I had a good time leading a birdwalk at Boyce Thompson Arboretum on Saturday, with a big enough group that we split it with friends Pete and Cynthia leading half of the participants. It is nice meeting old friends and new friends-to-be this way and talking about birds and birding in other locations. In addition, it is always good to have help from other experienced birders in the group in finding as many species as possible.
The most exciting bird for us was this Common Ground-Dove that was hanging out just down the slope from the gat to the lower parking area. Contrary to the “Common” in the name I don’t see this species very often in AZ, and these are the first decent photos I’ve managed of one.
I don’t carry my camera gear when I’m doing a birdwalk – too heavy, too bulky, and too clumsy to bother with. But I always have it with me in the car when I’m out at Boyce. Since I’d parked in the lower picnic lot it only took a few minutes to get to the car, set it up, and get back to the dove. There was only one position from which to shoot that gave a mostly unobstructed view.
Note the heavy scaled appearance on the breast and the bicolored bill (pink at the base).
Both images with: Nikon D300, Nikkor 300/2.8 AF-S lens with TC20E III (2x), Gitzo 1325 tripod, RRS BH-55 ball head, Sidekick.