Rich Ditch's Photography Blog

November 20, 2012

Chestnut-sided Warbler at Gilbert Water Ranch

Filed under: Birds, favorite places, Gilbert Water Ranch, rarities — richditch @ 9:48 am
Chestnut-sided Warbler

Chestnut-sided Warbler

I decided I mighty as well continue the series of recent vagrant birds, following my posts of Rose-breasted Grosbeak and Orchard Oriole.

Today’s post is a Chestnut-sided Warbler from the Gilbert Water Ranch. This bird was first reported by Steve Ganley on October 24, 2012. I looked for it on my next couple of visits, encouraged by reports from others that it was still in the same general area. But the other reports came from later times in the day than I am normally still at the Water Ranch so on November 4 I decided to stay a little later than I normally do and concentrate on searching for this bird.

I also decided to leave the big 300/2.8, 2x, and tripod in the car to give myself more mobility. This warbler was staying in deeper cover and I suspected my lack of mobility with the large heavy set-up was contributing to my lack of success. So I went with just a Nikon D300 body and the light 70-300 Nikkor zoom and no tripod. I set the lens wide open (f/5.6 at the 300mm end) and ISO to 800 so I would have a better chance in the shade of the tree canopy.

Chestnut-sided Warbler

Chestnut-sided Warbler

That approach worked and I was able to see the warbler around 8:45 am and get a few record shots to document the bird. These are major crops (the top image is only 12% of the frame while the side view is 24%), so coupled with the higher ISO the image quality isn’t up to my usual standards. But it is certainly good enough to show the field marks of this bird and document its presence.

Chestnut-sided Warbler is a common bird in the eastern U.S. but a vagrant to Arizona. This is the third one I have seen here in 18 years: the others were at Rio Salado in central Phoenix, and at Boyce Thompson Arboretum near Superior.

Nikon D300, 70-300 @ 300mm, ISO 800, F5.6, aperture preferred spot metered, hand held


1 Comment »

  1. I really love the first one, my cats would love them all! 🙂

    Comment by jamjet73 — November 20, 2012 @ 11:25 am

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