Lake Pleasant Regional Park
Maricopa County

Field Trip Report: Nov 29, 1997

Today was a beautiful day with temperatures reaching 70°. The Desert Hackberry (large shrubs) were loaded with ripe berries. The sweet, tasty berries are bright orange, about ¼" in diameter. Better hurry if you want to try some because the White-crowned Sparrows, Cardinals, Towhees, and Phainopeplas were all busy gorging themselves!

Northerners might be surprised that Butterfly Watching can be so rewarding this late in the year. Hiking along washes near Lake Pleasant I found 10 species of butterflies:

  • Monarch
  • Queen
  • Pygmy Blue
  • Mexican Sulphur
  • Checkered Skipper
  • Painted Lady
  • Great Purple Hairstreak
  • Buckeye
  • Dusky Wing Skipper
  • Aurantiacus Skipperling
Follow these thumbnails for more butterfly information:
Queen  Pygmy Blue  White Checkered Skipper  Painted Lady  Great Purple Hairstreak  Common Buckeye   Orange Skipperling

Butterfly image sources:
SE Arizona Butterflies;

Checklist of Birds

A=Abundant; C=Common; U=Uncommon; R=Rare; Ø=Absent
Common Name Thumb Spring Summer   Fall   Winter
Avocet, American American Avocet U Ø Ø U
Blackbird, Red-winged Red-winged Blackbird C U C C
Blackbird, Yellow-headed Yellow-headed Blackbird R Ø Ø Ø
Bluebird, Western Western Bluebird U Ø Ø U
Bushtit Ø Ø Ø R
Cardinal, Northern Northern Cardinal C C C C
Coot, American American Coot C U A A
Cormorant, Double-crested Double-crested Cormorant U U U U
Cowbird, Brown-headed Brown-headed Cowbird C U C C
Dove, Inca Inca Dove U U Ø Ø
Dove, Mourning Mourning Dove C C C A
Dove, White-winged White-winged Dove C C Ø Ø
Dowitcher, Long-billed Long-billed Dowitcher R Ø U R
Eagle, Bald Bald Eagle U Ø Ø U
Egret, Common Great Egret U U U U
Egret, Snowy Snowy Egret U U U U
Finch, House House Finch C C C C
Flicker, Gilded Gilded Flicker C C C C
Flicker, Red-shafted Northern Flicker U Ø U C
Flycatcher, Ash-throated Ash-throated Flycatcher C U C R
Flycatcher, Brown-crested Brown-crested Flycatcher C C R Ø
Flycatcher, Vermilion Vermilion Flycatcher R R R R
Gnatcatcher, Black-tailed Black-tailed Gnatcatcher C C C C
Goldfinch, Lesser Lesser Goldfinch U U U U
Grackle, Great-tailed Great-Tailed Grackle C C U U
Grebe, Clark's Ø Ø Ø R
Grebe, Eared R Ø U U
Common Name Thumb Spring Summer   Fall   Winter
Grebe, Pied-billed Pied-billed Grebe U Ø C C
Grebe, Western R Ø C C
Grosbeak, Blue R U Ø Ø
Gull, Ring-billed U Ø U C
Hawk, Harris Harris' Hawk U U U U
Hawk, Red-tailed Red-tailed Hawk C C U U
Hawk, Sharp-shinned Sharp-shinned Hawk R R R R
Heron, Great Blue Great Blue Heron C C C C
Heron, Green-backed Green Heron U U U U
Hummingbird, Anna's Anna's Hummingbird U U U U
Jay, Scrub Western Scrub Jay Ø Ø R R
Junco, Dark-eyed Dark-eyed Junco U Ø U C
Kestrel, American American Kestrel U U R U
Killdeer Killdeer C C C C
Kingbird, Western Western Kingbird U U Ø Ø
Kingfisher, Belted Belted Kingfisher Ø Ø U U
Kinglet, Ruby-crowned Ruby-crowned Kinglet Ø Ø C C
