Cochise County bird photography can be a challenge but also rewarding
Cochise County bird photography requires good equipment, the right location, some patience but a little luck on your side is key. Knowing when the birds are active and where they can be found will give you a leg up on your quest. The San Pedro River is the Cochise County gem that lures birders from all over the world. Most of the river that flows through Cochise County is located in the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area. Access locations to the river in the conservation area are limited. This makes the birding photography a project that you need to plan so that you can get the full benefit of your day.
The San Pedro River is the last undammed river in Arizona. The river flows above ground all the way into St. David. Down By The River B and B is unique because we are the only B and B at the northern end of the Riparian Area and we have access to the San Pedro River. Because of our location, one of the four requirements is met when you stay here. Having a good digital camera and a medium range zoom lens will satisfy most situations for Cochise County bird photography. Most birders are patient and will find a location close to activity where they can wait for that shot.
The most elusive thing is luck. I have seen birds posing for their photo when I didn’t have my camera. When I did have my camera, they would fly off before I could get it focused. When I was looking north the bird would be south of me. I have focused on a bird only to have it move to a spot where leaves or branches covered it up or it would turn its head so that you couldn’t see it. Ah but then you need patience right! Well at least persistence.
Lady luck is fickle and sometime she might allow you to be in the right place at the right time. I might be doing something else, see the bird and then go get the camera. Usually this doesn’t work because the bird leaves before I get back. I have taken 50 or more pictures of a bird and found one photo that is a great shot. Usually I never knew I had until I looked at it later. Two particularly shots that I love are when the birds are on the wing. I also have had the opportunity to see two Anna’s Hummingbirds fight. I watched for a while and then I got the camera. They were still going strong when I got back to film them for the last 10 minutes.
Other times for no known reason, I grab the camera on our way out the door although I don’t expect to use it. I may come around the corner and there is a chance for some great Cochise County bird photography. A prime example is my picture of a Gray Hawk. I have seen Gray Hawks here at the B and B over the years but was never able to get a picture. But recently we were leaving the b and b and had turned the corner onto Escalante, when I spotted a hawk on a telephone pole. I got a couple of shots through the car window and then we pulled closer. I opened the car door and got my camera focused with the zoom lens. I snapped off 4 pictures before the hawk took flight. Didn’t really know what I had when I took the picture. After getting on the computer later I found out that I had a great shot of a Gray Hawk. Lady Luck struck.