This week, Andrea Badgley focuses on drifters, nomads, and even the state of impermanence. “Where did it come from? How far did it travel? What stories would it tell if it could talk, and how long before it will move on again?” You can read the entire challenge post here.
Though I enjoy photographing birds, both in flight and at rest, I am by no means an expert in the identification or even the skills required to capture these feathered transients. Sometimes I get lucky and find a bird in the wild, and sometimes, like in the opening shot, the bird is part of a raptor demonstration. In any case, these birds found themselves momentarily at rest in a location within reach of my lens. In many cases, moments after I captured their image, they were gone, off to find food or on to an adventure of which I know nothing.
The story about the photo above is one of my favorites. I spotted this Vermilion Flycatcher. Too far away and partially hidden by vegetation, he was barely visible to me. I waited, hoping he would move slightly in either direction so that I could get a clear image in my viewfinder. It was not to be. Moving on and leaving the lake shoreline, we began to cross a small clearing. A flash of red and black caught my peripheral vision and landed on a branch. I readied my camera, but just as quickly, he was gone. I don’t know if this was the same bird I saw at the lake, but fortunately, he flew across the clearing and came to rest on a tall tree stump. I grabbed a couple of quick photos, the first of which turned out to be out of focus. The second, pictured above, turned out quite well.
A few steps further along the trail, an older couple accompanied by a younger woman walked toward us on the trail. Obviously birders, equipped with cameras and binoculars, I suspected they would know the species. Excitedly I showed the image I’d captured to the older woman and asked if she knew the bird. She said it is a Vermilion Flycatcher and complemented me on the photo. She then told the younger woman that I got a really nice shot of the bird, and then explained that they have been trying to get a good shot of the bird for quite a while. The younger woman looked a bit disappointed when she came to realize that this novice was able to so easily capture what eluded them.
Though I may not know the names of all the birds in the gallery below, I submit for your review, a gallery of transient images of birds who momentarily landed in front of my lens.