Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Wild Bird Wednesday 88 - American Waders

In the imagination of most people Arizona is a desert - cactus, sand, Monument Valley, John Ford and such like.

So, if came as a bit of a surprise that I ended up at a large wetland complex on my day of bird watching.   I was lucky enough to be able to get a professional guide to drive me around locations - and possibly more important, identify the birds I had never seen before.  (If you are ever looking for a guide in Arizona, especially the South West region, let me know and I will give you a recommendation).

The other thing about this location that made me laugh was that it was a waste water treatment plant!  Just like Werribee, a very well known birding location west of Melbourne, the nutrient rich water we produce attracts birds by the dozen. To put it another way, I had flown for the best part of day, landed in a desert and was bird watching at a sewage works!

Birders are a strange lot!

If you get a chance to go to the Gilbert Water Ranch, I would recommend it.  (I would also recommend Werribee as well, but its a very long walk between the two.)

Almost as soon as we walked into the reserve we were seeing birds - some of which actually walked towards, rather than away from, us.  Stranger still.

American Avocet

American Avocet

Long-Billed Dowitcher

Black-Necked Stilt

Black-Necked Stilt
Black-Necked Stilt
I think that I was so surprised by the Stilt walking towards me that I forgot to include the whole reflection of the bird - shame really.

Now for the harder bit - please, please, please can you just include a name and short location in the title for the links - Stewart M - Australia, Fred Flintstone, AZ,  B. Potter, Cumbria - in the link ups.

Now for the even harder bit - after 88 weeks of Wild Bird Wednesday, I have received my first grumpy email from a WBWer about a lack of comments from me and others on their blog.  Last week I was suffering from near terminal jet-lag and may have been "off my game".  But, please remember that I am a husband, Dad to two primary aged kids, human being and research worker before I am the host of WBW.  Clearly, this comment is not directed at the vast majority of people who link up, comment on or just view WBW, and for that I apologise.  But I really don't need to check my mail in the mornings to find the people think I am the "victim of my own success".  As I said birders, and possibly more so, bloggers, are strange lot!

Now, its back to the normal format - it's your turn to join in.  Just click on the link below and off you go (but remember to keep the label short!!)  Cheers, and thanks to everyone who makes this whole WBW thing work!  SM


59 comments:

TexWisGirl said...

you, dear stewart, are a fine host and always a regular visitor/commenter. and you do have a busy life, too. you keep doing what you're doing as we appreciate you.

i loved these beautiful waders! the avocets and stilts are such dainty looking beings! glad you got to see these beauties!

HOOTIN ANNI said...

Y'wonder how long it would take me to 'walk' across water to reach Werribee?

The avocets are a favorite of mine, you managed to find them in their summer colors...in winter they're white/black/gray. [I think that is the way it is]

...and I always appreciate your hosting. I host another birding photo blog on the weekend, and I know that you get much much more links added...it takes a lot of time to host!!!

R. Mac Wheeler said...

Yeah. Birds I recognize from the gulf beaches.

Hope you're enjoying your trip state-side.

Andrea said...


Well you made me grumpy today ... I have lived in these United States for XX years and have never seen any of the birds you pictured today in your post and that makes me grumpy. But, that said, I love the pictures ... all of them and hope, now that I know where they are and when they are there, that I will be able to go see them someday.(After I visit Australia, of course).

You have actually been lucky because I have received spiteful comments on my blog and have finally concluded that people who respond that way to anyone's efforts are more self concerned than interested in enjoying what they see on our blogs. You, my friend, are a miracle worker the way you balance your life, your family, your work, your hobbies (note hobbies is a plural)your blogger friends and your blogs. Anyone who can't see that is blind and self centered and shouldn't be of concern to you. But I know that you felt the sting of it and I am sorry. You are the best in my book and people like that, don't really matter in the long run. Be well, Stuwart and don't change a thing. You have it right!

Andrea @ From The Sol

Andrea said...

P.S. ... I do know how to spell Stewart. Just a senior moment :)

Andrea

Karen said...

Well, the birds sure are lovely even in the sewage works! You got some excellent shots, with terrific reflections!

