Birds of the Week

Wet and cold winter linger. Except a few early blooms, colors are sporadic and barely visible.  Bird activities seems to usually start in February and that’s where my camera goes.

In my continuous pursuit of Western bluebirds, I found them in more places. They are around, but if not for the luck, they are usually too distant to reach. I desired a clear shot with their gorgeous feather fully shown, but whenever that opportunity popped up, they were in the shade.  It seems to me that their natural instinct teaches them the risk of fatal attraction.Black Phobes are common here. They don’t have dramatic outlook and thus can enjoy their freedom everywhere.  We all want to be unique and outstanding, but being ordinary is not necessarily a bad thing.

Cedar Waxwing is one of my all-time favorites. I have enough of their pictures, but I can never get tired of taking more.

I am not a serious birder. I am in for good images (and the satisfaction of seeing), not for number counts. However, I am happy to add a new bird to my list. This Oak Timouse finally came closer for a shot, but it’s an early morning of a cloudy day…

I thought this is a new bird, but they are juvenile Western Bluebird.

They wear red caps like Acorn Woodpecker, but Nuttall’s Woodpeaker has striped outfit.

Thriving trees and shrubs are in the vicinity, but Acorn Woodpecker is doing his woodwork on somebody’s house.  If your house is aged, be aware.

Enough of birds, I am longing for spring colors, or, more new birds.

 

Sunshine Act

Nature provides me inspiration. Sunshine brings me energy. Nature was my comfort zone and now I am chasing sunshine. Not only me, birdies are more active when they have more choices of berries and seeds. At least I have not seen a gold finch hanging himself upside down till now.

So hard to capture a warbler. They are so fast-paced that chance to have a clear shot depends purely on luck. When the light is good, success rate increases. I have not photographed them from this angel.

And guess what, sunshine brought me a golden opportunity to capture my favorite bird, another Western Bluebird:

Bluebird

Completely unexpected, I ran into a small flock of bluebirds. I may have seen one from distance in the past. This first closer encounter has made my day. Though he hid himself in the shade, I am content with what I got. You know I will continue to pursue that perfect shot particularly such a gorgeous creature.

Bewick’s Wren is not uncommon, but a clear shot in the right angle does not come easy. Two favorite birds in a shoot, I call it a good day.

 

Out of Comfort Zone

My Ready-to-Act is ‘Get out of Comfort Zone’ and explore something new.  Retirement is nice, but action seems to energize me more. Just being bathed by sunshine and early colors, I feel joyful.

At home, snow just passed through and cold chill remains,

 

 

Ready to Act

Winter is cold, but not cold enough to snow not mentioning ice. I love to photograph ice-coated vegetation, but no luck so far. Without hanging out with real birders, I did not know birding is an all-year-round activity. No ice, Birds are active and their action energized me.

However, I am not patient enough to wait around and capture the extreme action moment when the birds caught their prey. It is just the motion prior to the real action.

This is the last blog of the year and it sums up my six years of dedicated photography journey. I am ready to experiment something new which involves a small portion of photography.  I hope to continuously share what I am to capture and what’s in my mind going forward when time permits.

Happy New Year to YOU ALL who have been reading my blogs and my moral support.

Bird Talk and Thoughts

Passing through northern California, I was attracted to the sea of Snow Geese. They are the resemblance of Canadian Geese in our area. It’s so fun to watch their large community gathering on the field, taking off, and marching in the air. Birds have no place to ‘go home’, but their habitat is much beautiful and peaceful than ours. As a single, they might not look as distinctive as other exotic birds. As a whole, their uniform movement is quite interesting.

This is not the first time I intended to communicate with the birds. I could not get a good shot of the hawks until recently. When this Red-tailed Hawk turned his head to acknowledge my greetings, I was thrilled.  

First I saw the Hawk was harassing the Crow. Without having them exposed by the camera, I would never notice that it’s now the Hawk was running for life.  In our real life, we have our turn to be Up and Down. Don’t lose heart. Keep up and stick to the goal.

Egret has that beautiful white feather. It looks, even more, appealing when it’s all fluffy in the cold weather. Birds instinctively know how to keep themselves warm. I, however, cannot figure out why he stood there on one foot. Maybe his foot was hidden inside the feather for heat.

Ever since I began to get some hawk shots, there are more seen and captured. I have to say this is my theory of ‘secret of desire’. When you desire hard and long, things will become to unfold for you. 

Ibis has a unique curved beak and long legs. I have seen Egyptian Ibis in Asia and White Ibis in Central American, but this Glossy Ibis is new to me.

It was a shortstop and a brief bird walk. The findings are quite amazing. I only dropped a few here to share.

 

Raptors

Raptors are larger birds, such as Hawk, Eagles, Falcons, Owls, and Kites etc. the so-called Birds of Prey. They have strong talons and beaks to hunt their prey in a flash. It’s a photographer’s joy to capture them in action. I am an incidental photographer. Every once a while, I got lucky. If not, I am content with a clear shot.

American Kestrels are everywhere, but most of the time, way up there on the electric wires. This guy was not too far from me and the light is good, but he was just not looking in my direction. Out of desperation, I yelled and made all sorts of noise. Finally, he turned his head.

Usually, I either saw hawks hovering in the sky or perching on the fence by the road while I was driving. On this route recommended by my birding group, I saw at least 6 of Red-Tailed Hawks walking on the field. To most hawk shooters, this is nothing new, but it’s new to me.

Bald Eagle is the emblem of America. They have that distinctive and majestic outlook.  

Raptors themselves are beautiful creatures as long as I don’t witness how they tear their preys apart and demonstrate the nature of predators.

Blackbirds are nobody’s favorite, but in this instant, I appreciate their presence.

Winter Birds

It’s cold outside. Stepping out of the comfort zone isn’t always easy. I have been waiting for frost or (better) ice to be coated on the tree, rocks or anything, but up to this point, the lonely birdie is all I have:

Was thinking to spice it with some interesting background, but I decided to leave it alone. This is exactly what it looks like outdoors. Interesting that my winter faithful visitors are often the more common ones, such as junco and sparrows. Perhaps they have a larger community and have to work harder.

Early Holiday Greetings

Haven’t out much lately, I was thrilled to see these egrets. They perched themselves nicely and decorated the tree. Imagine the snowflakes are dancing in the background and the white Christamas ornaments come alive…

Sending holiday greetings to YOU ALL !!!

 

 

Morning Inspiration

It’s a hint of rainbow colors, a subtle highlight of the background,  a natural phenomenon, a God’s covenant, a divine promise… whatever on your mind is whatever it should be. How you see it is most important.

It’s a bright early morning on a chilly day. With Sun included, nobody was anxious to rise and shine. This party of Mother and Boy inspired me to pull my head out of the stocking cap, and hands from the gloves.

Looking at either of the pictures, I feel energized and relaxed at the same time.