Thursday, March 24, 2011

Birding FAIL!

I've been sorting photos all evening. It's amazing how many get put aside to review later, and then buried under the newest arrivals. Some, I may never get to.

These are from our visit to Reifel Island Bird Sanctuary three weeks ago.

Sandhill crane. Last year's chick.

Dry grasses, with grumpy heron.

Redwing blackbird male, vocalizing.

I picked up this feather on the trail. Possibly from a wigeon.

And this last photo is so frustrating! On our way back to the gate, Laurie took a photo of a little brown bird in an evergreeen. The bird flew away, leaving only a blur. Reviewing the photos at home, I almost tossed this one before I saw, 'way up at the top, a large, suspiciously bird-like, dark shape behind the branches. I cropped and brightened the photo, and found this:

Two big owls (or eagles?), right over our heads, that we never even saw.

Reminder to self; go SLOW! Look behind things! Stop thinking about home and supper!


  1. UGH! Almost better to not realize they were there! :)

  2. 1. great photos! Delightful, and nice interpretation (grumpy heron). That feather is amazing!

    2. Yes, re: oh, man, there was X there (via my camera) and I had no idea. Cracks me up. One of the costs of selective attention--we filter things out to focus, but there are costs, esp. re: picking up all possible wildlife.

    3. I hear you re: photos (electronically) piling up. I found the pics for yesterday's Yosemite winter post from 2007 and had no idea they were there. "Hey, those are pretty nice!" =)

  3. I hope you have a better photo storage system than I do. I am saving up for an external memory drive, but until then I have some photos on my memory cards, some on flash drives, some on my brother's computer, some on .... and so on. Yikes!

    I love the 'grumpy heron'. He really does look grumpy, doesn't he? usually they stand so tall and proud!

    I hope you are having a wonderful week!

  4. I think those "owls" might be Bald Eagles...just the way the brown feathers look through the branches.

    Wildlife always surprise us in the unlikely moments.

  5. PSYL, Could be. It's not a place where eagles hang out, usually; low over the water in fairly thick brush, and a few feet off the trail. There's a nest a little ways farther on, but high at the top of a tall tree.

    Looking at the photos again, I see that what I thought was sky over the head of the most visible bird could be the white head of an eagle. Hard to tell for sure.

    Clytie, I have an external hard drive, a cheap one that I picked up at an office supply store. I move most of my photos over to it about once a month, or so, and with several thousand photos there, it's barely 1/5 full.

  6. Such fantastic birds - envious as always

  7. I had the same impression PSYL did about those lumps, although they're kind of acting like potoos...

  8. Great post Susannah. I had to chuckle about the pile of photos. If I haven't taken any photographs for awhile, I go through my old ones and ALWAYS find great shots that I totally forgot I had!

    I love your Sandhill Crane photo. If you haven't heard about the proposed Sandhill Crane hunts, please read my post here or Julie Zickefoose' post here and write some letters!

    I always miss other birds and animals in my photos when I'm concentrating on my subject too. Or sometimes I misidentify a bird until I see the photo later.

    I think I see white tail feathers below each of your mystery birds. I think they may be Bald Eagles too.

  9. Larry, Thanks for the reminder about the Sandhills. I signed the petition. I am in Canada, so I don't know how much weight a letter from me would have.


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