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