Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Thunderbird Park: Part 2

After lunch on Wednesday, I walked up from the house to the back section of Thunderbird, hoping to see Gila Woodpeckers.

The trail is lined with different types of cactus and other wonderful desert plants.


Every saguaro cactus had at least one nesting hole made by Gila Woodpeckers.

These holes are used by many other birds after the Gilas have moved on. On my walk, all the occupants were Northern Flickers.

Northern Flicker

One of the trees had an Anna's Hummingbird that let me get close enough to admire its back ...

and then dazzled me with its gorget.

Where the artificial river reaches the park, it ends in a wetland area that provides habitat for a range of water and wading birds.

When I visited, the wetland was very busy with Great Egrets, Black-crowned Night Herons, Double-crested Cormorants, Canada Geese, Ruddy Ducks, American Coots and Common Mergansers.

I was treated to a flying display by several of the egrets and cormorants.

Later in the Day
In the late afternoon I took Deanne to see the Long-eared Owl, which was sitting exactly where I had first seen it. We spent a few minutes watching White-crowned Sparrows and Verdins, and then we were thrilled to get a fleeting view of a Greater Roadrunner trotting across the picnic area.

So, all in all, it had been a very good day and I had seen everything I wanted to see except Gila Woodpeckers. With any luck, I would see those, and maybe Phainopeplas, the next day at the Desert Botanical Gardens.


Birdwoman said...

Oooh, that hummingbird! What a beautiful picture! Well, all of them are really.

Jeff said...

It's a pity that cameras - at least my camera - can never capture the full beauty of the feathers in those gorgets.

You're very kind about my pictures. Actually, I think the best ones are in the postings about the Botanical Gardens - which I'll put up over the next couple of days.