We got set up at Usery Mountain Regional Park in a massive site, with lots of room between other campers.

Campsite

We set up our bird feeders right away. Next post we’ll include photos with birds. We have lots of feathered visitors.

Birdfeeder

We rode right from our site to the trailhead for Pass Mountain trail. We rode the first section from the Wind Cave trailhead to the Bulldog trailhead and back home on the pavement, for an enjoyable ride.

Wendy_bike_cacti

Another day, we chose to go birding at The Riparian Preserve at Gilbert Water Ranch. The ponds are created with reclaimed water and the birds love it! There are paved and gravelled pathways throughout the 110 acre area. Here Wendy is viewing a Green heron, a “life bird.” (Which means it’s the first time in our lives that we’ve seen one.)

Wendy_binos

 Here’s the Green heron. A Green herons is about a third of the size of our more commonly seen Great blue heron. They are hardly ever seen in Canada.

GRHE2

Get ready for some bird photos! A snowy egret.

SNEG

Another Snowy egret that reminded us of the Cattle egret we saw in New Mexico, because it didn’t look very happy.

SNEG2

This is a flock of Long-billed dowitchers.

LBDO

There were hundreds on Black-necked stilts.

BNST

Another Pied-billed grebe photo. (Check the Big Bend Part 2 blog for a photo of a male. This one is a female.)

PBGR

A Neotropic cormorant. The white V behind its bill is the distinguishing feature.

NECO

A Great egret.

GREG

Here’s one American avocet of hundreds.

AMAV

This is a Gila woodpecker poking its head out of its nest in a Saguaro cactus.

GIWO

After our day birding, our legs were rested enough to try another bike ride. This time we also rode right from our RV. We joined trails we had ridden last year, then took a different turn and ended up on a trail that wasn’t on our app. It all worked out though, since the trail connected to one we knew. The flowers were spectacular.

Wendy_bike_flowers

Here’s a closer view of the Mexican golden poppies.

Poppies

Here’s Doug on another section of the trail. Our total ride was about 24 km, that included about 5 km on pavement on a dedicated bike lane along the highway.

We’ve still got quite a bit of time to spend in the Mesa area, but with all these bird photos, we figured this was enough for one post.

One thought on “Mesa, Arizona: Part One

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