Thursday, June 24, 2010

Mr. Personality

Mr. Personality, originally uploaded by Winged Wench.
This little guy, as well as all barn swallows, can be very humorous to watch. I get the feeling when watching them, however, that it's not so funny to them. The subject of this photo held onto this feather for close to an hour, at the same time obviously calling for his mate, to show her "his present". I observed him for well over 2 hours-until dark, and she never came home. After about an hour of this feather dance, he dropped it, losing interest in it entirely. This is when he really began losing patience while awaiting her arrival.  It was as if that feather was his last shred of his sanity. He became more and more excited, staying within 50 feet of  the dock, where I had initially spotted him. I am assuming their nest was under this dock, due to him never leaving that area. As the sun drop down towards the horizon,  he could not sit still, chattering agitatedly, flying to different landing spots within this zone, then returning, repeatedly. What I initially thought was cute and funny soon had me looking at this scene in an entirely different light.  I realized he was every bit as concerned as we humans would be, if not more so, had our mate not come home at the expected time. There are bad guys in OUR world, but these smaller birds face danger every minute of every day. I am constantly amazed at the care and concern that all birds have for their immediate families, often times far exceeding what we humans show towards each other.

Hiding in Plain Sight

Hiding in Plain Sight, originally uploaded by Winged Wench.

Brown Creepers: Can you hear them, let alone see them? The only other bird that compares in this difficulty to "hear and see" category for me is waxwings. I used to focus on the spot where I heard them, hoping against hope that I would catch one in my sights. Well, that was then, and might I add: just plain stupid, overzealous, and obsessive. Then came the day, as I was walking along, always camera in hand-out of the corner of my eye I saw a flash. Following this flash to a tree, I'm looking and looking, and I couldn't see a thing. Suddenly a slight sense of movement, and there it was! (Well, I get excited about these things! And THAT's an understatment.) Something that might be helpful in the future for anyone else trying to photograph, or catch sight of, these elusive birds-they fly to the bottom the tree, then climb up it, eating/catching bugs as they go. When they reach the top of that tree, they fly to the next, and again, start at the bottom, and go up. They do not walk down. So if you hear them fly by, look to the bottom of the trees in the vicinity. And good luck! They are very hard to spot, even when you have the picture right in front of you as this picture proves.