Wednesday, January 27, 2010

More Sweetwater

We made plans today to meet one of Melinda's co-workers at Sweetwater Wetlands if it wasn't raining this afternoon. While rain was in the area, we managed to stay dry for today's visit.

First up is actually a shot from Sunday of a Cinnamon Teal. He is spectacularly beautiful, especially in the reddish light of the lowering sun. His red eye is visually shocking, even in his reflection from the water.

Except for this picture, taken with the Meade 80mm F/6 APO lens, all of today's shots were taken with a Nikon 500mm F/8 mirror lens with an adaptor for the Canon camera.

While there were almost no human birders there today, we were not alone looking for action. In our amblings around the lagoons of the Wetlands, we spotted this female bobcat on several occasions as she rambled the same lagoons, looking for a careless bird near a shore. She certainly wasn't put off by us - she walked away rather than ran, and just the fact that we saw her several times indicated she tolerated humans pretty well. The left picture also demonstrates how well she blends in with the desert colors and patterns. She might have been difficult to spot if we hadn't seen her earlier where she didn't blend in as well.

The other good "get" for me today was of a male Ruddy Duck. We were on one of the several overlooks built over the water, and this fellow was ignoring us as he was "presenting" to several females . Evidently the males' bills turn blue in mating season. These two pictures are consecutive frames taken with the Canon, so are less than a half second apart. The male presses his bill against his breast, making a ticking sound, which simultaneously makes him bob in the water, and somehow produces a rush of bubbles as well. And the rightmost picture he appears to be smiling, looking very pleased with himself. If you hadn't witnessed the bobbing action, he almost appears as if he farted, producing the foam of bubbles evident. One of the two females following him around is shown here too.
Melinda has plans to catch up and post more pictures very soon. With her work week behind her, it is time for her to catch up!

1 comment:

Andrew Cooper said...

Thanks for the photos! Deb and I loved Sweetwater and birded there often.

The bobcats there are bold, maybe one of the same clan we encountered a few times. At one time a large bobcat simply walked by me on the path, within six feet. Just another birder on the trial, he looked at me and ambled on by.