Rich Ditch's Photography Blog

August 30, 2012

Purple Gallinule at Water Ranch

Filed under: Birds, favorite places, Gilbert Water Ranch, rarities — richditch @ 4:17 pm
Purple Gallinule

Purple Gallinule

I don’t know any birder who isn’t excited by a vagrant bird – one that shows up far outside its range. Although common in Florida, a Purple Gallinule is a definite rarity in AZ. When this bird was discovered on August 25 and was still being seen on the following day I decided I’d risk the continuing unbearable heat and go looking for it.

I was at the Gilbert Water Ranch just after sunrise and made my slow way to the center where the bird was being seen. It still took an hour of careful scanning the proper area until I saw this juvenile bird out feeding in the vegetation along the edge of pond 2. The bird was farther away than I wanted, and I had to shoot against the light making exposure troublesome. The sun was bright and the temperature was already well into the 90’s and I had to stand in the unshaded open to get any shots.

I gave the bird a bit more time hoping for a closer opportunity but didn’t get one, so I headed back to the parking lot for departure around 8:30 am.

I hadn’t been out shooting with the bird gear in quite a while. It felt good to be taking some photos again, and I managed not to forget anything critical while using the camera gear.

According to AZFO this is the 13th Purple Gallinule discovered in AZ. Surprisingly, it is the third one I’ve seen in AZ, and the second one I’ve seen at the Water Ranch! I wrote about the previous adult on this blog before.

This image: Nikon D300, Nikkor 300/2.8 AF-S lens with TC20E III (2x), Gitzo tripod, ISO 400, 1/320th second @ f/8, aperture-preferred spot meter, 27% of frame, 7:59 am on 8/29/2012



  1. Great shot! I can’t even imagine that heat, but I’m glad you braved it.

    Comment by Andrée Reno Sanborn — August 31, 2012 @ 6:50 pm

  2. I’m glad you were able to brave the heat and get back out in the field Rich. I actually like the light in this image as it gives the image a nice mood.

    Comment by Mia McPherson — September 2, 2012 @ 6:09 am

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