Sonoran Audubon Society

Test Glendale Recharge Ponds Trip Report – November 2018

Glendale Recharge Ponds Report

November 20, 2018

Leader: Dan Bohlmann


When we arrived at the bridge where we parked our cars there was the usual residents that hang around the area surrounding the bridge. In fact we spotted an American Kestrel on the electric lines coming in on 107th ave along with a number of Mourning Doves. There was also a small kettle of Turkey Vultures circling overhead as we got out of our cars. On the fences around the bridge were the usual Black Phoebes, House Finches, White Crowned Sparrows, Great Tailed Grackle and Say’s Phoebe. Everytime I’ve come here they always seem to be there. We soon discovered as we walked toward the ponds that as near as we could see were all dry. The first dry pond was filled with a large flock of Mourning Doves that were too numerous to count because they kept flying up as we approached.  We soon saw several Northern Harriers and a Red-tailed Hawk that were flying around trying to select the most delicious looking dove for breakfast. Another area of a dry pond was filled with around two dozen American Pipets. Then we spotted another dry pond that had a little streak of water that was attracting a flock of around 50 Least Sandpipers.

In the distance we finally saw one pond that was filled with water and contained hundreds of ducks and lots of White Pelicans. After a long hike we finally got close enough to identify what was there. We counted the largest group of Pelicans I’ve ever seen in Arizona – 94 of them. The largest flock there by far were the American Wigeon(too numerous to count, maybe 200). Next were the Northern Shovelers and American Coots at around 100 apiece. There were 24 Mallards, 10 Ruddy Ducks, 10 Gadwalls, 4 Northern Pintails, 4 Buffleheads, 2 Canvasback, and only one Green-winged Teal. The last time I was at the ponds there were three ponds that were full and each one had different large flocks of the same type of duck. This time with only one pond full the different types of ducks did not stay separate by type but were all mixed together, which made it hard to count. Besides the ducks there was also Great and Snowy Egrets, Great Blue Herons, Killdeers, 10 Ringed-billed Gulls, Sharp-shinned Hawk, and a Spotted Sandpiper. It turned out to be a great day with about 30 different species showing up and a nice variety of ducks.

Participants: David and Ruth Kennedy, Carol Sharplin, Donna Smith, David Glaeseman, Nick and Jane Kaschak, Tom Worcester, Dalton Sonnenberg, Dan Bohlmann.