Monday, December 3, 2012
Gilbert Riparian Water Preserve - 26 Nov 2012
Took a trip straight from work in the afternoon on November 26 to see if I could find the Winter Wren that had been seen out there by so many birders, and yes, I did get to see it, but it was a brief viewing and then in dove for cover and alas, I did not even have time to get my camera up for a photo. This tiny bird has found itself a winter home at a specific spot at GWR. There will be more about this little bird in a future post! The spot it likes to hang out in is a small camping area with benches so as I was patiently waiting for it to make another appearance that day, a couple of other birds tantalized me into taking their photos instead. Two of these birds are very common at this location, but not always easy to photograph. The Abert's Towhee is bird almost found exclusively in Arizona. Its range extends to the extreme southern point of Nevada, the eastern Colorado River edge of California and about 3 canyons in extreme southwestern New Mexico. The rest of its range is all across southern Arizona. Although they are numerous and can be seen quite frequently, they seem to prefer posing in shady areas and are quick to dart into the thick underbrush of a nearby tree. The 'Audubon's' Yellow-rumped Warbler (aka Butter butts) are typical of warblers, constantly flitting about in the trees and not spending too much time in any one place. Both of these birds landed on the ground in the camping area and seemed oblivious to me and allowed me to capture some of my best photos of these two species that I have ever been able to obtain.
Abert's Towhee-Showing off its most colorful side!
'Audubon's' Yellow-rumped Warbler
The wren never did make another appearance that day, so I settled for taking some photos of the other birds I could find. This place is never lacking for bird photography. A Gila Woodpecker, as well as a Curved-billed Thrasher, also made an appearance in one of the nearby trees. And on one of the many paths some Inca Doves were quite accommodating as well. The photo below shows a hint of the red wing that is most noticeable when in flight.
Naturally being at a spot with ponds, one is bound to find wading birds and I found a couple species to add to my photographs for the day. The Least Sandpiper is very common here and if one has patience sitting quietly along a shoreline, they will probably work their way up fairly close to you for a close up view. Might be a brown and white bird, but they are always a joy to watch their very active probing and feeding. Also found a Wilson's Snipe, but it was on the opposite shore of a pond and they are not quite as friendly as the Least Sandpipers.
There is always something good to see and photograph at this wonderful spot.