Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Red Mountain Critters

I realize now, I forgot to list the birds and rodents we saw at Red Mountain Park in Mesa, AZ.

Great-tailed Grackle - many many many
House Sparrow - several, including a nestling/fledgling
Gambel's Quail - several, mostly couples and one family with 4 chicks
Mourning Dove - at least a few, I don't remember now
House Finch - four to six. One male was bright neon orange
Western Kingbird - one
Mutt Mallards - several of course
Funky White-crested Ducks - two
Pied-billed Grebe - three I believe
American Coot - eight or nine, several youngsters
Turkey Vulture - three total, two buzzed us, sweet!
White-winged Dove - I don't remember how many
Verdin - at least two
Abert's Towhee - no more than four at one time, but could have been more
Gila Woodpecker - several
Northern Mockingbird - one
Cactus Wren - many

Round-tailed Ground Squirrel - eight
Rock Squirrel - five I think... amazing how much they look like California Ground Squirrels.

several lizards, but I don't know what they were and they were all in the shade, so no pics...
no snakes thank you :)

Since I'm listing... I may as well share a few more pics :)

A pair of American Coot youngsters... took a couple of days to figure out what they were.
Neither mom nor I had ever seen a coot standing up.
Trio of American Coot chicks - still fuzzy
Young and younger AMCOs. This younger one is small, but not downy like those above.
An Abert's Towhee. When I first saw these, I could have sworn they were California Towhees. They quickly scurried under some brush though and by the time Mom came to see what I was trying to get her to see, they were long gone. On the other side of the lake, we came across this one and another nearby. This was the best photo I could manage as they also were very shy and tried to get away. I noticed, their dark diamond shape around the eye isn't as prominent as the illustration I had in my NatGeo book.
Remember the Verdin? Well, here is another in a nest. I was desperately trying to get a good shot of it IN the nest, but then this kid on a noisy gas-powered toy jeep came down the path with his mom walking beside & behind him. Of course, this chased the bird off. Sigh :(
And speaking of nests... this little thing doesn't look like it belongs out of it yet! I'm thinking it's a house sparrow, but it COULD also be a house finch. Unfortunately I didn't get one with it's breast showing which would solidify the species. It could have been either, as in the location it was sitting were both HOFIs and HOSPs flitting about.


J.G. said...

I'd say your outing was a success, judging from your lists!

Old coots we see all the time :-) but the young ones are a rarity. Very cute in their downy phase.

Linda in Erie said...

Great list of birds. I've never seen Coots out of water, either. Some really great photos.

Mary C said...

That's a good picture of the Abert's Towhee. I would agree the nestling is probably a HOSP. Funny, we don't see them that young even in our own backyard.

Adam R. Paul said...

Cute coots! Their chicks are funny-looking for sure.

And your HOSP young'un - wow, talk about gangly.

Some good birds you saw there!

Red said...

LOL J.G.! I see old coots all the time too ;)

Yeah, amazing we don't see them that young, especially since they probably are nesting there.

Thanks Adam, Thanks Linda!


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