Birding Blog Archives

February 1st, 2010
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Sweetwater Wetlands

Yellow-rumped-Warbler-Sweetwater-013110-09-EDYellow-rumped-Warbler-Sweetwater-013110-07-EDMy good friend Ed Tobin and I visited Sweetwater Wetlands in Tucson this afternoon in order for Ed to improve his birding skills – he’s officially been a birder for three days now…

A while back the old, choked channel flowing into and out of the Hidden Pond was opened up, and is now a wide, shallow concrete channel with rocks in it. The Hidden Pond itself is no longer hidden, but opened up and Yellow-Warbler-Sweetwater-013110-01-EDviewable from various angles, including the parking lot. It’s made birding there a Yellow-rumped-Warbler-Sweetwater-013110-13-EDwhole lot easier, but you had to wonder at the time what it would do to the birds. Well, this afternoon there were so many birds in this area that we spent a while just standing, gawking at the spectacle of trees dripping with Yellow-rumped Warblers. There was one Myrtle amongst the regular Audubon’s, plus two wintering Yellow Warblers, the friendly Black-throated Gray and several Orange-crowned Warblers, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, White-crowned and Lincoln’s Sparrow, Abert’s Towhee, Black Phoebe and Lucy, the leucistic Vermilion Flycatcher.

American-Coot-Sweetwater-013110-02-EDNorthern-Shoveler-Sweetwater-013110-02-EDAfter baffling Ed with warblers it was time to dazzle him with ducks. We took in great views of Bufflehead and Ruddy Duck displaying, and Ring-necked Duck, Cinnamon, Blue-winged and Green-winged Teal, Northern Pintail, Northern Shoveler and Mallard (including Mexican Mallard). A Double-crested Cormorant flew back and forth. After watching Shovelers having a duel a couple of weeks ago, this time we saw a full on American Coot brawl.

Ruddy-Duck-Sweetwater-013110-01-EDLeast-Sandpiper-Sweetwater-013110-01-EDThere were various other birds along the way, nothing exceptional but plenty of new ones for Ed. And what a lot of birds in general. Probably more than a thousand ducks streamed back and forth from Roger Road to the retention ponds, the air was full of warbler calls and the ponds full of easy to watch wildlife at close range. Splendid!

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Northern-Flicker-Sweetwater-013110-01-EDCommon-Moorhen-Sweetwater-013110-01-EDYellow-Warbler-Sweetwater-013110-02-ED

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