Frances Short Pond, Thorpe Park

Zack Zdinak

Member
I’ve been walking over to Frances Short Pond in Thorpe Park every day or two this past week, logging 26 species.

Some interesting semi-regular or migrants include female common mergansers, a m&f pair of buffleheads, neotropical cormorants, a turkey vulture, a pair of black phoebe, say’s phoebe, my first VG swallows, 4 fly-over red crossbills, a song sparrow, and increasing yellow-rumped warblers. The ospreys and great blue herons always enjoyable to watch. Only male red-wing blackbirds and great tailed grackles here so far.

One day I heard a probable Virginia’s Warbler in the pines off the north shore. It was the distinct two part song, but I wanted a visual to confirm it. Only caught it darting between trees a couple of times before it stopped. Just in case they are arriving early this year, I walked up Mars Hill Road toward Lowell Observatory where they reliably breed in the oaks, but didn’t hear or see any.

Nearby around the park, ballfields and neighborhood streets I’ve seen a red-naped sapsucker and acorn woodpeckers.
 

Zack Zdinak

Member
New species seen around the pond yesterday and today: 5 barn swallows, a house wren and a couple female great-tailed grackles have joined the males.
 

Zack Zdinak

Member
Despite all the people fishing at the pond these days (26 this afternoon), the birds don’t seem to mind. The black-crownded night heron has been back at the pond most days this past week. Gt grackles and red-wings are nesting. Other than yellow-rumped, I haven’t seen other warblers species yet.

The feeders off the south end of Thorpe Park (Thrope Rd & Santa Fe Ave.) have been visited regularly by acorn woodpeckers, lesser goldfinch and lots of evening grosbeaks. Over 40 grosbeaks in one tree nearby this last Thursday morning. Also a brilliant orange-yellow Bullock’s Oriole this am.

Walking Mars Hill Road 7:30-8:30 today, there were 2 Virginia’s warblers, a pair of chipping sparrows, a plumbeous vireo, downy woodpecker, cooper’s hawk and other species. And with the lack of traffic (Lowell Observatory is closed), 7 mule deer.

Nearby at my house, I saw the first Eurasian collared dove of 2020. Not that I want to see any. I would like to see mourning doves back on the west side of Flagstaff. They used to be common here before the collared dove population grew.
 

Zack Zdinak

Member
New arrivals around the pond late last week: 2 Orange-crowned Warblers, 1 male Townsend's Warbler and 1 male Yellow Warbler. This last one in shocking yellow, foraging among bright pink crabapple blossoms! And a gray warbler-sized bird I couldn't get a good view of.

New arrivals up Mars Hill Road: 2 male Black-headed Grosbeaks and 1 Ash-throated Flycatcher.
 
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