Today we visited the Water Ranch and Raparian Preserve located in Gilbert Arizona, which is also a suburb of Phoenix. In my attempt to find bicycle trails other than on busy streets and along the canals, this area came up. It turned out to be a great one.
What is a “Water Ranch?” In the 80s and 90s, the town of Gilbert decided to set aside 110 acres, 70 of which make up seven basins that are filled in a rotating basis. Not only has this made an excellent habitat for 298 species of birds counted since the Ranch was established, but it is a place where water is allowed to perculate down to be recycled in to the subterranean reservoir for future use.
There are over four miles of trails within the Ranch and Preserve and bikes are allowed. We spent three hours riding and viewing humingbirds, honey bees, herons, quail, songbirds and various species of ducks and geese. We spotted an owl which, according to the pamphlet, is rare. Seeing all of our summer birds in January was just so fascinating to us. The real attention stealers were the bunnies. They were peeking out all over.
This is the only picture I took since I opted not to carry my heavy camera.