Mallard Mallard C C C C
Oriole, Hooded Hooded Oriole U U Ø Ø
Meadowlark, Western Western Meadowlark Ø Ø U U
Merganser, Common Common Merganser Ø Ø R R
Mockingbird, Northern Northern Mockingbird U U U R
Night-heron, Black-crowned Black-crowned Night-Heron U U U U
Osprey Ø Ø U U
Owl, Great-horned Great-horned Owl U U U U
Pelican, White Ø Ø Ø R
Phainopepla Phainopepla C U A A
Phoebe, Black Black Phoebe U U U U
Phoebe, Say's Say's Phoebe Ø Ø C C
Pipit, American American Pipit Ø Ø U U
Common Name Thumb Spring Summer   Fall   Winter
Quail, Gambel's Gambel's Quail C C C C
Raven, Common Common Raven R R U U
Robin, American American Robin Ø Ø R U
Sandpiper, Baird's Ø Ø R Ø
Sandpiper, Least Least Sandpiper Ø Ø C U
Sandpiper, Spotted Spotted Sandpiper Ø Ø U U
Sapsucker, Red-naped Red-naped Sapsucker Ø Ø R R
Shrike, Loggerhead Loggerhead Shrike R R U U
Snipe, Common Ø Ø U U
Sparrow, Black-throated Black-throated Sparrow C U C C
Sparrow, Brewer's Brewer's Sparrow Ø Ø U U
Sparrow, House House Sparrow C C C C
Sparrow, Lincoln Lincoln's Sparrow Ø Ø R R
Sparrow, Sage Ø Ø U U
Sparrow, Song Song Sparrow U U U U
Sparrow, Vesper Ø Ø R R
Sparrow, White-crowned White-crowned Sparrow U Ø C A
Starling, European European Starling U U C C
Swallow, Cliff C C U Ø
Swallow, Rough-winged Northern Rough-winged Swallow U U C Ø
Swallow, Violet-green Violet-green Swallow U U C Ø
Swift, White-throated U U U R
Tanager, Summer Summer Tanager U U Ø Ø
Tanager, Western U Ø Ø Ø
Common Name Spring Summer Fall Winter
Thrasher, Bendire's Bendire's Thrasher R R R R
Thrasher, Curve-billed Curve-billed Thrasher U U U U
Towhee, Abert's Abert's Towhee U U U U
Towhee, Canyon Canyon Towhee U U U U
Towhee, Spotted Ø Ø R R
Verdin Verdin C C C C
Vireo, Bell's Bell's Vireo U U Ø Ø
Vireo, Plubeous U Ø U Ø
Vireo, Warbling R Ø Ø Ø
Vulture, Turkey Turkey Vulture C C R Ø
Warbler, Lucy's U U Ø Ø
Warbler, Wilson's U Ø C Ø
Warbler, Yellow-rumped Yellow-rumped Warbler U Ø U C
Waxwing, Cedar Cedar Waxwing R Ø R U
Wood-Pewee, Western Western Wood-Pewee U R Ø Ø
Woodpecker, Gila Gila Woodpecker C C C C
Woodpecker, Ladder-backed Ladder-backed Woodpecker U U U U
Wren, Bewick's Bewick's Wren R Ø U U
Wren, Cactus Cactus Wren C C C C
Wren, Canyon Canyon Wren U U U U
Wren, House Ø Ø R R
Wren, Rock Rock Wren A A A A

If you do some birding at this park and find any I've missed please E-mail me additions (delete spam filter)!


Dec 1, 1997

The winter rains necessary for really spectacular wildflower shows next spring have yet to materilize. (As of Dec. 25, I can report we have had several good periods of I can almost guarentee next spring will not be a wash out!) A few fall and late summer flowers can still be found. Sweet Bush is the most conspicuous because of all the butterflies attracted to its nectar. I found the following in bloom at Lake Pleasant Regional Park just north of Peoria:


Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 30 January 2008,
Updated 13 October 2014.