I have received some nasty comments on my blog and in email. I have even had people stop following my blog because they don't get "enough" comments from me! Such is life in the blogging world, don't let it get to you Stewart.

Findlay Wilde said...

I would still do Wild Bird Wednesday even if I got no comments because I love to see everyone else's bird pictures. So if you are busy you don't have to comment on my blog, I really wouldn't mind and please don't stop doing WBW. From Findlay

Gordon said...

Great photos Stewart, I've always thought our Avocet is a smart bird, but I think that one has the edge.
All the best Gordon.

dinascitywildlife.com said...

I agree with everyone above. I don't "expect" comments from anyone, although nice to get.

P.S. So jealous on those avocet shots. Beautiful. I still haven't seen these guys and I'm a lot closer to them I think than you are.

Kenneth Cole Schneider said...

What a trip! I cannot get over how tame the birds become in the water treatment wetlands we have here in Florida (e.g., Green Cay, Wakodahatchee). Here in my neighborhood wetlands I think I'm one of the few humans they ever see and they are very skittish! I share your shame and pain as I have not been reciprocating with comments these past few weeks due to a lingering ailment, now behind me I hope, then a succession of house guests that have turned my computer room into a spare bedroom, and the resulting huge backlog of e-mails. Will try to get back on track and do appreciate your many visits to my site. Also just realized I did not give location, which is my back yard in Miramar, Florida.

Pat Tillett said...

Nice photos Stewart! I've never heard of that place, I'll be checking it out as soon as I have a chance.

Jo said...

Dear Stewart, take it from me that you're the perfect host, and like the rest of us (even us dilly birders, LOL) you manage to comment as often as any of us do! Thanks for this post: I love the American Avocet and the Black-necked Stilt. I would give my eye-teeth to see a Dowitcher. Although it doesn't feature in my Birds of Africa, South of the Sahara bird book, I know that this bird was (after much deliberation by the birding fraternity) included in the Roberts Birds VII (Southern Africa). It passed through South Africa and does appear in that edition. Here's wishing you and your family a lovely week ahead. Greetings, Jo

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

Amazing photos - I never thought of sewer treatment plants as a place for birding - I'll have to check that out. The shorebirds you captured are fabulous - I have yet to find a great amount of them near us - but I keep looking - even though our city is on a huge bay.

Mama Zen said...

Gorgeous shots!

amanda | wildly simple said...

No one needs grumpy emails! :)

I'm the same - I get around to reading blogs when there aren't more pressing things to do. And that - is unpredictable!

I love that American Avocet. The long, upturned bill is striking -
As are your photos!

mick said...

What a treat to see some shorebirds from the USA. Great photos and such colorful birds.
Thanks for hosting WBW - you are appreciated!!

HansHB said...

Awesome serie, - so many details to study! Love your post!

Optimistic Existentialist said...

Stewart, you are one of my favorite bloggers. Don't let that email get you down. I am not a fan of people writing such an email - it's actually rather presumptuous. We are people with lives outside of blogging and sometimes we're just not able to comment as regularly.

cobie en bas van Es said...

wat is hij mooi die lange stelten geven hem alure

Phil Slade said...

I agree Stewart. It's strange that in various parts of the world the same species can be totally different in how close or far away they feel comfortable with humans, Black-winged Stilts a prime example. great pics by the way.

Don't let a few grumps distract you. Everyone is aware of how much work is involved in hosting this blog.

Brian King said...

Gorgeous photos and a very nice variety, none of which we have here in Kentucky! Treatment plant or not, you must go where the birds are, eh?

No complaints here. We all get busy.

eileeninmd said...

Hello Stewart, great birds seen at the waste water treatment plant..The Avocet looks pretty with his breeding colors. And I love the adorable Stilt. Great photos. I personally have no problems with you commenting or visiting. I know you are busy and will manage to visit and comment when you can! I am the type that will comment on everyone's post whether they visit me or not..Thanks for hosting, have a happy week ahead.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

In my wildest nightmares I CANNOT imagine any human being let alone a birder complaining to you at all. We are all so grateful to you for providing us this wonderful opportunity. I can't thank you enough. (And being an old retired great-grandmother, I can't imagine how you manage to blog, raise your happy family and oh yes that 4-letter job WORK (which obviously you excel at too, not surprisingly). If you ever have time to visit and comment that is a huge bonus and one we love but do not expect as a matter of coarse!

