All photographers of birds (and other critters) know this. Sometimes even when you have your camera in hand, you don't get the shot. Sometimes it all happens so unexpectedly, and in a flash your brain processes the choice, before you can even consciously think it - you can either try for a shot which you won't get anyway, or you can stand there and witness it, a slow exhalation of amazement escaping from your lips. Here's a few of those I missed over the last few days:
- Two male Northern (Baltimore) Orioles had an aerial dogfight, a clawing tumbling pinwheel of black and orange flashing in the sun
- A groundhog dashed through my backyard, up over the breakwall and disappeared, with several mobbing grackles in hot pursuit. The groundhog was surprisingly agile and fast for such a portly fellow.
- A White-crowned Sparrow landed right outside my window and preened it's wings while I held my breath.
- At the base of the red maple, a male Cowbird nipped the Mallard drake right on his curly behind when the duck tried to move in on his seed. The Mallard jumped in the air like he was spring-loaded, and didn't even have time to use his wings!
- A Red-headed Woodpecker flew through the air like black and white signal flags.
More birding news: the Red Wings beat the Ducks last night to advance to the next round, against the Blackhawks. GO WINGS!!!