Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Birds of Lakeside Park

1. Ver fly-kab Vermillion Flycatcher 10-9-12 Lakeside Park
When Chris of Las Adventuras and I pulled into the parking lot at Lakeside Park in Tucson last Tuesday we were seeing birds before we even got out of the car.  Blackbirds of all kinds were everywhere. Ducks and coots were in the pond, and a sweet little Vermillion Flycatcher greeted us from one of the signs at the edge of the grass. It was 7 a.m., clear and calm with the temperature at 66F.
2. DSCN2027Lakeside park-kab Lakeside Park is an urban oasis on the east side of Tucson. A small lake that is stocked with fish for urban fishing, it draws people and birds alike. I have seen osprey and a juvenile brown pelican here before. It is one of my favorite places to see spotted sandpipers in the winter and vermilion flycatchers year round. The park itself is over 30 acres with 14 acres of water. There is a one mile walking trail around the lake. Beside being a nice park, it is also an eBird Hotspot!
3. night herons-kabBecause of the fish in the lake the park is also a great place to see egrets and herons. Today we saw Black-crowned Night Herons as they took flight as well as a Great Blue heron, and, later on, we saw a Great Egret gliding like a white angel over the water.
4. verfly-kab Vermillion Flycatchers seemed to be everywhere!

5. widgeons-kab I saw my first widgeons of the year!

6. coot-kab Lakeside Park is a reliable place to find coots!

7. verfly-kab Vermillion Flycatcher in mesquite tree by the dam.

8. Vermilion-kab Vermillion Flycatchers will use anything for a perch!

9. ducks-kab Mallards flying overhead.

10. RTHA-kab Red-tailed Hawk in tree.

11. yellow headed blackbirds-kab As Chris and I rounded the curve of the lake we were surprised to find this pair of Yellow-headed blackbirds grazing on the lawn!

12. kestrel-kab High in the branches of another tree a kestrel blends into the branches.

13. MODO-kab Mourning Doves were seen all over the park.

14. DSCN2030-kab Chris and I crossed the bridge to the far side of the lake.

15. WC sparrow-kab Here in the mesquite we found White-crowned Sparrows,

16. verdin-kab Verdin,

17. western king-kab and a Western Kingbird! It looked so pretty against the bright blue sky!

18. weki-kab We watched it fly down to the water several times.
On this side of the lake we also found a few warblers, finches, and hummingbirds. for a brief instant some little shorebird flew in and landed along the water’s edge. Chris and I tried to creep up on it and photograph it or identify it but it flew off too fast. To me it looked like a possible pipit, but I could not be sure, so I did not count it.
19. yewa-kab Yellow-rumped Warbler 10-9-2012 at Lakeside Park in Tucson.
Lakeside Park is located at the junction of Stella Road and Sarnoff Drive on Tucson's eastside. It is south of Golf Links and east of Kolb. For a small park it is a treasure trove of birds and a quick and easy spot to stop when you don’t have much time, though we were here for 2 1/2 hours! I know I will be back to visit it again soon, because you never know what will show up!
A word of caution: Lakeside Park is an urban park so please use caution and be aware of your surroundings at all times while birding this park!
Birds seen at Lakeside Park on October 9, 2012:
  1. Mallard
  2. American Widgeon
  3. Great Blue Heron
  4. Black-crowned Night heron
  5. Coot
  6. Red-tailed Hawk
  7. Cooper’s Hawk
  8. American Kestrel
  9. Killdeer
  10. Anna's Hummingbird
  11. Costa’s Hummingbird
  12. Say’s Phoebe
  13. Western Kingbird
  14. Vermilion Flycatcher
  15. Gila Woodpecker
  16. Common Raven
  17. Verdin
  18. Ruby-crowned Kinglet
  19. Northern Mockingbird
  20. Cure-billed thrasher
  21. Barn Swallow
  22. Cliff Swallow
  23. European Starling
  24. Yellow-rumped Warbler
  25. Yellow-headed Blackbird
  26. Brewer’s Blackbird
  27. Great-tailed grackle
  28. Bronzed Cowbird
  29. Brown-headed Cowbird
  30. White-crowned Sparrow
  31. Lesser Goldfinch
  32. House Finch
Come back tomorrow to see the Battle of the Blackbirds at Lakeside Park!


  1. Sounds like a perfect spot for our next outing :)

    1. Gaelyn, yes! I do hope you will come! There will be more places than we have time to see but we'll have fun seeing as many as we can!

    2. Celesete! OMG! I must have been half asleep when I replied! I would love to take you here! You would love Las Cienegas as well!

  2. Very nice pics!!! They look great and it's always a treat to see the views you photographed through your lens. I think I got a shot of that bird in question....but like always, I never post the fuzzy ones. I'll share them with you and maybe you can get an id on that? The details. I'll have to tell you about my ebird email:) Hope you had a great day.

    1. Rohrerbot, no worries. I like to paint word pictures as well!

  3. Beautiful birds, that flycatcher is stunning.

    1. Thank Gillian! It's not hard to fall in love with this little guy!

  4. Wow, for a "little" park you two sure saw a whole lot of species. Can't wait to go birding with you both.

  5. Kathie, this sounds like a great place for birding, a nice hotspot. The Vermilion Flycatchers and Verdin are my favorites. I hope to see both someday. Great photos! Happy birding and have a great weekend!

  6. Hi Kathie

    Wow Vermillion Flycatchers that is just great. And I have not seen a Kingbird in years that was a great photo with the bird against the blue sky.


    1. Guy, I agree, vermilion flycatchers are great! and I did love that shot of the kingbird against the sky. I am glad that you saw the beauty as well!

  7. Will have to go when we are in Tucson ..looks like a birdie good place. I love that first vermillion shot..very dreamy quality.

  8. Great info on another place I need to visit! You made some amazing sightings! Those yellow-headed blackbirds are so fascinating! I saw a vermilion flycatcher in a park off Blacklidge when we first moved back. Just coming from the east I assumed it was a scarlet tanager...then looked it up at home and realized what I had seen.


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.