Thank you so much and just ignore that idiot whoever it was.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

We have birded water treatment facilities in California and in Texas and they were great places. Wish I could visit the two you mention here (might have a chance someday at the AZ one I suppose).

Avocets are one of my absolute favorites. Haven't seen one for quite a while.

DeniseinVA said...

Sorry about my link Stewart, I had put in a shortened version with my name and place but it was changed to what it is now and is a bit long.

Love your bird photos, amazing about its location but if I could have seen these beautiful birds I would like you have gone anyway. I just never thought of them as great birding places before and I learned something new today.

Neil said...

Sewage plants are a great place for birds.Makes a change to have the birds come to you.

Carole M. said...

great photos Stewart - great also to see the American version, Avocet. Waders/shorebirds aren't always so easy to get decent photos of; you did well!

Hats off to you Stewart, your long-time followers realize your commitments, and 'regulars' of the birding blogs generally manage to leave a comment randomly, say a set of 5 - 8 responses, sometimes more, depending on time restraints.

Someone will always miss out - on some occasions, maybe this is what has happened here.

It's fine, most of us accept that, keep on creating your wonderful photos and blog posts in your own way Stewart, it's why we keep coming back :).

Chris Rohrer said...

You saw a lot of $%^&! Literally! The Gilbert Water Ranch is a great place to find so many wonderful birds. It looks like you had a wonderful time. My first time there, I was overwhelmed by all the birds. Congrats!

Margaret Adamson said...

HI Stewart i am HORRIFIED that you have received such an email from "GRUMPY". As it has been said before, I marvel how you can juggle, family works, travel, research and hosting a very busy blog. Hats off to you and to top it off, your own posts and photographs are wonderful. I know you try and comment as often as you can and that is how it should be, NO one should EXPECT a comment, it is great to get them but like young Finday said, you can always leave me off a comment if you are strapped for time. Recently, I personally have not had the same time to make comments myself and have decided NOT to beat myself up about it. I try to post every day to those people who love getting my posts and this for me is more important. I am on holidays at present however I just had to write to you and tell you NOT to worry or give "GRUMPY" another minute of your time. We love you, your blog and your wonderful hosting abilities. You have helped my personally in the past, no matter how busy you were and I appreciate you very much. Have a great day. I will be posting (my Wednesday).

Margaret Adamson said...

HI Stewart I forgot to say that I think the photographs on this post are outstanding. I am away to have a cold shower to stop my blood boiling over!!!

seniorhiker said...

You got some marvelous pictures, even if the site was somewhat different from what would normally be expected.

Montanagirl said...

Beautiful bird photos, Stewart. Yes, just keep doing what you're doing - I too appreciate it when you take the time to visit and comment on my blog. I had a lady comment today that she preferred my post photo today - but my Header, not so much. LOL. I don't mind. People are entitled to their opinion. I just happen to love messing with filters.

Arija said...

Thanks for the Avocet ID Stewart and sorry about the odd link. For some reason best known to Mr.Linky, the link site keeps jumping about, brings up the wrong photos of other people's sited. Same thing happens at Our World and SkyWatch
Nice to see your far-away birds.

aktuellabilder said...

Lovely pictures as always. I really like the one with the Avocet standing on one leg.

Spare Parts and Pics said...

Really great photos, Stewart. Glad you were able to get some birding in while in AZ.

Stewart M said...

Thanks to everyone who has commented about the "grumpy" email.

I just think I was a bit shocked by the original email!

Cheers, SM

Donna Heber said...

Hi Stewart,

Thank you for hosting this wonderful party! I always enjoy stopping to visit you and your feathered friends. Beautiful photos.

Ramakrishnan Ramanathan said...

Charming and sprightly little birds with slim long beaks !

Pete Shanley said...

