Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Birding in Phoenix

Verdin - Gilbert Water Ranch

After living in the country so long and spending most of my time in rural and wilderness areas, I am beginning to realize the benefits of urban birding. Especially in the desert. Wherever there is water, there are birds. This water may be waste water from our toilets and showers or reclaimed agricultural irrigation, but who cares. It's water and there are birds! These facilities are built to be as attractive as possible, so they put in and trees, shrubs, cactus, and flowering plants - which attract more birds! Many people like to enjoy the walking trails through these places, so the wildlife has become somewhat comfortable to our presence, making them the ideal birding and photography locations.

I have always tried to get out of the city to fill my nature cup, but when I can't, I head to the local water reclamation facility to "get away". And they don't smell all that bad, either.

Here's a handful of images from my latest adventures...

Clark's Grebe - Kiwanis Park, Tempe

Anna's Hummingbird - my back porch (not a wastewater facility)

Great Blue Heron - Gilbert Water Ranch

Western Grebe - Veteran's Oasis Park, Chandler

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Grebe Yoga

Got out this evening to a new location - Veterans Oasis Park in Chandler, AZ. They tell me there are a bunch of ponds there, but I only made it to the first one. And never got off the paved sidewalk. This Western Grebe was in a great spot on the pond and gave me the perfect sun angle to shoot. He stretched a couple times, striking this interesting pose. Other than that he just hung out. So I might visit him again with the hopes of some more action.