Today my son and I took a drive out Lake Mary Road. At Lower Lake Mary we found a few ducks and two bald eagles, one mature and one immature. A coyote stood and watched us until then car stopped then he took off at a hard run. On upper Lake Mary we only saw a few ducks too far off for me to identify and a red tail hawk. At Mormon Lake we saw twenty two pronghorn near the old barn between Mormon Lake and Little Mormon. At the south end of Mormon Lake there were a flock on Canada geese and a few great blue herons. We saw but could not identify several flocks of ducks on the far shore. The afternoon felt like early summer and the lakes were mostly smooth and wave less.
One afternoon the last week of December we took a drive down Lake Mary Road. Lower Lake Mary, Upper Lake Mary and Mormon Lake all had water but only a few ducks and we saw no eagles. Before reaching any of the lakes we found 12 to 15 turkey near the road. They fed off into the trees but weren't particularly worried about us.
To our surprise we saw three great blue herons which I normally don't see in winter. There were also three hawks along the way, two red tailed hawks and one northern accipiter. At Mormon Lake we found 12 pronghorn on the Mesa west of the northern most overlook. It was a beautiful warm day more like spring than winter.
The two young osprey at the nest visible from Lake Mary Road appear to be nearly ready to fly (this is called fledging). The young are as large as their parents and look almost like adults except for some white showing on their wings and backs where adults are black. Last night near sunset the adults were perched in trees near the nest and thew young were in the nest. We also saw an immature bald eagle near the dam at Lower Lake Mary and several hundred elk on the bed of Lower Lake Mary.
If you would like a great evening drive try going out Lake Mary Road (Coconino County 3) just before sunset. Leaving a little before 7PM we saw elk along side the road before we got to Lower Lake Mary. At lower Lake Mary we saw more elk and five bald eagles. One of the bald eagles was an adult the other four include first second and third year birds by the criteria in the Sibley Bird Guide. There were also four great blue herons in the lake. We went up as far as the osprey overlook and watched the osprey feed their young. On the way back more elk were coming out of the woods along Lower lake Mary. And the sunset was beautiful.
Herds of elk are back in Mormon Lake basin. There have been several hundred elk in the basin. They are usually visible from both overlooks and from Dairy Springs pullout. When we were out best viewing was from the north overlook on Lake Mary Road (Coconino County 3). Hawks and vultures were soaring along the ridge between the two overlooks. Ducks and geese were also visible from the overlook and would have been identifiable if sun was not behind them.
Adult osprey were on the nest at the osprey pullout (the only paved pull out) on Upper Lake Mary. The adult seemed to be shading the nest so maybe there are chicks present. Another adult was soaring in the vicinity of the nest.
A "common crane" normally found in Siberia during the summer has been recently seen on Mormon Lake On May 11th it was feeding in the grassland within the lake bed between Dairy Springs and the church camp. We spotted it, with a little help from a Tempe bird watcher, from the pullout near Dairy Springs. We also saw cattle egrets (see photo) and snowy egrets, a bald eagle plus lots of ducks and geese and some deer. Lower Lake Mary is also full of birds. - RM
Had a good drive along FH3 (Lake Mary Road) today. We saw two eagles at Lower Lake Mary both probably golden eagles and six great blue herons and two turkey vultures. So it seems our summer birds are returning. We saw lots of ducks too but mostly in the glare so we identified very few.
On Upper Lake Mary there was an osprey very low in the nest across from the osprey overlook with a head just barely visible through a spotting scope.
The north overlook at Mormon Lake was very productive. We saw one mature bald eagle and one mature golden eagle, lots of ducks and geese. The eagles were in the flat between Mormon Lake and Little Mormon Lake. A herd of about 18 elk were bedded or grazing on the bench above and between Mormon and Little Mormon and herd of six pronghorn were under the power line on the flat between the two lakes. At the south end of Mormon Lake we saw two more turkey vultures and more ducks and geese. Besides all that, it was a beautiful spring afternoon after the previous evening's quick moving snow storm..
For over a week now Upper Lake Mary has been spilling over the dam and into Lower Lake Mary. Lower Lake is nearly full. There are still lots of ducks and some geese on Lower Lake Mary and Mormon Lake. A golden eagle and several bald eagles have been seen off and on at Mormon Lake and Lower Lake Mary. Two pronghorn were seen yesterday (March 13th) on the mesa across from the north overlook at Mormon Lake.
As of Wednesday morning, February 15th, the spring 2017 waterfowl migration appears to have started with a lots of ducks and geese at Mormon Lake. At least two bald eagles (one mature and one immature) were there as well, with a few hawks thrown in for good measure. Most of the birds including the eagles and hawks were near flooded ground on the north end of Mormon Lake between there and Little Mormon Lake. The eagles were sitting on fence posts close to where the geese were feeding. Some geese and duck were seen at Lower Lake Mary and a few on Upper Lake Mary but by far the most were at Mormon Lake. An eagle has also been seen fairly often at Pumphouse Wash recently.