Granite Reef Recreation Area and Riparian Preserve, January, 2014

On Saturday, January 3, I went to the Granite Reef Recreation Area, and then on to the Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch in Gilbert. This post has some photos.

The Granite Reef Recreation Area is on the Salt River just north of Phoenix. There were reports of Chestnut-sided Warblers and an American Redstart, so I thought I’d go and try to see them. You need a Tonto Pass to park at the spot, which is $6. I printed one out online, at the expense of another $2 ‘convenience fee’. It was a cold morning so I didn’t think I needed to go early – I got there at about noon. I met some birders who said they saw both of the birds, and described where they were. I walked to where I thought they said with no luck. Later I met another birder who showed me the correct spot, and again no luck. The spot was: from the parking area go west toward the dam, past the wash that cuts through the trail, until you get the ‘T’ in the trail (one way goes towards the fence, and the other along the river). There’s a large dead tree there.

After a couple of hours there I decided to stop by the Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch (RPWR) in Gilbert, since it was kind of on the way home. There were 6 American White Pelicans there. They were gliding in Pond 7┬áin unison, and diving for food in unison, like they were choreographed. The photo shows them all diving at once. The Harris’s Hawk was interesting, but I didn’t have the patience to wait for him to move so I could get a better picture (if I was lucky).

Here are some pictures:

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