Thursday, May 23, 2013

Sweetwater Friends

1. blue winged teal-kab Blue-winged Teal at Sweetwater Wetlands 4-23-13

April 23, 2013: Just about a month ago now I met up with a fellow blogger at Sweetwater Wetlands on the Northwest side of Tucson. Mary lives in Indiana but comes to Tucson every now and then to visit her sister. While I have known Mary from her blog for a few years this would be my first time meeting her in person. We agreed to meet around 8 a.m. but I arrived a few minutes early to see what I could see. Plus, though it was only April and only a month into spring the temperatures were starting to rise and I knew the heat would end our birding adventure early.

2. ruddy duck-kab While waiting for Mary and her family to arrive I found a few Ruddy Ducks. This female was enjoying a paddle around the pond.

3. blue -wing-kab A few Blue-winged teal floated near the gazebo making it rather easy for me to get a picture!

4. RW blackbird-kab Red-winged Blackbird singing!

5. BC hummingbird-kab Black-chinned hummingbird with Palo Verde blossoms behind.

6. palo verde-kab Blooming Palo Verde, a sure sign of spring!

7. willow twigs-kab Willow Catkins

8. yellow-heaed blackbirds-kab  A small flock of Yellow-headed Blackbirds, one of the species Mary really wanted to see!

9. GT grackle-kab Male Great-tailed Grackle calling.

10. AMKE-kab American Kestrel in a cottonwood tree.

11. yewa-kab Yellow Warbler in Mesquite

12. desert spiny lizard-kab Desert Spiny Lizard along path.

13. me n mary-kab Mary’s sister, me, and Mary Freeman at Sweetwater Wetlands 4-23-13

Mary arrived with her husband and sister and we set off down the northwest side of the ponds since the town had decided this was the day to chip up all the wood that had fallen down in recent storms and they had the wood chipper running along the east side of the ponds! However, by the time we worked our way around to that side they were finished, so we were able to get a look into the recharge basins. But, unfortunately there were not many birds in them. Two basin were dry, and Mary, being a bit short, was not able to see much down over the embankment and fencing posted with “No Trespassing'” signs prohibits one from crossing over and getting closer to the edge. I did walk back to my car to get my scope but it was of little use as I could not get a good angle to see the birds and the sun was in the wrong spot and since I had not used it in awhile I had trouble focusing it. Plus, by now we had been her for a couple of hours and the heat had built in so that we were all hot, tired, and hungry. But, it was so nice to meet a fellow birder and blogger in person and we did have a really good time. You can check out Mary's blog by clicking on the link below!


Birds seen at Sweetwater Wetlands on April 23, 2013

  1. American Widgeon
  2. Northern Shoveler
  3. Blue-winged Teal
  4. Green-winged Teal
  5. Cinnamon Teal
  6. Ruddy Duck
  7. Mallard
  8. Gambel’s Quail
  9. Great Blue Heron
  10. black-crowned Night heron
  11. White-faced ibis
  12. Harris Hawk
  13. Common Gallinule
  14. American Coot
  15. Killdeer
  16. American Avocet
  17. Black-necked Stilt
  18. White-winged Dove
  19. Mourning Dove'
  20. Great Horned Owl
  21. Black-chinned Hummingbird
  22. Gila Woodpecker
  23. American Kestrel
  24. Northern Rough-winged Swallow
  25. Verdin
  26. Ruby-crowned Kinglet
  27. Curve-billed Thrasher
  28. European Starling
  29. Common Yellowthroat
  30. Yellow Warbler
  31. Yellow-rumped Warbler
  32. Wilson’s Warbler
  33. Abert’s Towhee
  34. Lark Sparrow
  35. Song Sparrow
  36. Red-winged Blackbird
  37. Yellow-headed Blackbird
  38. Great-tailed grackle
  39. Brown-headed Cowbird
  40. House Finch
  41. Lesser Goldfinch


  1. Another superb list of sightings Kathie and obviously fun catching up with a fellow blogger.

    The shot of the Red-winged Blackbird is fabulous and would grace any magazine.

  2. So fun to meet more birding bloggers.

  3. Kathie, you sure do get around with your birding friends. A great outing and list of birds. Love the photos, the yellow-headed blackbirds are pretty. And I love the kestrel shot. Happy birding and have a great weekend!

    1. Eileeninmd, I guess I do! and I have fun too! Thanks! I hope you have a great weekend as well!

  4. Hi Kathie

    Lovely photo of the Red Winged Blackbird.


  5. Wonderful list for an April morning. And, your photos, as always, are so enjoyable. If you're up for meeting another blogger, I'd love to meet you at Sweetwater some morning.

    1. Carole, that would be nice! We will have to set a date later this summer as I am off to the east coast to visit family soon!

  6. I visit Mary's blog all the time Kathie.
    She is a real Hotshot especially with Snow geese.{:))

    1. Roy, LOL! Glad to see we have mutual friends! Now, if you could just get over here or I could just get over there...I would love to meet you too!

    2. The feelings mutual Kathie.

  7. Thanks for the nice comments, Kathie. It was a lot of fun watching you spot and identify the are so good at that. You can see that the "red faced short lady" didn't have enough sense to wear a hat like the Arizona natives :-) LOL I was so hot that day, my birding skills were far from tip-top, but I had a great time and saw several birds I hadn't seen before. Maybe I'll see you again next year!

    1. Mary, you are so welcome and it was so nice to meet you. I feel like I was a bit off my game that day as well probably due to the heat, but I still had a great time! Perhaps next year it will be cooler when you get here!

  8. I don't know how I missed this one! Looks like it was fun!

    1. Chris, it was but my body was still adjusting to the heat and it got hot fast that day.


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.