Rich Ditch's Photography Blog

January 18, 2012

Birds On the Rocks

Filed under: Birds, composition, favorite places, Gilbert Water Ranch — richditch @ 7:26 am


Nikon D300, 300/2.8 AF-S lens, ISO 800, 1/200th second at f/5.6, Gitzo 1325 tripod with RRS BH-55 ball head, sidekick

One of the benefits of returning frequently to a familiar location is learning where the birds can be regularly found and when the light and other conditions are good for photography. So it was a bit of a surprise when I “discovered” a micro habitat at the Gilbert Water Ranch that I had overlooked on over 10 years of visits.

It was November 15, 2011, and I was hoping to relocate a vagrant warbler reported from the previous day. The warbler had been seen in a part of the preserve that I had spent little time in – it is a developed area very popular with noisy family groups and guys who like to sit around smoking while they fish in the stocked urban pond. A tiny artificial stream delivers fresh water to the pond when it is turned on in daylight hours, and this stream had attracted the vagrant warbler. I spent a couple hours in the area hoping to see the vagrant without doing so. But it paid off when I figured out how to see the spot where the stream entered the pond and how the birds used the rocks.

Song Sparrow

Song Sparrow

Nikon D300, 300/2.8 AF-S plus TC20E (2x), ISO 800, 1/200th second at f/10, Gitzo 1325 tripod with RRS BH-55 ball head, sidekick

The Mallard was taken at 7:16 am, and was too large in the frame for my usual 300 with 2x rig. So I removed the 2x for this image. The Song Sparrow was taken at 8:06 am from a different angle and required the 2x on the 300.


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