Notes, birds, nature, meanderings.

Musings about birds, nature, and our meanderings on the Central Oregon Coast

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Christmas in Las Vegas - 2011

While in Las Vegas for Christmas we visited two birding areas, Springs Preserve and Wetlands Park.  I didn't take my binoculars or camera, so the photos below are all taken with my little Fujifilm Finepix XP with 5x Optical zoom.  Hmmmm - not the best for birding, but it did better than I had hoped, so here we are.

Springs Preserve is a historical site, still in the process of restoration.  There is an entry fee, but much to see, including a Museum and Native Gardens.

But we were after the trails - about 2 miles of them - to see the habitat and hopefully a bird or two.  This art structure, 3 over-sized binoculars, promised birds, hares, and amphibians.

The first birds we saw were together in a bush - I think they were all WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS but we were looking into the sun (and no bins!).
Tree of Sparrows
There were waterfowl on a far pond but no public access (and no bins) - we did get good looks at a NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD and a COSTA'S HUMMINGBIRD.

Northern Mockingbird
Costa's Hummingbird

Wetlands Park (next day) was a real treat - it is laid out beautifully! 

While also still undergoing some development (new paths, new public buildings, etc), the series of trails that loop through the wetlands is easy to use and provides great birding!  There is currently no fee to use the park

This boardwalk crosses one of the water restoration ponds.

American Coot
Say's Phoebe (really!)

Familiar AMERICAN COOT floated on the water, along with a smaller COMMON GALLINULE.

We took the outer paved loop, with a few little meanders off on the gravel trails.  Our list of birds is in our field report on

A WESTERN MEADOWLARK was running along the rocks on the side here - a little ways up my daughter spotted a GREATER ROADRUNNER off on a dirt trail. 

American Coot and Snowy Egret (no, really)

I was snapping photos of these AMERICAN COOTS in the middle pond when my hubby asked what that white spot in the tree was -- our first SNOWY EGRET!

Snowy Egret
Some of the more familiar birds included a GREAT BLUE HERON and an ORANGE CROWNED WARBLER seen in two different sections of the park. 

Black Phoebe

This BLACK PHOEBE was one of the last birds we saw as we were winding our way to the parking lot. 

Well, hopefully you'll forgive my blurs and enjoy the treats we found in the most unlikely of places!


  1. Nice collection! Happy new years!

  2. Thanks Jen, it was fun! Not nearly as interesting as your gallivants, but for us it was great!