2017-08-13 Henderson Bird Viewing Preserve

Solitary Sandpiper - Tringa solitaria
The Henderson Bird Viewing Preserve in Henderson Nevada is comprised of nine ponds owned by the city’s Waste Water Treatment Facility, but managed by nature lovers. It is the premiere birding location in southern Nevada.

This morning I found my way to the Henderson Bird Viewing Preserve. I visited here once before while doing my big inter-mountain trip in the Samurai (the one where I caught a blood clot in my lungs that almost killed me). That was an early spring expedition in 2015. The birds I met were either bound for the north, or here to breed nearby. Many of this morning’s birds were on their way south after breeding further north on this continent. There are nine ponds on the property, all are relatively shallow, but Pond #8 is five feet below its full line and only a few inches deep in most places. Shorebirds love this pond and I found a bench near the southwestern corner and contented myself with those brave birds who minded little I was there.

From my perch on the bench I saw: Lesser Yellowlegs, Wilson’s Phalarope, Western Sandpiper, White-Faced Ibis, American Avocet, Long-Billed Dowitcher, Killdeer, Black-Necked Stilt, Cinnamon Teal, Red-Winged Blackbird, Yellow-Headed Blackbird, Solitary Sandpiper, and Spotted Sandpiper. On those occasions where groups of peeps, dowitchers and phalaropes would pick up and take their wheeling flights over the water, I’d chase them with my lens.

Later, while on my way back to the visitor’s center, I found a half-dozen Greater Yellowlegs. The most pleasing bird for me was the Solitary Sandpiper that landed in front of me and remained long enough for some pictures. Several times near San Diego I’ve chased this bird, but was too late for the meeting. This morning’s meeting was a first for me.

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