Nikon D300, Nikkor AF-S 300/2.8 plus TC20E III (2x), ISO 400, 1/800th second at f/8
As promised in my last post here are some more photos from Papago Park in Phoenix. This is a very urban park next to the zoo, with lots of blacktop, parking lots, and picnic ramadas. The attraction for photographers is the number and variety of wild waterfowl that spend the winter months in the easy-access ponds. The birds are sometimes fed by park visitors and quickly become tolerant of people close by.
This drake Hooded Merganser has been attracting photographers since word got out on the AZ birders email list. Although mergansers can be found in multiple locations here this isn’t one of the abundant species in AZ, so having an attractive male that gets within camera range is worth checking out.
Nikon D300, Nikkor AF-S 70-300/4.5-5.6 @ 300mm, ISO 400, 1/500th second at f/8
A more common species in AZ in winter is the American Wigeon. Although I see them in greater numbers and in more places than the Hooded Merganser I won’t pass up a shot at an attractive wigeon in good light and within range.
Nikon D300, Nikkor AF-S 70-300/4.5-5.6 @ 300mm, ISO 400, 1/320th second at f/11
Like urban parks everywhere in the country there are always resident Mallards around. I liked the light on this drake standing beside the water, plus the chance to see the bulk usually hidden below the water’s surface.
Nikon D300, Nikkor AF-S 300/2.8 plus TC20E III (2x), ISO 800, 1/60th second at f/8
Even in an urban park there are often small areas with more natural aspects, and this Red-winged Blackbird was attracted to this micro habitat or water and reeds.
Nikon D300, Nikkor AF-S 300/2.8 plus TC20E III (2x), ISO 200, 1/125th second at f/8
Finally, I try to keep my eyes open for interesting subjects other than birds like the bark of this palm tree. I admit that my was first attracted to it by the red-shafted flickers coming to it to feed on hanging fruit, but they had moved on by the time I’d gotten my big lens set up. But one look at the bark in the warm morning light through my bird lens was all it took for me to forget about chasing after the flickers.
I haven’t finished editing and processing of my photos from Papago Park, so I might post another collection of shots from here sometime soon.