Snowflake, Holbrook: CATTLE EGRET, Bendire's Thrasher, etc.
14 Apr 2013, 10:03 AM,
Snowflake, Holbrook: CATTLE EGRET, Bendire's Thrasher, etc.
Yesterday (Apr. 13, 2013) I went out birding in the late afternoon, first visiting a few spots in the Snowflake-Taylor area. At the small farm pond along Bullduck Lane on the way to the Taylor wastewater treatment plant (WTP) I had one each of WILSON'S SNIPE, GREATER YELLOWLEGS, COMMON MERGANSER (female), and GREAT BLUE HERON. There were workers at the Taylor WTP, so I bypassed birding there (no birds were visible on the pond anyways). The nesting pair of BALD EAGLES was at Snowflake.

At the Golf Course Rd. WTP in Holbrook (exit 283 off I-40 just west of downtown Holbrook) there were 11 waterfowl species including 18 LESSER SCAUPS, plus a migrant AMERICAN ROBIN and a couple of spiffy breeding-plumage 'AUDUBON'S' YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS. On the edge of one of the agricultural fields behind the golf course I found a BENDIRE'S THRASHER, which was only the third time I've found this species here. There was also a flock of seven YELLOW-HEADED and 35+ RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS. At the reservoir behind the golf course there were lots of swallows, mostly CLIFF and BARN with fewer numbers of NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED, TREE, and BANK SWALLOWS. Decent numbers of waterfowl were present in addition to a BLACK PHOEBE. Just before I left near dusk, a first-year CATTLE EGRET briefly flew in to the shore, but took off when I unsuccessfully tried to peek around the tamarisk to get clear photos. This was a new Navajo County species for me, but checking last night I found several records from the far northern part of the county (most records from April).

Good birding!

Eric Hough

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