Monday, September 24, 2012

A Return to Agua Caliente Park

1. Palms-kab Agua Caliente Park 9-9-2012
On a windy Sunday morning at the beginning of September I agreed to meet a fellow blogger at Agua Caliente Park in northwest, Tucson. Agua Caliente was one of my favorite birding spots from when I lived here before and this would be my first time birding here since my return. With my husband and son both at home watching football, it was a nice break from all the unpacking since I moved back.
2. chris-kab Chris of Las Adventuras 
I knew Chris from his blog, Las Adventuras, but had never met him in person. We met in the parking lot and were soon decked out with binoculars and cameras. The park was amazingly quiet from what I remembered, but a cool wind was blowing giving us the feeling of Autumn, even if it really wasn’t here yet. We headed towards the spring fed pond where the only ducks were the resident mallards. In the winter this spot is a great place to find ducks.
2a. reeds-kab The gusting wind was blowing a gale keeping most of the birds down, but finally was saw a small flock of grackles lift out of the reeds and into the air.
3. turtles-kab Around the side of the pond we found a few red-eared sliders trying to bask in the sun.

4. gila woodpecker-kab Finally a Gila woodpecker flew up onto a dead snag.

5. breadfruit-kabWe learned this fruit that looks like a green brain is called breadfruit, a remnant from when this was a working ranch and planted as an ornamental tree. We found this fruit on the trail through the mesquite bosque at the back side of the park.
6. mesquite bosque-kab The shaded path through the mesquite bosque.

7. back country-kab Once through the mesquite trail it opens up again to an overflow pond, dry now except for a small puddle. Once out in the open we started to feel the effects of the sun, even though the wind kept blowing. We found a few sparrows in the brush, and then…

8. who's this-kab …this! Who’s this hiding in the scrub?

9. hiding-kab Rusty cap, green tail…I think I know!

10. greeentailed towhee-kab A Green-tailed Towhee! My first since my return!
After this we weren’t seeing many birds, so I focused on the native plants.
11. barrel cactus-kab A flowering barrel cactus!

12. saguaro-kabA Giant Saguaro

13. breadfruit-kab The non-native breadfruit again.

14. turtles-kab On our way back to the parking lot we saw more turtles.

15. Chris and I-kab Chris and I at Aqua Caliente Park (photo taken by a passer-by)
By the end of our two hours of birding Chris and I were fast friends. We had a great time and made further plans to go birding again. Below is the list of birds we saw on this very windy day In Agua Caliente Park.
Birds seen in Agua Caliente Park 0n 9-9-2012:
  1. Mallard
  2. turkey vulture
  3. Gila Woodpecker
  4. Bell’s vireo
  5. Verdin
  6. Bewick’s Wren
  7. Curve-billed Thrasher
  8. Green-tailed Towhee
  9. Abert’s Towhee
  10. Brewer’s Sparrow
  11. Great-tailed Grackle
  12. House Finch
  13. Lesser Goldfinch


  1. That is one really cool looking towhee, never seen it before. Guess I'm going to have to come to Tucson this winter and go birding with you and Chris.

  2. wow! That Towhee has the most bonafide crest I've ever seen on em'

  3. That was so much fun. It seems like quite awhile ago that we did that nice and cool walk. I would love for that weather to return again:) It's fun to see all your shots from your camera angle. Hope you had a good day. I'm still recovering from the weekend with the dogs and have been trying to get my sleep cycle back on track:) But I do hear the weather is going to cool down......

    1. Rohrerbot, we did have fun and that weather Was a pleasure. I hear it may cool off by the end of this week!

  4. What a lovely day, I have very happy memories of that location and hopefully we will return there soon :)


    1. Celeste, it's a magical place. A true Oasis in the desert!

  5. I love that park and try to go each time we visit Tucson! How nice that you met a fellow blogger. Your breadfruit looks like what we call hedgeapples...the fruit of the Osage Orange tree. I'm sure they are related in some way. Love that Green tailed Towhee! That's one I've never seen before. Lovely!

    1. Mary, it's one of my favorite places on earth! Hedgeapples? All of this is new to me! I suppose I should do some research on all of this! Thanks for stopping by!


    1. Gray, LOL! I have never heard that one before!

  7. I saw Chris' post of your trip to Agua Caliente, and am so glad to see yours as well. It is a spot I have been so anxious to see! The breadfruit as one commenter said grew in Texas, and I am familiar with them from there...we thought they were called Osage Orange and the wood was used by the Indians for making bows. But, I don't know...They make great flower arrangements!


Welcome to my nest! I hope you will enjoy spending time here with me and the birds. Thank you for your comments. I will try to get back to you as soon as I get back from counting more birds.