Two Hours with the Birds

Some days are bet­ter than oth­ers are for pho­tog­ra­phers who choose to focus on wild birds. Some days I can’t get a decent bird pho­to­graph no mat­ter how hard I try. The birds are there but are too busy to both­er with me, or off some­where hunt­ing for a new feed­ing ground, or marsh. Or they don’t like the weath­er, the sun is not shin­ing or they insist on stay­ing in a shad­ow. What­ev­er, they are sim­ply not coop­er­at­ing.

And then, a day comes along when it seems like all the birds want to be pho­tographed and they gath­er around pre­sent­ing their best sides. Sat­ur­day March 28th 2009 was one of those days. I thought you might like to see what I acquired — in just over two hours.

For about 45 min­utes I perched on my Walk­stool in a sun warmed half-med­i­ta­tive state hold­ing my cam­era in my lap watch­ing noth­ing at all of inter­est when sud­den­ly this mag­nif­i­cent bird loomed itself in from my right, so close that I could hard­ly keep it framed in my viewfind­er as I scram­bled to get the shot!

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Great Blue Heron in flightFor­tu­nate­ly , I got the shot.

Then, sil­hou­et­ted by the morn­ing sun, this West­ern Grebe sailed by, head high and state­ly. Aloof, as always. Or maybe just focused on fill­ing its emp­ty stom­ach. Grace­ful in the silence, anoth­er shot to keep.

Western GrebeThen noth­ing. No image to keep.

Now I am tempt­ed to look into the pre­view win­dow on the back of my cam­era, to see if the com­po­si­tion was right, if the light­ing was good, or just to ful­ly enjoy the beau­ty of the last two shots.
But I don’t, I don’t because I know that the Pho­to God will send me anoth­er great image while my atten­tion is away from where it should be, and I will say bad words at myself for miss­ing it.

Then I notice this big-foot­ed dorky look­ing Snowy Egret hop­ping from rock to rock, peer­ing in the cracks.  Not much here, I thought, but I took the shot any­way. Just “for the record” I say to myself – in a dig­i­tal world ‘film’ costs noth­ing.

Snowy Egret fishing on the rocks

Now who would think that this unim­pres­sive big-foot­ed bird could sud­den­ly trans­form into a grace­ful white-winged won­der and lift off into the sky.Snowy Egret in flightBut it did just that, and flew right past me as if to say, “Look at me now!”

Wow! By now, I am ful­ly attuned to what I came to do, take pho­tos of birds. No more dreamy half med­i­ta­tion in the warm­ing air for me. I’ll save that for my reclin­er, lat­er.

Final­ly, after a time, I was abun­dant­ly reward­ed when these two Cana­da Geese honked their way into this ‘cal­en­dar shot.’  “Take us, take us, take us, too!”

Canada Geese in flightNot bad for two hours, don’t you think?  What more could I ask?

So I picked up my cam­era and stool and trudged to my car, eager to get home and upload these to my com­put­er where I could crop them as need­ed and print them.

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2 Responses to Two Hours with the Birds

  1. Nancy says:

    Love the “day in the life” approach. I heard a deep­er mes­sage of still­ness and sur­ren­der, know­ing that the Bird God will pro­vide. What a clear demon­stra­tion that when we fol­low our inspi­ra­tion, life pro­vides. Thanks Richard.

    • admin says:

      Thanks, Nan­cy.
      As always, you look under­neath for the deep­er aspect. I’ll bet that when a child, you turned over rocks to see the under­side!
      Richard

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