Friday, March 20, 2015
Birding Arizona - Tres Rios Wetlands Corridor
Miles later the water will settle into a vast wetland restoration project where the Salt, Gila, and Aqua Fria Rivers converge.
In the photo, the wetland corridor is on the right. Many open areas in the reeds allowing for excellent bird sightings. On the other side of the fence is the pond system (second photo)
Arizona Gun Laws - 1) A person over the age of 21 may legally carry a concealed firearm without a permit . 2) A person must be at least 18 years of age to possess or openly carry a firearm.
I was walking on an elevated berm 300 feet south of the wetland corridor and about 30 feet above a putrid creek dense with brush, trash, and trees (not a pretty sight), when I noticed an old SUV meandering slowly along a rough track. My first thought was hunters; I had noticed shotgun shells littering the ground.
The SUV stopped in a open spot and a man and woman got out, walked around as if looking for something. The woman came back to the vehicle and placed a hand weapon on the back seat. They're looking for a place to shoot, I thought. Time to announce my presence.
"Hi there," I called out. "Just wanted to let you know I'm up here."
"We're not shooting," the woman said.
"What kind of birds are you looking for," said the man.
"Anything with feathers. Have a nice day," I replied and walked quickly back to the wetland area.
On a previous visit one of the workman told me that illegal hunting was a problem in the area.
Before the distraction I had just watched an Osprey, clutching a fish in his talons, land in a tree (top photo - the Osprey is the little center dot in the dead tree), and prior to the Osprey sighting observed a Canyon Towhee (first time sighting), similar to the California Towhee, scratching in leaf litter.
Saw many great and a few memorable birds. The most memorable were an Abert's Towhee and a soaring Black Vulture. Yellow-headed, Tricolored, and Red-winged Blackbirds were in the thousands. Sora and Moorhen were numerous, here and there clusters of Cinnamon Teal (photo sleeping Cinnamon Teal). Total Species seen 74.