


  1. Too bad you didn't get to go on your White Tanks excursion as planed, but hey, you got some amazing shots while you waited - best Say's Phoebe photo I've seen to date!

    What a good variety of shorebirds at the ponds. You all get some funky ducks down there. I remember seeing a really large, weird domestic duck of some sort on a city pond in Maricopa last spring.

    1. Thanks Mr. Josh!!! Some people have found around 16 species of shorebird at the ponds in just a few hours!!! I think I got 12. I agree AZ has some wied ducks for sure!

  2. Awesome post Mr. Caleb!

    Too bad about the no show at the White Tanks, but as Josh said, you did get some amazing shots during the wait. I'm really impressed with your Jackrabbit photograph. Those things are so shy and are hard to get close to.

    What an awesome time at Glendale though. Meeting awesome birders, seeing the shorebirds, and a cool exotic is a good birding day. Great shorebird shots, especially the Stilt Sandpiper, which is one of my favorite shorebirds!

  3. Thanks Mr. Tommy!!!

    Believe it or not when we first saw the jackrabbit I got down low and as I tried to focus on the thing it ran right past me, the jackrabbit was near the visitor center so who know people might feed it!

    I might have to agree with you about the STSA they are AWESOME!!!