Remembering the "Golden Rule" of birding, we looked at the large groups of birds. At the Gilbert Water Ranch, we'd get clear shots of the elusive Northern Pintails and Lesser Scaup.
But we had to really observe. All these ducks today are a first for Las Aventuras. The eye can play tricks with ducks. Hybrids, female/male ducks, and similar looking ducks like the Canvasback/Redheads can cause one to lose track and blend them all together.
The important rule though is to keep your ears open. If a rare bird is spotted in your area, there's a chance that others may be around as well. Several posts ago, I spoke about searching for the Lesser Scaup at the Amado Recharge basin near Madera Canyon. At the time, I wasn't able to find the bird but this Gilbert Ranch experience really led us to some great observations.
But as you can imagine, the duck below was popular with families and their kids. Just a domestic duck. Still cute. This particular bird was a celebrity with the crowds at the park:)
But I'm weird. The Lesser Scaups hiding with all the others made me jump up and down. I rushed down the bridge to get close up shots!
Both sexes were found hiding in the Ring-necked Duck crowd. And I had to really focus and pay attention to find them. By this time, Kathie and I were exhausted and tired. We had spent an entire morning counting birds. We found over 50 birds but by the time we returned back to our car, our minds were drained and our bodies lacked nourishment.
The last bird I counted on this day would be another lifer for me....the Lesser Scaup. It just took more work and mental focus to find it:) And what little exists up in my head was then completely drained.
But Kathie and I weren't finished. There are two more posts coming up from our adventure and day off birding. It's serious business and it's never 1 or 2 hours with us......but an entire day. Just wait until you see what else we found:) What a trip! At the end of the day, we went home and slept. And didn't bird for several days afterwards:)