Sonoran Audubon Society

Calendar

Dec
6
Fri
SAS Field Trip – Arrowhead Ponds and Thunderbird Park NEW DATE @ Arrowhead Ponds & Thunderbird Park
Dec 6 @ 8:00 am – 12:00 pm

This is a trip to several ponds and lakes of the Arrowhead community of the Northwest Valley. We will meet at the bridge on Melinda Drive which is the last light before 59th Avenue begins to curve into Thunderbird Park. Turn right on Melinda and go several blocks to the east to the bridge which has lakes on both sides. Usually there are always Black-crowned Night Herons in the trees on the north side of the bridge, various types of ducks, Snowy Egrets, Green Herons, Great Blue Herons and a long time resident Black Phoebe. The usual neighborhood birds are there also – Mockingbirds, Abert’s Towhees, House Finches, etc. Then we will move on to the Bird Blind at 59th and Melinda. For years a flock of 200 to 300 Common Mergansers came to this lake every year. On the last visit 2 years ago they let us down and didn’t show up. So here’s hoping they will this year. Usually there are a good variety of other ducks such as Ruddys, Gadwalls, Wigeons, Shovelers, Ring-necks, Scaups and Teals. The Paloverde trees at the Blind always seem to be active with Warblers, Verdins and Anna’s and Costa’s Hummingbirds.

We will then head over to Thunderbird Park to see if we can pick up some typical desert birds like the Cardinal, Curve-billed Thrasher, Cactus Wren, Loggerhead Shrike, Gnatcatcher and Black-throated Sparrow. Then we will head for the really large lakes on the west side of 67th ave. On the way we will pass the stream that runs between lakes and was the location where we found several rare ducks several years ago – an Eurasion Wigeon and a Hooded Merganser. The large lakes gives us a chance to see any of the ducks that we have not seen as yet. There usually are Great Egrets and a few shore birds and even Ring-billed Sea Gulls.

This will be a trip that will last until around noon. We will meet at the bridge on Melinda at 8:00am. Be sure to email or call me if you are planning on coming.

Dec
7
Sat
SAS Field Trip – Cave Creek Regional Park & Program @ Cave Creek Regional Park
Dec 7 @ 8:00 am – 11:00 am

This habitat is dominated by Upper Sonoran vegetation. Species include Palo Verde, Velvet Mesquite, Creosote Bush and numerous cactus species, especially the Saguaro. Lack of water sources limit bird species. Expect to see 15-25 species. Specialties include Phainopepla, numerous woodpecker species, gnatcatchers, Curve-billed Thrashers, Black-throated Sparrows and Cactus Wrens.

The hike begins at the visitor center (unless noted otherwise) and takes approximately 1 hour. The trail does go through some washes, thus some uphill sections are involved, but they are short.

Difficulty Level   (1)

Meet at the Visitor Center.

Program to follow at 10:00 am at the Visitor Center “Ravens and Crows and other Corvids”

No registration is required, but be sure to check the park website for times and any last minute changes that might have occurred.
http://www.maricopacountyparks.net/park-locator/cave-creek-regional-park/

Dec
10
Tue
SAS Field Trip – Desert Botanical Garden @ Desert Botanical Garden
Dec 10 @ 8:00 am – 11:00 am

The DBG was voted as one of the ten most premier gardens in the U.S. and as botanical gardens go, its primary focus in on education, research, preservation and exhibition. We will meander through the many short trails discussing how and why these plants are so important in sustaining avian populations. The garden maintains an active list of over 100 bird sightings as well as 50,000 acquisitioned plants from around the world.

Fees are waived on the second Tuesday of each month and those who do not have a membership in this garden are welcome to join us. We will meet just inside the garden past the entrance booths, on the left will be restrooms. You can pick up a map and brochure as you enter. Bring camera, binocs, water and a snack as we will have time to visit the Ulman Terrace (food available) area where the birds visit you at your table! We will spend 3+ hours in the garden but you are welcome to stay longer and have an early tailgate lunch out in the parking area. (FYI) There is a restaurant $$ on site.

Difficulty level (1)

Please call or email Jim at: 602.920.7059 or jconsolloy@gmail.com.

Dec
14
Sat
SAS Field Trip – Estrella Mountain Park & Program @ Estrella Mountain Park
Dec 14 @ 8:00 am – 10:30 am

Estrella Park is located along the Gila River and adjacent hills. The habitat is diverse, varying from desert scrub flood on the flood plain to riparian vegetation dominated by salt cedar (tamarisk species) and some Gooddings Willow. The park itself has Velvet Mesquite and some large Blue Gum species which support nesting by raptors. Irrigation has increased the number of birds seen. The hills south are made of ancient metamorphic rock, exposed plutons, and produce thermals which are friendly to soaring vultures and other species. Expect a variety of bird species and further diversity during migration. Specialties include Vermilion Flycatcher, Red-tailed Hawks, Osprey, Yellow-rumped Warblers, White Pelicans and shore birds when the river flows. Species numbers can be as high as 65.

The walk is approximately 1 to 1.5 miles in length covering 2.5 hours along level terrain.

Meet at the Visitor Center at 8:00 am.

Difficulty Level (2) due to its length.

Program to follow at 10:00 “Our Avian Friends”, really good for novice birders and others as well

No registration is required, but be sure to check the park website for times and any last minute changes that might have occurred.
http://www.maricopacountyparks.net/park-locator/estrella-mountain-regional-park/

Dec
21
Sat
SAS Field Trip – White Tank Mountains Park & Program @ White Tank Mountains Park
Dec 21 @ 8:00 am – 10:30 am

This habitat is dominated by Upper Sonoran vegetation. Species include Palo Verde, Ironwood, Creosote Bush, Jojoba and numerous cactus species, most notably the Teddy Bear Cholla, barrel cactus species, and the dominate Saguaro. Lack of water sources limit bird species. Woodpecker types dominate. Expect to see 15-25 species. Specialties include Rock Wrens, Cactus Wrens, Phainopepla, and Gila Woodpeckers.

Meeting location TBA

This hike takes an hour to 1.5 to 2 hours and covers  .5 to 1 mile. Some short areas of uphill (less than 35 yards) may be on a trail.

Difficulty Level  (1).

Program to follow at 10:00 am.

No registration is required, but be sure to check the park website for times and any last minute changes that might have occurred.
http://www.maricopacountyparks.net/park-locator/white-tank-mountain-regional-park/