HI Stewart,
I think it has all been said!
Great pictures as always. I'm intrigued how often birds in different hemispheres can look the same but then just a little different!
Peter

Bryan said...

Thanks as always for hosting. I had a couple of similar birds this week and we didn't even coordinate :)
Beautiful images as always. And I also get a little too excited sometimes and miss a great element like the full reflection. Photography takes too much thinking.

LadyD Piano said...

I love these guys standing on one leg, especially surrounded by a very nice water reflection!

Larry said...

Gorgeous shots of our American birds Stewart! I've been away from the memes for awhile, working on conservation issues, and I'm glad to see you have been able to visit the U.S. and do some birding here. I remember your constant lament about not being able to see hummingbirds and now you have seen at least three species! I hope to have the time to once again join the wonderful group of birders on your meme and visit as many as I can. As for the grumpy commenter, I wouldn't give it a second thought. Obviously someone with no class. It often perplexes me when I see you have hosted 50 some bloggers and not all of them even left a comment on YOUR post! What's up with that? Anyway, thanks for hosting WBW!

Small City Scenes said...

Very neat birds. I like the one with the reflection. The avocet is very pretty I think. Well they all are pretty. And interesting.
MB

Small City Scenes said...

I am upset that you of all people received a weird email. Clearly that person is a self-centered idiot. We all thank you for hosting this and appreciate it. Plus we get to peek a bit into you busy life and hear wonderful stories. THANKS!!!
MB

A Quiet Corner said...

Oh these remind me of the birds we'll soon be seeing in Aruba!...:)

Ela said...

Gorgeous photos of birds.
I am delighted with reflections on the water.
Greetings

bailey-road.com said...

Great shots of these beautiful waders and their reflections.
Thanks, Stewart, for taking the time and trouble to host Wild Bird Wednesday!

Connie Smiley said...

How cool is that, to have birds run toward you? Do you suppose they heard you were the WBW guy? And a very good host, indeed. I don't know how you do it.

pattisjarrett said...

I'm sorry you got such an email. I often wonder how you do all that you do. I appreciate you hosting WBW so we can share the passion for our avian friends from all over the world. I'm glad our friendly birds were so happy to greet you on your recent visit, and I had to laugh at your description aside from the desert.

Shey Wicklund said...

Fantastic sightings of these waders and well-captured. I've seen American avocets but my photos are not as good as yours. Nice work, Stewart.

Jen said...

The stilt is one of my favorites. I'm glad you got to see so many beautiful birds during your visit.

Please ignore the troll. If he/she invested more time reading and leaving intelligent comments on other blogs and less time being a jerk, he might receive more visitors and more comments.

Mary Cromer said...

Well, I have no complaints and not sure what you mean about name and location in link title, but if not already doing this, I will do my best. Very grateful to you for doing what you do, and doing it well. Comments are wonderful to give and receive, but even I have a difficult time, as I have many responsibilities and at times, I just cannot get to everything and I always hope people will understand. I am so happy that you made it to Arizona and the birds you saw... I have only seen the American Avocet, aren't they amazing! Your shares are all great and maybe one day, you shall make it to KY USA ;)

Gail Dixon said...

First of all, I am very sorry someone actually had the nerve to complain! Sometimes I can visit other links; sometimes I am too swamped with work or life to do so. You are doing a fine job as host and most of us realize you have more important duties in life than blogging. Please don't let one sour apple spoil your fun or ours.

Secondly, the avocet and stilts are birds I am dying to see in person one day. Your images of them are stellar. I had to laugh that you were at a sewage treatment plant - was the smell unbearable? Oy vey!

Dział Przyrody MŚO said...

Wonderful photos of birds!
Best regards from Poland/Michał and Piotr

NatureFootstep said...

all 3 of them are beautiful and gorgeous birds. Would love to see the American Avocet. The ones in Europe don´t have the red colors.

Wally Jones said...

Fantastic birds, Stewart!
Fantastic photographs, Stewart!
Fantastic blogging site, Stewart!

(We're supposed to comment on blogs??? Who knew???)

If that's the only negative email you've received about WBW, you must be doing something right!

Cheers!

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