Sweetwater Wetlands Park, Tucson

I had a few days off in Tucson to go birding. An opportunity to add 19 new species to my picture database! I arrived at daybreak at the Sweetwater Wetlands Park, an set of (old) water treatment basins that are maintained for the enjoyment of birds and birders.

A Cooper’s Hawk (Coopers Sperwer) was setting in a treetop near the entrance. The picture came out very blue, but it is amazing what you can do with RAW files in Capture NX2 to get the true colors back.

Cooper's Hawk

Cooper’s Hawk

As the sun rose, the Red-winged blackbirds (Epauletspreeuw) became very vocal. There must have been a hundred birds, or at least that is how it sounded. The nice thing is that they are happy to show off their capabilities to visitors too. Although I think it is really more the competitors they care about.

Epauletspreeuw

Red-Winged Blackbird

The Cinnamon Teal (Kaneeltaling) was a new bird for me. The male is very brightly colored, very red. It took me a while to get a picture that did not overexpose the red!

Kaneeltaling

Cinnamon Teal

The female is not as colorful, she looks pretty much like most ducks do.

Kaneeltaling

Cinnamon Teal

Verdins (Geelkopmees) are small songbirds, and usually hard to catch. This bird decided to check me out on the top of a brush, that was very thoughtful of him. My second-best picture of this species.

Verdin

Verdin

A young Black-crowned Night Heron (Kwak) does not look the grown-ups, it is mostly brown while the adult birds are dark grey and white. This bird nicely blended in its surroundings.

Black-crowned Night Heron

Black-crowned Night Heron

For the Abert’s Towhee (Zwartkintowie) is must be breeding season too. While they normally stay close to the ground, they were now singing on the highest branch.

Abert's Towhee

Abert’s Towhee

After a fairly wet spring Tucson was very green, at least to Sonoran Desert standards. One of the common weeds is mustard. The birds like the seeds, here a Gambel’s Quail (Gambels kuifkwartel) is enjoying them.

Gambel's Quail

Gambel’s Quail

Finally from this visit: a song sparrow (zanggors) posing nicely. Song sparrows are very common birds.

Song sparrow

Song sparrow