Its an odd February this year, unusually warm and in stark contrast to last year's record freeze. Many birds are making their appearance early, as if its spring. Yet when we go to photograph these lovely gems, they are perched in a menacing tangle of twigs. Its too early and the trees have yet to bloom.
So instead of capturing the birds out in the open as they nibble on fresh green foliage, we must fight our way through the terrible "stick people" who try to block every shot, no matter what the angle. A group of gorgeous Western Bluebirds stayed constantly out of range and only revealed their magnificent blue feathers during quick bursts of flight in and out of the twisted twiggy mesquite trees.
This beautiful male Northern Cardinal took pity on me and stepped out in the open just long enough for me to get a halfway clear shot before retreating back into obscurity.
This Black Phoebe (cleverly disguised as a Northern Rough-winged Swallow ;-) see comments) brazenly sat out in the open, taking a rest from a busy morning of dipping and diving along the river's edge, too tired to care about the paparazzi below.
Finally the resident pair of Bald Eagles at Coon Bluff stopped by and chatted away atop the cliff. A nice ending to a rather "sticky" day at the Salt River.
Photos (mediocre at best) by Peggy Thomas