Thursday, April 18, 2013

Birding Perry Park Again

1. VerFly-kab Vermillion Flycatcher at Michael Perry Park 3-17-13

After days of writing and blogging and processing photos and writing poetry, I felt the need to get outside and get away, so yesterday I ran away to Sycamore Canyon where I visited a friend and counted birds. This morning I got up and headed straight for Michael Perry Park. While I know this is an eBird Hotspot, there is very little data for this location, so I have made it my mission to count birds here and try to fill in the gaps. When I first arrived last fall there were only 20 species listed for this location. After today’s bird count I have brought that number up to 53 species!

2. VerFly female-kab Female Vermillion flycatcher at Perry Park

While Vermillion Flycatchers, Anna’s Hummingbirds, and Mourning Doves are regularly seen at this location, as the seasons change I am startling to get a better idea of what is regular and what is just passing through. The cormorant I saw fly overhead a few weeks ago was just passing by, but the hummingbird and dove population has changed with the seasons. All winter I counted large numbers of Mourning Doves here and few to eventually no White-winged Doves. Today there were only about a dozen Mourning Doves while I counted over 50 White-winged Doves! all winter long there were Anna’s Hummingbirds everywhere. Today I only saw about 6, but I counted nearly a dozen Black-chinned hummingbirds, and I even found a female sitting on a nest!

3. Lark sp-kab Lark Sparrow in Perry Park 3-17-13

Lark Sparrows were one of the first species I ever saw at Michael Perry Park. I have now seen them here at least three times, including today. I most often see them around the baseball fields. Today was the first time in weeks that I was able to walk the 3/4 of a mile out to the Stella Road Trailhead. I use to count birds all the way out to Sellarole Road, but after looking at the map decided to limit my count from Golf Links road to the Stella Road Trailhead along the Pantanto Wash as that is the limit of Perry Park. It is also more do-able for me. Still, I deceive myself when I think I will only do a “quick count” as there are usually so many birds to see that I linger and linger and take my time, not wanting to miss anything. I arrived at 8:55 A.M. this morning and stayed until 11:30! It was a brilliantly cool blue day here today, so the heat did not chase me away as usual. In just one week’s time the bird population has changed and I had my largest bird count ever for this location at 36 species of birds, including one Lifer!

Here is the list of birds seen at Michael Perry Park today:

  1. Gambel’s Quail
  2. Turkey Vulture
  3. Red-tailed Hawk
  4. Cooper’s Hawk
  5. Harris Hawk
  6. Rock Pigeon
  7. White-winged Dove
  8. Mourning Dove
  9. Black-chinned Hummingbird
  10. Anna’s Hummingbird
  11. Gila woodpecker
  12. American Kestrel
  13. Say’s Phoebe
  14. Vermillion Flycatcher
  15. Cassin’s Kingbird*
  16. Dusky Flycatcher**
  17. Common Raven
  18. Northern rough-winged Swallow
  19. Barn Swallow*
  20. Verdin
  21. House Wren*
  22. Cactus Wren
  23. Black-tailed Gnatcatcher
  24. Northern Mockingbird
  25. Curve-billed Thrasher
  26. European Starling
  27. Lucy’s Warbler
  28. Canyon Towhee*
  29. Chipping Sparrow*
  30. Brewer’s Sparrow
  31. Lark Sparrow
  32. white-crowned Sparrow
  33. Great-tailed Grackle
  34. House Finch
  35. Lesser Goldfinch
  36. House Sparrow

*New to this location

**Life Bird!!!!!

Notes From my Nest: My knee is starting to feel better since I have been icing it and trying to keep off my feet. I will be quite busy for the nest few days as it is my grandson’s 5th birthday this weekend and I am making the cake. We have had a spate of cool weather here with mornings being in the mid to high 40’s and daytime high’s in the mid to upper 60’s, but the heat is on its way back and soon we will cross that 100F mark, which, according to one local news station, usually strikes around the beginning of May! But, this morning when I left the house I actually had one a flannel shirt over a t-shirt with my fleece vest on! The fleece wasn’t needed for long as it warmed up nicely and the winds were not fierce like they were yesterday. I hope you all have a great weekend! More birding stories are coming!

4. Pantano trail-kab View of trail along the Pantano Wash at Michael Perry Park 10-26-2012


  1. Congrats on the Dusky!!! Now if only the Ash-throated would come your way:) Soon. Very soon:)

    1. Chris, I keep looking for it! The Dusky was a great find and I do have one blurry photo but I have yet to offload it and you know that won't be happening soon as I need to get ready for the party and house guest this weekend!

  2. Impressive list and congrats on your lifer bird. And I wish your grandson a happy birthday!

  3. The flycatcher is beautiful! Sorry I haven't been in touch yet, but knew you were busy, and we have been too. Sent you an email. I hope your knee problem isn't serious.

    1. Mary, I am doing fine and I look forward to meeting you!


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.