Friday, December 17, 2010

My first Brown Thrasher

Found at the Desert Botanical Garden by Frank Insana.  It was seen by me on December 17th, 2010 after it had been present for over a month.

My report:

Hey everyone,

The Brown Thrasher that was found by Frank Insana at the Desert Botanical Gardens over a month ago still continues in the area of the Steele Herb Garden.  Thanks to Frank for giving me the tips I needed in order to find this bird, which this was my third attempt for it.  I had stunning views of it this afternoon, as it was very active, and it even stayed in the open a lot of the time.  It stayed along the east side of the Herb Garden most of the time, but it did however actively move throughout the middle of the garden as well.  It flew up to 15 feet high in trees, and perched on walls, it wasn't just on the ground.  It even called a few times which is a little different than then common mimics we are used to hearing here.  It even fed in the open right in front of a noticable yellow wall that is shadows the Picante Garden in the Herb Garden.  It fed under this wall in the open for several minutes and would fly up and perch on the wall briefly, and then would return to the ground to feed.  Overall, the bird is pretty shy still, even when it is this active.  Come early in the day or later in the afternoon on a weekday, and the chance of seeing this bird is very high with patience.  And I also want to give a very special thanks to Melanie Herring for giving me passes to get into the gardens, it is very much appreciated Melanie!

It was a nice life bird for me and was the 301st bird I've recorded in Maricopa County this year.

Good birding,

Tommy DeBardeleben (Glendale, Az)

Friday, December 3, 2010

Baikal Teal

On December 2nd, 2010, Gary Nunn discovered one of Arizona's most remarkable rarities, a Baikal Teal!  Gary found the Baikal Teal at Gilbert Water Ranch in the evening when it was too dark for me to chase the bird by the time I got the message.  Fortunately, the bird was there the next morning when hundreds of birders (including me) went to chase it.  It was a first state record, and was in midst of a large flock of Northern Pintails and Green-winged Teal.  These pictures aren't good, but they are diagnostic for the Teal.

Baikal Teal

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Salton Sea

I went after the Taiga Bean Goose with Lauren Harter, David Vander Pluym, and Jim Kopitzke to the Salton Sea.  It was a success!  No pictures of the Bean Goose, but I did get several picture highlights of some of the other lifers I observed that day.


Ruddy Turnstone

Mew Gull

Glaucous-winged Gull

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Random Flycatchers and Nighthawks

Here are some flycatchers I have photographed to add to the blog archives!

Willow Flycatcher

Brown-crested Flycatcher

Lesser Nighthawk

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The rare and awesome Red Phalarope

This bird was found by Bob Witzeman on May 31st, 2010.  After it was reported to the Listserve, I was able to successfully chase it on June 1st, 2010.  It was awesome, and was found at the Higley Road Ponds in Gilbert, Arizona.  Neat bird, eh?

Red Phalarope

Sunday, May 30, 2010

An Elegant Tern

This bird was found by John Saba at the Agua Fria Riverbed on May 30th, 2010.  It was an incredible find.  The Elegant Tern was a lifer for me, and I got really lucky and got to see it.  The bird stuck around for several days.  It flew back-and-fourth between the River Bed and the Glendale Recharge Ponds.

Elegant Tern

Friday, April 9, 2010

Two Great Lifers in Madera

April 8-9th, 2010-Madera Canyon

Hello everyone,

Jim Kopitzke and I took an overnight trip to Madera Canyon April 8-9th, where birding was awesome.

8 April 2010:

We stayed at Bog Springs Campground and arrived around dusk, where birding around the campground was even very good right from the start.  Jim's hummingbird feeder brought in a male BROAD-BILLED HUMMINGBIRD and female RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD within minutes of setup.

We then made a sucessful attempt at Santa Rita Lodge and got great looks at the one of the ELF OWLS which was in a tree directly aside the viewing area, it wasn't even in the pole ever when we were watching.
Elf Owls were very vocal thoughout Madera Canyon from Bog Springs Campground and well past Santa Rita Lodge, as we counted 7 different birds calling away, and we ended up having great looks at another one
later in the night as we were owling.  There is just a good of a chance of seeing them away from the lodge by listening to them along the roadsides as well.  Back at camp, one even called directly above the tent.  Other owls included several distant called WHISKERED SCREECH-OWLS and one GREAT HORNED OWL.

Elf Owl

9 April 2010:

In the early AM at Bog Springs, several calling DUSKY-CAPPED FLYCATCHERS started off the morning.

We then headed to the Santa Rita Lodge and the Kubo Bed and Breakfast. We stopped at Santa Rita and enjoyed many birds at the bird feeders, including MEXICAN JAYS, YELLOW-EYED JUNCOS, ACORN WOODPECKERS, etc.  A BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK was in a nearby tree and several ZONE-TAILED HAWKS flew overhead.

The KUBO B& B was next, where after waiting for an hour and a half for the FLAME-COLORED TANAGER at the feeders, we were able to locate it just a little south down the road, where it was singing continuously thoughout the morning and gave us great looks.  What a beautiful bird that is!  Many people were able to see it from many angles to study the bird in close views.  I actually liked seeing it up in the trees with a more in the wild experience then seeing it visit the feeders, which in our 2.5 hours here, it never did visit the feeders. My favorite bird of the trip!  Also enjoyable at the Kubo were MAGNIFICANT, BLACK-CHINNED, RUFOUS, and BROAD-BILLED HUMMINGBIRDS, HOODED ORIOLES, HEPATIC TANAGER, PINE SISKIN, WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCHES, ACORN WOODPECKERS and many more around the feeders. PAINTED REDSTARTS, one SCOTT'S ORIOLE, and also ZONE-TAILED and COOPERS HAWKS were nearby.

After Kubo, we attemped a try at Black-capped Gnatcatchers and the Rufous-capped Warbler at Florida Canyon without success.  A birder who got on the trail just minutes after us saw a Black-capped Gnatcatcher.  Hovever on the trail and surrouding area, we had several HAMMONDS and PACIFIC-SLOPE FLYCATHERS, NORTHERN-BEARDLESS TYRANNULET, and BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLERS.

Later in the day before returning to Phoenix, we went up higher into the canyon were we only really saw a few PAINTED REDSTARTS, birds were not active at all up in the higher elevations in the afternoon.

Southeast AZ is always a great trip!

Flame-colored Tanager