Tag Archives: Scottsdale

Birds of the McDowell Mountains: Gambel Quail Coveys and Their Babies

Gambel Quail Parents and a New Hatchling

Here in the McDowell Mountains, our family looks forward to the springtime when the quail come out with their babies. At first, the tiny babies appear like little fuzzy flurries a bit larger than a bumblebee.

The baby quail are adorable, scurrying to keep up with Mom and Dad and crossing the formidable desert terrain where even a stone can dwarf them and provide challenging obstacles to overcome. Every once in a while you’ll see a covey try to cross a street or road, and inevitably one of the little guys will find it difficult to scale the edge of the curb, (although you’ll find many streets in the area have gently sloping, rolled curbs, aiding their passage.) We desert dwellers are so fond of the little guys, you’ll often seen traffic stop and someone try to assist the family on its way.

Later, the teen-age quail (my term, not scientific!) provide more entertainment (as teenagers will!) as they get more bold and test their wings. The entire covey
will usually try to cross the street together, chittering and chattering along the way and often right in front of an oncoming car! When that happens, there’s a flurry of inexperienced flyers who all realize they are in danger and they go everywhere! Experienced residents learn to drive carefully through neighborhoods in anticipation of the wild Quail Dash!

Quail are small, compact birds, with a short, stout bill. The head is often crested,
giving the males a very regal look. Their plumage is usually brightly marked with brown, buff, yellow, red, gray, black and white. They eat mainly seeds and insects.

Thereare 6 species of quail found in North America and The Gambel Quail is the one you will most often see in the McDowell Mountains. They lay 4-15 white or brown-spotted eggs that will incubate for 21-24 days. The Gambel Quail builds a nest often under vegetation so as to be shaded at midday or, occasionally, up to 10 feet above the ground in an old nest of a Roadrunner, thrasher or Cactus Wren.

Pet and Pond - Our Favorite Source for Bird Seed

We buy seed for them and spread it out in our backyard and enjoy seeing our “friends” every day. If you’re looking to create your own, personal Quail watching experience here in the McDowell Mountains, check out our favorite place to purchase seed: The Pet & Pond Center is located at 10701 N. Scottsdale Road, Suite 103. You can call them at 480.214.0062.

Private Country Club Living: Ancala Country Club Golf in Scottsdale, AZ

To look at the social calendar, golf activities calendar or the great menu served up at Ancala Country Club in Scottsdale, it’s easy to see why Ancala, located at 120th Street and Via Linda in Scottsdale, is such a popular club with its residents and members.  It would also help explain why their residential property values have held strong over the past few years of real estate upheaval.

Ancala Clubhouse EntryAncala’s popularity is earned at every level of service and amenities.  Their club house is well  managed, under the direction of Charles Zimmer, General Manager (480-391 ext. 220;  czimmer@eagle.com.)  There is a member-friendly restaurant and grille bar, plus plenty of outside dining patios that serve up an enormous view of the Valley of the Sun.  There are always fun social activities like wine tastings, book clubs, dive-in movies for the kids, fitness sessions and dine-arounds to join.  Members find the facilities accommodating, from the ample meeting and social rooms to the recently updated fitness center, the active tennis program and the world-class golf course.

Interestingly, the community has been sold out for many years, and it’s
unusual to find a member-run club that offers this many activities when the
original developer leaves the scene.  The club is expertly managed by Eagle Golf.

Night view from an Ancala HomeHomes for Sale at Ancala Country Club:  Currently, in June, 2011, there are only 27 homes for sale at Ancala Country Club, ranging from $600,000 to $5 million.  Lot sizes range from 1/4 acre to over an acre and were generally custom-built between 1995 and 2011.  Most lots have either a beautiful location on a fairway or a stunning view of the Valley…sometimes both!  There have been 22 homes in Anacala sold in 2011 through June 10, at an average price of $1,124,205, which is about 26% off the 2007 values…but that’s a much stronger benchmark than much of the Pheonix market.  By all accounts, the 2011 sales statistics will end up being much improved over 2010, a testimony to the strength and popularity of Ancala homes.  For information on homes for sale in Ancala Country Club, located at 120th and Via Linda in Scottsdale, contact Dori Wittrig, Sonoran Lifestyle Real Estate, 602-558-5901 or DoriW@SonoranLifestyle.com.

Golf at Ancala:  Recently named one of the “Top 5 Golf Courses in Scottsdale” by GolfLink.com, the rating organization had this to say about the impressive golf course:    Without question, Ancala has become one of the most prestigious country clubs in the state because of its target-style layout and it requires you to hit long yet precise shots to score low. The club’s immaculately kept fairways are crisscrossed by ravines that keep you on your toes for the entire 18 holes.  Ancala is almost 6,900 yards long from the back tees, yet it has four closer tees on each hole so that it is accessible to all golfers, regardless of skill. From the championship tees, it has a whopping slope rating of 152.”

The head pro at Ancala Country Club, Kevin Neel, (480-391-1000 x 235 or kneel@eaglegolf.com ) provides an impressive variety of golf clinics, lessons and group events for every member of the family.  This summer, activities include:

  • Family and Junior Golf Complimentary Lesson Day
  • Complimentary Junior Golf  for younger members and their Friends
  • Family Golf Clinics
  • Weekly Beginners Academy
  • Junior Golf Schools
  • Ladies Clinics and Lessons
  • Golf Associations and Event Days for Ladies, Men and Couples

Tennis:  The USTA-approved tennis program at Ancala Country Club offers tournaments, group and private lessons for all skill levels, and social events. There is also an aerobic tennis session offered, a fun workout to help improve your game. For more information, contact Coach Michael Grant, Head Tennis Professional;  602-741-5683 or TennisPro1AZ@netzero.net

Pool & Fitness:  Ancala Country Club Members enjoy a year-round pool facility that includes two Junior Olympic-size lap lanes as well as an area for lounging and enjoying the desert sun. The pool is heated in the winter months to ensure the comfort of the Members. The fitness area was updated and enhanced in October, 2010.

With all this–and more–it’s easy to see why country club living at Ancala Country Club is one of Scottsdale’s hottest tickets!  For membership information, contact Mary Grass, Director of Membership Sales (480-391-1000 ext. 225 or mgrass@eaglegolf.com .)

Dori Wittrig, Designated Broker of Sonoran Lifestyle Real Estate

Posted by Dori Wittrig, Designated Broker, Sonoran Lifestyle Real Estate.  For more information about  the neighborhoods, homes, condos or land of Scottsdale or Fountain Hills, contact her at DoriW@SonoranLifestyle.com or by phone at 602-558-5901