Friday, May 15, 2009


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!!!


Sylvia K said...

Marvelous post, Deborah! And, yes, it seems that so often even when I have my camera, I'll see something wonderful and it's gone in a second and I'm just standing there with my mouth open -- of course, my big mouth is open most of the time regardless! Have a great weekend!

bobbie said...

Yes, there are so many that got away. I especially remember standing in amazement as a whole flock of geese took off from a little estuary! I was standing right beside it, but it was screened with phragmites, and I didn't even know they were there.

Lin said...

how fun never knew back yard viewing could be so entertaining but then I live in the desert land of the tortoise, lizard and cockroaches....yuck!

Beth P. said...

Got the 'picture' anyway, thanks to your excellent descriptions, Deb!!

Annie said...

I loved picturing all these nature antics. What fun.

Kathiesbirds said...

Isn't that the way it always is! I missed a shot of a peregrine flacon flying overhead in Sycamore Canyon 2 days ago. In the 5 seconds it took me to go inside and get the camera it was gone!

Cloudia said...

Go wings, indeed!
I loved your word-photos, Deborah.
I love your blog ;-)
Aloha from Waikiki!

Ruth said...

I sometimes go out without my camera and just enjoy what I see. You cannot capture all life's special moments digitally, but that does not make them any less special. We watched a male cardinal feeding his mate on our fence. If I had gone for the camera I would have missed seeing it altogether.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Congrats to your Red Wings, Deb...

I know how you feel about not getting the pictures. Birds don't always cooperate, do they????? You have seen some beautiful birds though.


SandyCarlson said...

But you saw these guys! That is cool.

I have had plenty of almosts with my camera. The strange and serendipitous thing about this is that I often find what I wish I had taken to be on someone else's blog about the time I wish I had succeeded! So I am always encouraged by what is possible!

Indrani said...

So true, the first para. Lately I have been having so many such moments.

But you have picturised those 'missed' moments with words so well.