Ashurst Lake: Forster's Tern, California Gull, Clark's Grebes
24 May 2018, 10:55 AM,
#1
Ashurst Lake: Forster's Tern, California Gull, Clark's Grebes
Despite the partial forest closure, Ashurst Lake remains open, and I had a free window to zip out and see what is around. Late May and early June can produce interesting shorebirds and terns (check out this jaw-dropping post from extreme NW New Mexico in the first week of June as an example: https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S15097126), and this year's lack of water may make Ashurst worth checking as long as it stays open.

Today, there was a beautiful first-summer Forster's Tern and a ratty first-summer California Gull. On the lake were about an even number of Clark's and Western Grebe (about 10 grebes present, with 4 Western and 3 Clark's close enough for me to ID definitively). The only shorebirds present were Killdeer.

   

   

   

Jason
Flagstaff, AZ
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27 May 2018, 11:34 AM,
#2
RE: Ashurst Lake: Forster's Tern, California Gull, Clark's Grebes
Ashurst had continuing California Gull, Clark's and Western Grebes today. A pair of Western were dancing with each other, and two of the Clark's were in a pretty tight pair. Two Black-necked Stilts were the only non-Killdeer shorebirds. Tree, Violet-green, Cliff and Barn swallows were present in good numbers over the lake.

A drive over to Mormon Lake revealed only a small patch of damp mud. Not much too lure in a Common Crane this year...

I had a good time at Double Springs, where the oddest bird was a Lucy's Warbler in the willows near the road. I'm not sure what this bird is doing in this location! The small stream from the spring is still running, and bird diversity is excellent in the area. More importantly, it's still open for foot travel, so probably a good place to check out in the next few weeks.

A couple random shots from the morning:

   

   

Jason
Flagstaff, AZ
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