Friday, November 18, 2011

Birding the Bridge!!!

A great new wheelchair accessible birding spot is now open to the public - Tempe Town Lake Pedestrian Bridge.  It takes you right on top of the west dam (yes, the same dam that burst last year).  There's easy access to the bridge and lots of parking at the Tempe Center for the Arts, on Rio Salado Parkway, east of Priest.

The new pedestrian bridge provides birders with never before seen views down into the habitat below the west dam.  At nearly any given time of day you'll see egrets, heron's, cormorants, grebes, coots, and ducks galore.

The side railings along the bridge have plenty of space for photographers in wheelchairs to get unobstructed shots of the lake and the downstream habitat.  If you point your camera toward the lake and wait patiently, you'll eventually see a big huge egret, heron or cormorant flying right at eye-level.  If you're really lucky, you might even see a Brown Pelican!

As you meander up and down and back and forth along the bridge, ogling at the birds, be careful of cyclists that whiz by at lightning speed, and the occasional skateboarder.

Just minutes from the ASU campus, Mill Avenue, and Tempe Marketplace, this is a convenient spot to get a quick birding fix on your lunch hour.  Birds seen include Osprey, Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets, Great Blue Herons, Green Herons, Black-crowned Night Herons (2 juvenile), Neotropic Cormorants, Western Grebes, Pied-billed Grebes, Ruddy Ducks, Mallards, American Coots, Killdeer, Spotted Sandpipers, Black Phoebes, Belted Kingfisher, Yellow-rumped Warblers and Verdin (in the parking lot).

Click on image below to see slide show:

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