Sweetwater Wetlands

I have never been interested in bird photography.  To me it seems to be very difficult, demanding in skill and creativity, decent gear, attention to detail, and PATIENCE.  I did not think it was something I would enjoy.  After spending a day at Sweetwater Wetlands in Tucson with two excellent bird photographers, Len and Elaine, I can report that I was correct about everything except one item.  I did enjoy it.  Very much.

Shot taken in front of McDonald's just south of Casa Grande.  Hundreds of these black birds were swarming this way and that in unison just as we drove in.  They were revving up their engines, stretching, getting ready for their day.  Elaine pronounced the birds would not be there when we returned to our car.  She was right.  And no, these eyes came right out of the camera like that.

Orange-crowned Warbler.

Pied-billed Grebe

Ring necked duc.

Ladder Woodpecker

Len notes, "The male Ruby Duck's bill turns blue during the mating season.  I asked him to pose for my picture, forgetting that he had just been preening before the shot.  Note the feathers on his blue bill.  I will try to clean him up better before I take his picture next time.!

Len notes: "It is hard to believe but this lady can excite a Male Ruddy Duck to the point where his bill turns blue . . . "

I hope you can appreciate just how tiny this bird is.  I think it must be an orange-crowned warbler but why birders call a bird that is clearly green to me to be an orange crowned . . . just saying!

Common Gallinulle


As the day progressed I did get a teeny tiny bit better.  I could smile.  As I reviewed my images over lunch, I made a comment, "I wonder why I took this shot?  There is nothing in it."  Len was busy looking at his own images and without even raising his head, responded, "Gone."  So, the images below are "almost gone".  I have many more "gone" and "almost gone", if you are in need of blur for your portfolio!

There was a lot of discussion between Len and Elaine about settings, tips, and places where they have been, birds they have shot, experiences, where to go for good birding opportunities, etc.  You know the old saying, "Birds of a feather . . . 

I would love to go again.  I think I behaved myself just enough that I might be invited back.  Stay tuned.