Tuesday, July 01, 2014

USA 2014 - Clark County Wetlands Preserve, Las Vegas

The heat in Las Vegas was quite remarkable so we stayed in our hotel, heading out to dinner in an Italian Restaurant where 50% of the menu is Vegan and what a treat it was!

The next morning we set off right after daybreak, and headed for the Clark County Wetlands Preserve in downtown Las Vegas.  This is a water reclamation facility which uses brown water and then passes it through the wetlands to clean it using a nature facility and providing habitat and space for nature, a proper win win.

Not the easiest place to find but we did, arriving 5 minutes after the gates were supposed to open.  They were closed, so like one other car, we parked in the turn-around space outside and headed in...

Around the main ponds the trails are heavily grown as you can see here, but they are well maintained:



At one pond we heard then saw a group of recently fledged Least Bitterns, the light was too poor for sharp images, however a Marsh Wren perched high on a reed to declare its territory:


And then to check out the interlopers:


Further along, a California Quail checked out the park from an information sign:


As you can see here, part of the preserve was burned out, however it is recovering quickly:


We saw loads of species in the preserve including Allen's Hummingbird:


Blue-grey Gnatcatcher:


Common Yellowthroat (a sighting disputed by some locals we met, however this is conclusive):


Say's Phoebe:


Song Sparrow:


Verdin:


And back in the car park (by 9am the heat was again around 35c and rising so it was time to head back to the air conditioned hotel, pack and then on to the airport) a Greater Roadrunner, perched on a car:


fabulous birds:


We were really impressed by this oasis of nature in the heart of the city of Las Vegas, it still feels like a well-kept secret though.  In fact we thoroughly enjoyed our Utah road trip, end-to-end, the scenery was fantastic, the wildlife spectacular and we managed to see some lifetime species that I hadn't thought we'd ever achieve.

Time then to fly to Seattle and, en route to Bellingham, meet-up with some outlaws of our own...

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