Sunday, February 2, 2014

Gilbert Water Ranch January 2014

My friend Carol and I used another beautiful, sunny Arizona winter day for a visit to a series of recharge ponds in Gilbert close to Phoenix. I think Carol was a little disappointed how crowded the park was with dog walkers, noisy kids and people yelling into their cell phones. No, wait that last one is my own peeve. But the birds were there, even if some species that I was expecting were hiding Love Birds and Osprey) or hadn't arrived this year (phaleropes), and the light was gorgeous after we finally got the sun behind us.

Black-necked stilts dominated the flat areas, some Avocets mingled with them.

 Pin-tails and Green-winged Teals populated the only partly flooded fields.

There were more Canada Geese than we had ever seen anywhere in Arizona.

The Kestrel pair was in hot pursuit of a Cooper's Hawk.

I finally saw a nice group of Inca Doves again, in Tucson I am experiencing Inca-withdrawal.

Blue Herons were resting on the artificial platforms, Great Egrets and  Snowy Egrets were showing off  their wispy breeding  plumage.
We enjoyed seeing Ring-necked Ducks dive into the depth of the deepest pond and pulled out Sibley's to find out that a group of females that stayed apart were Scoups, not Ring-necks.

I was using my little Canon that hasn't seen a lot of action yet. I am happy with the image quality  when the lens was extended lens and also when I was shooting into the water without a pol filter. The coots feet here are submersed.

The introduced Sliders were a lot of fun even though it's a real shame that people just drop them in the wild when they outgrow the cute faze. Obviously no problem for the sliders, but the local ecosystem may suffer from it.

 Not to forget the mammals: Cotton Rats and Bunnies were rather used to the milling humans but we missed the famously tame coyote.

 The only photogenic insects were Variegated Meadowhawks that showed up as soon as it got nice and warm.


  1. It was a fun outing! Thanks for the great company!

  2. What stunning shots Margarethe. If I had to pick a favourite it would be the first - just beautiful.