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Feathered Friends Nature Walk
Veterans Oasis Park, Chandler
March 13, 2021
by Randall Greeley

Hike results 1.5 miles.

We met at 8:00 AM at Veterans Oasis Park in Southeast Chandler. After a rainy night the rain stopped just as our walk began. It was a beautiful morning, comfortable temperature and the sun was just starting to come out, perfect clear weather.

Time to slow down and smell the roses—er, look for the birds. We were joined by our birding guide, Krys, president of the Desert Rivers Audubon Society, to enjoy a guided nature walk and learn about various birds. Veterans Oasis Park is comprised of 113 acres, 78 of which are designed for groundwater recharge and wetlands and serve as habitat for diverse Sonoran Desert plants and wildlife and has numerous walking trails. There is also a 5 acre fishing lake. Veterans Oasis Park is considered one of the premier birding spots in the valley with recharge basins, riparian environments and an abundance of native vegetation and draws a variety of migratory and local birds to the park. Over 153 species have been documented at the park.

group
Trailblazers ready to roll. [photo by Lin]
Lin, Randall (hike leader), Jeanne, Alina, Laura, Jahonda,
Krys (bird guide), Dave, Natalie, John, Dani, Jeff

We began with some instructions about how to properly use binoculars (extra ones were available for those that didn’t have any) and then set out at a leisurely pace, winding through the various park trails.

hikers
Everyone looking through binoculars. [photo by Randall]

It didn’t take long before we started spotting new things, it’s amazing what you can see when you slow the pace down and start observing what is around you.

We identified at least 33 species of birds during our nature walk plus a coyote, cottontail rabbit, jackrabbit, and ground squirrel. Some of the birds we saw included the verdin, yellow rumped warbler, hawk, red cardinal, greater roadrunner, Anna’s hummingbird, and black tailed gnatcatcher, to name a few.

Photos of birds and animals by Lin:
tan red
two
fox
yellow bunny

Everyone really enjoyed the instruction from Krys, the photographic opportunities, and to learn about the park that for some was in their backyard and they never knew it.

Lin
Lin using a tripod camera. [photo by Randall]
hikers
Jeff and Dani, husband and wife. [photo by Randall]

We ended our two hour tour with a visit to the Environmental Education Center, where we picked up a free birding checklist to mark what we each saw and additional information about the Audubon Society from Krys.

→   More pictures, by Lin
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updated March 21, 2021