Saturday, January 04, 2014

A Great Find

Today we wanted to do our daily walk somewhere other than around Valle del Oro. John researched trails in the area, then looked for birding sites. We headed out to Veterans Oasis Park in Chandler, a suburb of Phoenix. What a great place! Like Gilbert Water Ranch, where we visited last month with friends, the primary purpose of this park is to recharge reclaimed water into the ground for later use. Treated waste-water is pumped into recharge basins, providing riparian and wetland habitat. Those ponds attract wildlife--mainly birds. There are 4 1/2 miles of trails around the ponds and native desert landscape.

It is a peaceful and beautiful place.

On one side, we saw hay fields and a dairy farm.

There were several women doing plein air painting (that means they paint outdoors, on location).

And then, the birds. We saw flocks of mallard ducks.

Several snowy egrets (I think).

Northern pintail ducks.

And then there was this great blue heron spending time in an empty recharge pond. We have never seen a heron on dry land before.

He eventually flew off, without the loud squawking they usually do as they take off.

I think this is a broad-tailed hummingbird. Its back was green and when it turned its head, this bright red showed up.

I even got a picture of a road runner. They are so hard to photograph and it was running fast, but I have to prove we saw it. We haven't seen one of those for several years, when we last visited Big Bend National Park.


  1. You found another cool place! Great picture of the pintail.

  2. And yet another natural area near Phoenix. The list keeps growing! Looks like a great place for a walk.