Rich Ditch's Photography Blog

May 21, 2012

Townsend’s Warbler

Filed under: Birds, favorite places, Gilbert Water Ranch — richditch @ 2:37 pm
Townsend's Warbler

Townsend’s Warbler

Nikon D300, Nikkor 300/2.8 AF-S with TC20E III (2x), ISO 800, 1/1250th second @ f/8, 5/20/2012 @ 8:01 am, 43% of frame

Reports of a couple interesting birds seen on Saturday got me to visit the Gilbert Water Ranch on Sunday in spite of the heat. I spent over two hours there but was not able to see either reported rarity, even though he friend I was walking with got to see one of them briefly at a distance. I’m just not as fast to get on birds as I was 20=30 years ago – another reminder of how increasing age robs us of so many of the abilities we take for granted when we are younger.

But I did enjoy the time out talking with friends and seeing what I could get on, including my first Townsend’s Warbler of the year. Since I don’t bait subjects I try to get them when and where they choose to show themselves. This bird was near the top of the highest tree along the trail, but at least it spent a few seconds in the clear. I’ve been experimenting with the auto focus settings on my Nikon D300 recently and I think I”ve found a way that works better for me.

Townsend’s Warbler is a migrant around Phoenix and there have been many reports of them in the past week or so.



  1. Hi Rich,

    I, too, have had some rare visitors to my backyard – it makes me wonder if the fires are forcing some of the northern birds to come into the valley for relief from the smoke.

    I have had a pair of Lazuli Buntings (4/23/12), a male Western Tanager (5/15/12), a Vermilion Flycatcher (5/15/12) and a Black and White Warbler (5/15/12) in my yard. I have NEVER seen any of these birds in my yard before. We have a large water feature and the yard is surrounded by trees – both of which attrack several species on a regular basis, but most return year after year, such as the Western Kingbird, the Yellow Warblers, Gambel’s Quail, Verdin and other not-so-unusual birds.

    Needless to say I have been thrilled to have them visit my yard. Do you think the fires could be the reason for their appearance in Northeast Mesa??

    Comment by Robin McEntire — May 21, 2012 @ 2:48 pm

  2. It is never easy to say what causes any bird to be in any place. During migration many bids we don’t consider normal for our yards can show up, and since these are birds on the move they can be easily missed. In the past two weeks or so we’ve had migrant Warbling Vireo, MacGillvray’s Warbler, Wilson’s Warbler, Green-tailed Towhee, Ash-throated Flycatcher, Say’s Phoebe, and “Western” Flycatcher in addition to the regular Gambel’s Quail (three families so far this season), Verdin, Curve-billed Thrasher, Northern Mockingbird, House Finch, House Sparrow, Mourning Dove, and White-winged Dove.

    The fires may displace some nesting species. During last year’s fires above the Rim we had a very unexpected Warbling Vireo show up at our water feature in June that we figured was probably forced out of its normal territory.

    Comment by richditch — May 21, 2012 @ 4:02 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: