As I walked into the Gilbert Water Ranch — one of my favourite places for finding large-enough-to-be-photographed birds — I saw these ducks, anxiously hanging out on the shore of one of the water-treatment ponds. A sign of what was to come? You be the judge.
There were great egrets unambiguously hunting in a shallow pond. This is what my camera’s rapid-fire option was made for. Initial contact always makes a substantial sploosh.
There were pelicans floating around peacefully, looking for all the world like they wouldn’t try to steal a fish from a cormorant.
There were female avocets, edging me away from the all-white birds while carefully edging away from me through deep-ish waters. She’s wading, not swimming.
There was an adult night-crowned black heron and a nearby juvenile, more-or-less immobile. A parent/offspring duo? They weren’t saying, but their eyes are the same remarkable colour, so there’s that.
And finally, there were the stars of the show, dressed to kill as always: black-necked stilts.