Saturday, December 19, 2009

Water in the Desert Day One

We set out to go to the Sweetwater Wetlands but on the way we stopped at Silverbell Lake. It's not really a lake, more of a pond but here in the southwest any reasonably large body of water is called a lake.
On my list of things that you don't expect to see in the middle of Tucson Arizona is this Great Egret. The water is stocked with fish for an urban fishing program run by the city so my guess is that this is home for this guy. Learn more about the Great Egret here :
There were quite a few American Coot in and around the water. The Coot is actually a Rail and not a duck. Information on these birds can be found here:

This Mallard is another bird that I don't see everyday here in this desert city. Check it out
Lots and lots of blackbirds everywhere including this Brewers Blackbird as well as Red-winged Blackbirds.

This Great Blue Heron is probably a resident as well. It was not afraid of people and just tried to spend it's time in quiet areas of the lake.
When you live here in the desert water can be very uplifting and relaxing at the same time.

A couple of Great- Tailed Grackles. The one on the left was wet and putting on quite a show trying to dry off.

I believe this is a female Great- Tailed Grackle.
This Cooper's Hawk was keeping a watchful eye out for lunch.
I got really excited when I spotted this Vermilion Flycatcher. There were a pair but I could only get a shot of this one.

This is the second White Crowned Sparrow I've seen in the last week.
Stay tuned as we will head out to Sweetwater tomorrow to explore the wetlands. Sweetwater Wetlands are part of Tucson's water reclamation project and were created as a water treatment facility, urban wildlife habitat and as a classroom.

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