Friday, April 15, 2016

Another GREAT birding day at the Glendale Recharge Ponds

Great Horned Owlet

Yesterday morning I went back out to the Glendale Recharge Ponds to hopefully see the Franklin's Gull that was on the eBird email alert (I love eBird!).  And I was bound and determined to find the Great Horned Owls that have also been reported.

I parked on the bridge and walked over to pond 4, which was still full of water as was pond 3 (1 & 6 had shallow water and 2 & 5 still dry as a bone).  Anyway, it was 9:00 am and I was just getting started when another birder walked up and we chatted for a bit.  I mentioned how I was looking for the Great Horned Owl and he directed me to where they were.  I was very thankful and then had to laugh at myself because I literally passed them by each time I was there! 

So I headed in that direction and sure enough, there were two owlets in the nest!  The adults were not present, most likely off getting breakfast for everyone.  I stood there in awe as this was the very first time seeing a Great Horned Owl in nature - a lifer!  To say I was giddy would be an understatement.  It was time to move on and find the Franklin's Gull.

Pair of Franklin's Gulls

I didn't find a Franklin's Gull... I found 2!  They were in pond 1 on the opposite side.  It was a bit of a stretch to get a quality shot with my Canon Powershot SX50, but at least I was able to get a few good enough shots to ID. (can hardly wait to get my DSLR... next year

Franklin's Gull

Another birder who joined in let me look through his scope (I don't carry mine when I'm on my own as it's too much for me to carry with everything else).  It was a beautiful sight - another lifer!

Wilson's Phalarope and American Coot

The continuing Wilson's Palaropes were in pond 4, but this time there were 7 (saw 4 on Saturday).  They are such busy birds and it was a pleasure to see them again. 

Red-winged Blackbird

Listening to the Red-winged Blackbirds upon arrival and throughout several areas of the recharge ponds is absolutely delightful.  This is my hubby's second favorite bird (Bald Eagle is his #1) and what made him fall in love with birding.

Great Egret

I spent 2 hours there and saw hundreds of birds that consisted of a variety of 41 species, which included 3 lifers: Great Horned Owl, Franklin's Gull and a Horned Lark.  Here's the rest of them:
Gadwall, Mallard, Blue-winged Teal, Cinnamon Teal, Northern Shoveler, Green-winged Teal, Ring-necked Duck, Lesser Scaup, Bufflehead, Ruddy Duck, Gambel's Quail, Pied-billed Grebe, Eared Grebe, Neotropic & Double-crested Cormorant, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Northern Harrier, American Coot, Black-necked Stilt, American Avocet, Killdeer, Greater Yellowlegs, Least Sandpiper, Western Sandpiper, Wilson's Phalarope, Mourning Dove, Belted Kingfisher, American Kestrel, Black Phoebe, Northern Rough-winged Swallow, Cliff Swallow, American Pipet, Red-winged Blackbird, Great-tailed Grackle, House Finch and House Sparrow.

This location is such a fun place to bird, but not during summer (for me at least) which seems to be creeping in.  Hopefully I can get a few more trips in before the heat kicks in.

Peace and happy birding!


  1. I LOVE the picture of the red-winged blackbird :) great shot.

    1. Thank you SO much, I appreciate that!


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