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Old Feb 7, 2020, 9:17 AM   #1
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Last week I was in Usery Regional Park in Mesa Arizona. I had caught a cold when I was in Quartzsite, so wasnít interested in hiking or doing much of anything. I ended up sitting outside my trailer with the sun on my back, loving the warmth and noticing the birds that were flying around the campground. A couple of photos with the KP and the FA100-300 f4.7 lens. Itís not as good as the DA*300 but a lot lighter and I sure didnít have any energy to hold a big combination or pull out the tripod.

Gila Woodpecker:



Pair of Northern Flickers:



Iíve been told this is a Cactus Wren. I wasnít sure as I didnít think they had a white wing patch, which I thought this particular bird did. But have no idea what it would be if not a Cactus Wren.



Not exactly the best photo in the world, but about the best I could manage that particular day. If that last one is something other than a Cactus Wren, let me know.

After leaving Usery and the big city, I went down to Organ Pipe National Monument. I took lots and lots of photos but nothing worth a second glance. One wasnít too bad, I may post it on another thread, but think I like it simply because it was a friend of mine and the photo interesting because of what type of person he is.

Itís been an interesting journey so far - Iíve been sort-of out of photography for a year or two but started to practice a bit once I sold the house. Itís much harder to take a decent photo when Iím feeling lousy. Now that Iím starting to feel a little better, I hope to take at least something interesting.
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Old Feb 7, 2020, 3:19 PM   #2
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G'day Harriet

Photos - small birds are always hard to get ... many is the time I 'needed' a 1200mm and only have a 300mm ~ sort of thing
However, #1 appears clear enough that you might be able to do a portrait-crop of the top bit to bring the bird out a bit more
#3 has the bird there but it's a bit lost in the foliage

#2 has the makings of a really beaut pic
I presume these little fellas live inside the cactus - where that small hole is
I wonder how much it will 'pop' with a tad more contrast + 10-20% saturation boost to bring more colour to the cactus (I presume it is a green-ish colour normally)

Other - yes I know what you mean when you 'just don't feel up to much' ... it happens to me regularly. Sometimes it's a bit of a wog, sometimes it's just internal emotional, no energy, no enthusiasm, etc.
There are plenty of times I come home with a card full of images, and after a couple of days of looking at them, just delete the lot as they have no spark

Travel safely
Phil
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Old Feb 8, 2020, 3:40 AM   #3
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I agree with Phil, #2 is a beautiful picture (the birds in them are beautiful as well).

#3 is, as far as I can see, a Northern Mockingbird, Mimus polyglottos.

Could you please email me some of that sun? If you want, I can send an abundance of overcast damp coldness in return.

Kjell
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Old Feb 13, 2020, 7:50 AM   #4
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Thanks for the comments!

The first one is as cropped as I can get it, the bird was far enough away that I wasnít sure what it was until I looked at the photo.

The second one is interesting as far as the lighting - it was taken during ďthe golden hourĒ so the light was very yellow. Iím afraid that I would not only have to adjust the saturation, Iíd have to mess with the white balance to get the saguaro to be itís real color. I just left it the way it came out, thought the sun angle and how there wasnít much shadowing interesting.

Kjell - Northern mockingbird does sound like a better ID, they are all over the US. And that would explain the wing patch. I was so focused on Arizona birds and trying to make it into a Cactus Wren that I didnít think of something as common as the mockingbird.

Iíd love to send you some of the Arizona sunshine Iíve been enjoying, but sure wouldnít want your damp overcast in return - at the moment Iím dependent on my house batteries and solar for my power needs. Iím camped near a wash/gully and was surprised how much water drained through it during a thunderstorm two days ago.

While the weather is good for my power needs, itís not good for photography - I pulled out my macro set-up to take photos of some tiny yellow flowers. As I was trying to get the flower in the viewfinder, the winds picked up.
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Old Feb 19, 2020, 9:02 AM   #5
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Thanks Harriet.
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