Tres Ríos, Tres

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We went back to Tres Rios Overbank Wetlands for the third time a couple of weeks ago (1st time, 2nd time). You can have good days, with tons of birds, or bad days there, with little bird activity. We were not there at the primo time so things were kind of slow.

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Great Blue Heron

Blue-Winged Teals

Blue-Winged Teals, hen and drake

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Red-Tailed Hawk

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Snowy Egret

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Osprey

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Cormorant

But we did see who I specifically went there to see. Yes, we do have pelicans (American White Pelican) in Arizona, at least this time of year. There were several there and they are at other places in town, including Gilbert Riparian Preserve and Tempe Town Lake.

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They were shy and stayed way back in the area that is inaccessible to the public, where the water is not completely treated yet, behind fences. They’re huge compared to the other birds.

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They do emerge from the fenced areas, goof-ishly flying around and coming in for landings.

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Painted Lady Butterfly

And the butterflies have begun making their spring appearance…

Headshots, Etc.

Redhead Drop

Redhead 1

Redhead 3

Redhead drake (lifer)

Egret Profile

Egret Eating

Great Egret

Mallard Girl

Mallard Mouth

Mallards (he’s crested)

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Merganser

Common Merganser hen (reminder: I need to get my hair cut)

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Killdeer

Killdeer

Ring-Neck Boy

Ring-Necked Duck drake

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Ring-Neck Girl 2

Ring-Necked Duck hens

Some of our ducky friends will be heading out soon, back up north. Safe travels, guys. It’s been fun spending time with you.

The Bigma!

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House Finch, male

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Northern Mockingbird

Less than a year ago, I got a new camera lens, a Nikkor 18-300mm that I love for its broad focal range, from wide angle to close-ups. I thought the 300mm would be such an improvement from my 200mm for birds and that I would never need another lens.

Bigma!

Wrong! I need a longer focal length for birds. So, while my 18-300mm will remain my main lens, I’ve now added the Sigma 150-500mm to my lineup~the Bigma! (Technically Sigma’s 50-500mm is the lens referred to as the “Bigma,” but this one is almost as long). Weighing in at a petite 4 pounds plus 1.5 pounds for my camera plus battery and straps, I can still handhold it because of its image stabilization feature…but after a couple of hours, it’s heavy.

The first two shots as well as these below were all taken with the Bigma at 500mm or close to it last week. Click photos to enlarge for detail.

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Mallard drake

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Mallard hen

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Ring-Necked Duck drake

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Rock Pigeon

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Rosy-Faced Lovebird

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Anna’s Hummingbird, male

I’m pleased with the sharpness and there is a big difference, to me, between 300mm and 500mm when it comes to shooting birds. Anything longer than 500mm, I don’t think I can handhold so I think this will be my birding lens for a long time.

A few cat shots with the Bigma:

Sveng

Svengali

Stripey

Stripey

Ivory 2

Ivory

Edie

Edie

Winkler

Winky

And I certainly don’t want to forget Ebony but his photo, below, was taken with the Rokinon 800mm Mirror Lens, also handheld. But that lens is much lighter because it’s a mirror lens.

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And just because Marbles, Google, and Jessi didn’t want to be left out, here are some recent photos of them taken with my main lens.

Marbles

Goo 2

The boys love to soak up the sun in front of an open door.

Jessi

Jessi loves her bed and does not love the boys.

An Egret Study

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On the same cloudy and rainy day that I got the first 2 photos in my last 2 posts (Flicker, Goose), I was able to hang out with this Great Egret at my favorite park, Granada. It’s the first time I’ve seen an egret at that particular park and, as I was leaving a little later, I saw this one and a buddy head back to the lake.

Crop Face

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I never get tired of watching egrets (and herons) even though they are fairly commonplace and I especially like when one lets me close to it for awhile. Well, until they get skittish or annoyed and take off.

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Chomp

CHOMP! Okay, not really, no ducks were harmed or eaten and he/she wasn’t even trying to get the duck, just an optical illusion…but entertaining.

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This egret is in full breeding plumage. More than 95 percent of the Great Egrets in North America were killed for their plumes in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Plume-hunting was banned, for the most part, around 1910, and Great Egret populations quickly began to recover.

The Great Egret is the symbol of the National Audubon Society, one of the oldest environmental organizations in North America. Audubon was founded to protect birds from being killed for their feathers.

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The Letter F

Flicker (Gilded, female)

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Finch (House, female)

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Fun (with the Rokinon 800mm Mirror Lens)

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Tony gave me this lens for Christmas. You have to shoot all manual and the aperture is fixed at f/8 and the focal length at 800mm so there are limitations but the above shot was handheld. Click to enlarge; I was pleased with the detail. Imagine if it were on a tripod. I’ll be doing more moon shots in the future.

Fisheye

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Sveng Fisheye

Sveng Fisheye 2

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Tony gave me this fisheye lens a few years ago, too. It’s an awesome lens (Nikkor 10.5mm f/2.8) with very crisp detail. I played with it on one of our recent rainy days.

Fog

Fog Light

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Fog is an extreme rarity in Phoenix but Super Bowl Sunday morning had a lingering fog for our many out-of-state visitors. Fog shots abounded on Facebook, I just wish I had gotten some pretty ones like many I saw.

This post was brought to you by the letter F.

*This is my 591st post and I started blogging on 2/13/09 so I’m averaging about 100 posts per year and I still love it. Thank you for checking it out.