Thursday, November 20, 2008

If at first you don't succeed, keep trying

November 12th through the 15th I went to Seattle, Washington for a conference. During down time I took the #11 bus to the intersection of Madison St. and Lake Washington Blvd. to visit Washington Botanical Gardens for some birding. Despite diligent searching I did not see one life bird, or even an annual bird, here. I did find many flocks of chickadees, kinglets, and bushtits. Bushtits are tiny, flitting little birds. One bushtit flock was feeding in a low bush just along the path. My camera is not great for taking photos of fast moving birds (or even slow moving birds,) and to make matters worse, I'm not great at bird photography. But, I keep trying. I got out my camera and started shooting. I took many photos, and not just those shown above. I deleted three times as many showing only blurry branches and leaves. Believe it or not, at least there's a bird in each of the three photos above. Can you find the bird?

But, to my surprise and happiness, when I downloaded the photos to my computer, the little guy below was amongst them. I think this is quite possibly one of the best bird photographs I have ever taken. I have absolutely no idea how I got this shot. Pure luck. Because my photos are generally not great, I don't even bother to look at them until after downloading them. Then I'm deleting more than I'm keeping. I have cropped this shot to make the bird bigger and easier to see in this blog. But the original image, though smaller, looks just as nice.


Some good bird photographers are probably looking at this little bird and wondering, "what's so great about that?" My response - "you try photographing a Bushtit.

Addition to this original post made on June 29, 2011:

Keith Saylor, from Michigan, posted this charming video on the Michigan birders listserve.  Completely captivating.  I've linked here to keep for occasional viewing.

Bushtit young leaving nest

Thanks, Keith