Tuesday, November 17, 2015
Birds and weather at the Fountain Hills Art Show, November 2015
The Fountain Festival in Fountain Hills, Arizona, takes place along the artificial lake of 'the Tallest Fountain of the Planet'. I'm always looking for winter guests, the customer kind at the show and the avian kind on the water. I like those Hooded Mergansers. In the afternoon, when I had no camera with me, they were displaying and vocalizing around their females, a great spectacle.
Blue Heron, Great Egret, Night Herons and Cormorants were sleeping in a mesquite tree on an island. They are smart to seek that safe haven. I found the feathers of several coots on the bank of the lake, and in the morning we ran right into a very wet bobcat that strolled leisurely across the road, ignoring several close-by dogs. He must have known that in FH, they take their leash-laws awfully seriously.
A young Night Heron got hungry and tried to fish - I guess the mergansers and grebes would not be there inf the lake was as sterile as it looks?
I think these are Eared Grebes, I have seen also Western and Pied-billed ones there. Fish-eaters all, I believe. There were also 5 smallish gulls that I could not identify. Bonaparte Gulls maybe. Herons and Cormorants usually only come for the night, they spend the day at Salt and Verde River.
On Friday and Saturday, the weather was beautifully sunny and warm. Show weather that makes you remember why the Arizona the outdoor show season is in winter. But on Sunday morning, the sky looked ominous. By noon it was raining on and off, later it poured and the gutters begun flooding the back of our tents. Luckily, the front of my tent consists of clear see-through material with a door, and it stayed inviting enough for shoppers to step in out of the rain. I need to take some photos, next time.