Saturday, January 30, 2010

Birding on the Desert Belle

On a recent unplanned trip to Saguaro Lake, I happened upon the Desert Belle tour boat and decided to hop on for a ride. The boat was very accessible, I just rolled right on. Most passengers opted to go upstairs, so we had the lower deck and cabin mostly to ourselves. I told the tour guides we were interested in seeing birds, so they were sure to point them out along the way, even slowing down and angling the boat for the best views! We saw American Coots, a few Western Grebes, Vultures, a Great Blue Heron, and groups of Cormorants fishing along the shore. We even saw a Bald Eagle perched on a cliff above the lake(they are known to nest on the surrounding cliffs). After the boat tour we dined at the Lakeshore Restaurant on their outdoor patio overlooking the lake. We managed to see even more birds as we dined - Mallards, Great-tailed Grackles, Cactus Wren, Hummmingbirds, Verdin, and Gila Woodpeckers. Also known to be seen in the area are Belted Kingfisher, Green Heron, and Osprey. For details about the Desert Belle Paddleboat Tours, click HERE. Call to reserve tickets at 1-877-749-2848. To see the great menu at the Marina's Lakeshore Restaurant, click HERE.

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