I have come to expect the unexpected here in the Sonoran Desert. One of those unexpected things is ducks. I was surprised to see them by the thousands on my first visit to Sweetwater Wetlands and I was surprised to find them swimming in Sabino Creek yesterday. It's not that they don't belong there, it's more that I haven't seen them there in all my visits. When I go out to places like Sabino I know there's a pretty good chance that I'll see Roadrunners and Phainopeplas and at certain times of year I can count on Western Bluebirds and even American Robins but Mallards not so much.
Seeing something unexpected is part of the reason why I spend so much time on, around, and near water here in the desert. http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Mallard/id
This pool is just above where I spotted the Mallards and when I arrived the sun had not breached the canyon peaks until this moment when the water turned from gray to these beautiful reflections. I have always enjoyed photographing reflections in water so it was nice to have my tripod and ND filter with me to see what was possible.
On this visit I also saw Gnatcatchers, White-tailed Deer, Roadrunner, Phainopepla, Curved-billed Thrasher and Northern Cardinal. Again I looked and looked but did not see a mountain lion but I always have the feeling that a mountain lion sees me.