Rich Ditch's Photography Blog

September 8, 2009

Return Visit Payoff

Filed under: Birds, favorite places, Gilbert Water Ranch, light — richditch @ 6:49 pm
Purple Gallinule

Purple Gallinule

In yesterday’s post Consolation Prize I recounted my Sunday visit to the Gilbert Water Ranch to look for a reported Purple Gallinule, and my lack of success after a couple hour wait for it to show.

Those of us who missed this bird on Sunday morning returned on Monday afternoon, since chances were better to see it out on a mudflat around 4:00-5:00 pm. On our way to the mudflat fellow photographer Brendon wanted to check the other side of the island the bird was spending most of its time in, and he immediately discovered the gallinule climbing around the bushes in the shadows. Brendon got great shots with his monopod mounted rig with flash, while I took longer to get my tripod into the tangles and shot without flash.

Yes, I wish the grass heads weren’t in the frame, or at least that the sunlight didn’t catch them as it did. I composed and exposed for the gallinule, ignoring the grass heads. I only got off a few frames, and this is the best of them.

Details of the status of Purple Gallinule in Arizona along with initial photos of this bird can be found at the documentation page.

Nikon D200, 300/2.8 plus 2x, ISO 500, natural light, 1/180th second at f/5.6



  1. Rich,

    Congrats for getting some images of this Purple Gallinule, I enjoy your image despite the flaws you mentioned.

    Part of avian photography for me isn’t always about getting the perfect shot. Some times it is just about being there, seeing the bird and sharing the experience with others who understand the excitement and the pleasure of the birds, their behavior and the feelings we get while viewing them.

    Love the feet on your bird, the grip they have on that branch and the lovely details in the purples & blues.

    Comment by Mia — September 10, 2009 @ 7:48 am

  2. What a gorgeous bird! Awesome find, and great job capturing this image. I love the iridescent look of its feathers.

    Comment by Kimberly Hosey (Arizona Writer) — September 11, 2009 @ 2:46 pm

  3. Terrific!
    Glad you finally got to see and photograph this guy!


    Comment by Lee Daniels — September 12, 2009 @ 12:30 pm

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