Saturday, November 10, 2012
Finding a Palm Warbler at Tres Rios Wetlands
Jeff Ritz and I spent a fun 3.7 hours of birding the extensive Tres Rios
Overflow Wetlands in southwest Phoenix this morning on November 10th,
2012. It was an awesome morning of birding, with plenty of good birds.
The main highlight of the morning came when Jeff and I noticed a large
flock of Yellow-rumped Warblers feeding on insects that were coming back
and fourth to several small willows and cottonwoods along one of the
ponds. The warblers were everywhere, perching on the reeds in the pond
and then flying into the cottonwoods and willows. I decided to pish
incase there was something else in the flock, and out came a PALM WARBLER
along with the abundant Yellow-rumped Warblers. It was a great surprise,
as the overall dull look of the Palm Warbler and the bird's tail pumping
action caught our attention right away. The Palm Warbler sat in front of
us for about a minute before disapearing, and we weren't able to relocate
it again after that. From the parking location at 91st Avenue, the Palm
Warbler was about 2 miles east from there.
Waterfowl hasn't made it here yet in good numbers at all, we were
surprised at the low numbers with only seven duck species found. The
highlight was a flyby WOOD DUCK that Jeff saw that I wasn't able to get a
good look at. Tres Rios is a reliable place for Wood Ducks, so hopefully
I'll get a better look at one soon.
AMERICAN WHITE PELICANS were spectacular and everywhere at this location
as usual. Several LEAST BITTERNS could be heard calling near the
beginning stretches of the area.
As I've mentioned in previous posts, Tres Rios is a raptor heaven. Today
was no different, as we found 9 different species. Two adult BALD EAGLES
were in the area, as well as at least 6 or 7 OSPREYS, plenty of NORTHERN
HARRIERS and RED-TAILED HAWKS, a PEREGRINE FALCON and AMERICAN KESTREL, as
well as both SHARP-SHINNED and COOPER'S HAWKS, and a handful of TURKEY
Other highlights in during the morning included calling SORAS and VIRGINIA
RAILS, a RING-BILLED GULL, GREATER ROADRUNNER, 4 BELTED KINGFISHERS, a
GREATER ROADRUNNER, LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE, 3 CHIPPING SPARROWS, SAVANNAH
SPARROWS, 1 VESPER SPARROW, ~10 LARK SPARROWS, a SWAMP SPARROW, and plenty
of YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRDS.
We tallied 77 species during the morning over a long length of a 2.5 mile
stretch (so 5 miles of hiking!). It's a great place to bird, and a permit
is required for access from Tres Rios personal.
Tommy DeBardeleben (Glendale, Arizona)
Photos of the Palm Warbler: