The One That Got Away..

I sure wish I could show you an image. This will forever be my “one that got away” story of bird photography. I will get to that after a psuedo-count…

Woke up this morning and the chatter was crazy. I had a huge mixture of finches. Some purples and some house finches. I never saw a Goldie. But, all told there were about 12+. I think at one point I counted 15, but with all the fluttering around the feeder and to and from branches, it was very difficult to keep track of the dizzyness….a good problem indeed. There were a couple of doves on the ground along with a Junco or three. I had my Eurasians out in full force, too. There were about 6 of them between the tube feeders of sunflower seeds and nyjer seeds. I saw a Downy for a bit, and I saw a strange version of woodpecker I was never close enough to ID postively….probably a Hairy. But, it had red on the front AND back of the head. It was too small to be a Pileated or Red-bellied, and I know what those look like anyway. The Hairy’s and Downy’s look so similar, I didn’t think it was one of those. There aren’t many species other than those in my area of the world, but there is an outside shot at it being a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. I’ve never seen one, so that would have been really exciting! However, without confirmation, I can’t say that’s what it was….bummer.

I also saw my Carolina Wren poking around some stumps underneath my feeders. It was only the third time in this house I’ve seen him, and I have yet to get a shot of him.

My guess is that the activity is due to the overcast conditions again. That is certainly why I didn’t bother with the camera. Try catching a quality shot of a wren, chickadee, and/or a spastic group of finches when your fastest shutter speed is around 1/100. I’ll tell you what happens when you load the images into the computer……zip. Very few come out nice enough to post anywhere. It has also been super “raw” today with temps never getting over 35F. Again, that leads to activity with those little metabolisms. However, that suddenly changed when I brought the kids home from school…

I looked out the window and the Carolina Wren was back! I watched him for a bit as he poked around the stumps again. In fact, one stump is tipped over and he was crawling in and out like he was checking it out as a potential place of residence. At first glance, I thought he was a chipmunk in there. So, the more I watched, the more I was tempted to grab the camera. However, I know how this goes….I grab the camera, go downstairs to get on his level, I pop open the window and he makes like an F18 on a carrier deck…..whoooosh….he’s off….provided he was still there in the first place. But, I tried anyway.

I got downstairs, I decided NOT to open the window since he was still there hopping around. I opened up the aperture to f/5.6 and got a shutter of 1/100….go figure. I had some work cut out for me. That wren hopped right on top of the stump with a perfect background. I autofocused, pulled the trigger, and BAM….I had it!! And, I KNEW it!! That little bugger couldn’t have posed any prettier for such a slow shutter speed. I had to check the exposure in the LCD, though.

So, I looked down, pulled it up, and it was perfect. I had a corker of a shot in the first snap. After the little 4 second review period, however, the screen goes black, and that infamous, frustrating, curse word inspiring, emotionally deflating yellow box pops up….

No image card.  Let me tell ya my camera about took off like an F18 on a carrier deck!


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