Birding with a camera

Most birdwatchers, or twitchers, as they are called in Britain, carry binoculars. I carry my camera. You can probably guess that I am not a serious birder with a long life-list and a longer list of exotic locations I’ve visited in the pursuit of elusive species. I have high regard (envy?) for the experts who can identify a bird by all its varied calls and songs or a glimpse of it on the wing. I appreciate the helpful ones who will say to me, “There’s a ______, in that tree, the one at two-o’clock in the direction you are facing.” I am not that kind of birder. I don’t have the eye or the knowledge, but I admire people who do. What a wonderful hobby it is! Solitary and, at the same time, social, because the birders I’ve met are always willing to share their discoveries with the rest of us.

I do my birding with a camera. I love to capture pictures of chickadees, nuthatches, woodpeckers, or whatever else presents itself, and I am rewarded by observing their behaviors, both social and antisocial. An hour or two with my camera in the park, wandering along the trails, usually alone, but sometimes in the company of others, feeds my soul. It is time that restores and energizes me. I believe that the Creator intends for us to get out and enjoy His (Her) creation, and for that I am ever thankful. Here are a few of my recent “captures.” I hope you enjoy them.

PS I wrote a “story” about my (failed) attempt to photograph an elusive pileated woodpecker today. You can read about it in my Blipfoto journal.

Carolyn aka Skip

This bold nuthatch was determined to get more than his share of the sunflower seeds.

Cold; no, scratch that! Freezing!

We ventured out this morning for brunch, followed by our traditional New Year’s Day photoshoot on Headlands Beach. Seven people and two dogs made the trek this year. That’s Lake Erie you see behind us in the distance. Headlands Beach is located about 25 miles east of Cleveland, Ohio, and in the summer time, crowds of beach-goers fill the park, and the air is redolent with the scent of hot dogs, hamburgers, and other picnic foods cooking on the grills. Today, the crowds were absent. The temperature at our home was about 27 degrees Fahrenheit, but it was a lot colder on the beach. Figure in the wind chill, and it was finger numbing frosty. My fingers still weren’t thawed by the time we drove home, and I told my grandson this venture had cured me of any possible interest in an expedition to the south pole. Not that I ever expressed such an interest. We didn’t linger on the beach. I set up the tripod; they gathered around the (cold metal) bench, and blip! I snapped the shutter a few times, and we headed for the cars.

In the picture you see my husband and two of our daughter standing behind the bench, with three of our grandchildren in front.

Waiting for the summer crowds to show up!
Waiting for the summer crowds to show up!
I told Alison to "Stand there while I check the focus."
I told Alison to “Stand there while I check the focus.”
The intrepid ones who braved the cold winds off Lake Erie
The intrepid ones who braved the cold winds off Lake Erie
Michael volunteered to take this shot so I could be in the picture.
Michael volunteered to take this shot so I could be in the picture.

That’s it for this first day of the new year. I hope you vicariously enjoyed your visit to the beach. Happy New Year, everyone!
Carolyn aka Skip

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