Thursday, December 20, 2012

Teal' Next Time We Meet

Green-winged Teal...
For a long time now, these guys have titillated and tantalized me. They're the most common Teal in Arizona, and in fact I often see them in greater numbers than Pintails or Gadwalls, and yet I have not gotten good enough photos to fit their easy visibility. Seeing how common they can be, I feel that I should have some awesome, un-cropped close ups with these winter-fowl by now. With great numbers come great photographic responsibility, know what I mean?

So, this autumn and winter one of my side projects has been to improve my Green-winged Teal portfolio. There are good numbers of these birds at the Glendale Recharge Ponds, but the best place to see, and often photograph them, is at the Gilbert Water Ranch.

All three Teal (Cinnamon and Blue-winged being the other two, which I also have had little luck in photographing) tend to avoid the smaller urban ponds around Phoenix, the ponds which have provided me with excellent photo-ops on other ducks, so by and large I have resigned myself to the more distant, more cropped shots that this bird's shyness demand.

Even as they continue to frustrate me, there's slow progress, and I think I've improved from last year.
Like lots of other iridescent birds, their sharp looking green can turn into a cobalt blue in different angles of lighting, making them both verdant and versatile subjects.
I wish I could say that this Teal and the Least Sandpiper continue feeding without noticing each other and then bumped heads, but alas once again the Teal thwarted my photographic desires and turned around. Til' next time Teal...til' next time.