Monday, March 8, 2010

Tres Rios Nature & Earth Festival

Western Bluebirds made an appearance at the Tres Rios Festival! (held this year at Estrella Mountain Park), and there were Blue Heron Rookeries within view!  Both a first for me!

My plan was to go on the Early Bird walk led by Bob McCormick of the Sonoran Audubon, but on the drive there I got carried away using the cruise control on my new van, and  before I knew it, I was at 303rd Avenue!!  Didn't get there in time for the Early Birds, but thankfully Andre Tarver (from the Sonoran Audubon, and DBG Monday Morning Bird Walks) was there waiting and willing to help me down the "wheelchair accessible" trail of terror (the 4WD Tank Chair would have come in handy here).  Bless her heart, she was bound and determined to get me down that rocky path, and she did.  Once we got down near the river, Andre set up a scope for me to take a gander at the Heron Rookery off in the distance.  But, as is often the case, I just couldn't get quite close enough in the wheelchair to see through a scope. 

My brother and I went on to enjoy the festival, see all the rescued birds on display, go birding in the mesquite bosque area (hopping all over were Western Bluebirds, Yellow-rumped Warblers, a few Black Phoebes) and then try out Estrella Mountain Park's barrier free trail - the Gila Trail.  Its a nice trail, flat hard-packed granite, but not much shade, and not that great for birding. 

On the way home, we stopped at the Tres Rios Hayfield site, which was flooded and the road was closed.  But just a few feet away was a Blue Heron rookery!  You could almost reach out and touch it.

 Here are photos of the festival, the barrier free Gila Trail, and the 91st Ave. Tres Rios Hayfield site...

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