“Binoculars, and a hawk-like vigilance, reduce the disadvantage of myopic human vision.” ~ J.A. Baker
Summer is very ‘ho-hum’ for birding. Don’t get me wrong. The usual oooh’s and aaaah’s of the migratory spring or fall varieties set the bar for regular family birding outings. But when the heat arrives like the devil with his blow torch, the feathered locals settle into raising and feeding their families instead. It’s all work and no play for these species, much the opposite as it is for us when it’s hot, and there are few surprise ‘sightings.’
Since our last birding excursion, it’s the backyard birds that have kept us entertained. The baby wrens are always a few feet away from the upstairs window, waiting for Mama to fly in with a spider. But the window screen and absence of adequate lighting makes for crappy photos to share.
Baby bluebirds and baby cardinals are decidedly less trusting of the crepe myrtle canopy around the back of our house. It’s a good thing they’re cautious — baby hawks are also on the look-out for food there. We only hear the family of blue jays and chickadees and even the occasional hunger call of baby barred owl chick. These guys are terribly difficult to spot; they loiter high and in the thick foliage of oak canopies across the creek, just out of our field of vision, even with x10 binoculars.
Visual or no, they are no less enjoyable.
My husband, Scott (from Michigan) thinks Texas summers are just like northern winters — everyone just wants to stay in. But outside is where the birds are, and I don’t particularly care if the mercury reads three digits. Armed with binoculars (perhaps a cold beer and some DEET), our living room is out by the creek, sitting on the swing with one or two of my kids.
Sometimes, running in and getting the big lens is warranted, and — if I’m lucky — the subject might still be there to shoot when I return, sweaty and breathless. (Mostly, not.) It’s easier to just soak in the view through binoculars, saving the frustration and conserving precious calories instead. I’ll work more for cataloging these beauties come fall.
Until then, we relish our tiny, busy neighbors. Being soaked with sweat and eaten alive by mosquitoes is well worth the joy and hope time spent in their presence.
As with all other images at DirtNKids, no post-processing has been done on these either. I continue to hope for time to remedy that (I shoot RAW+JPG); any time at the computer comes at the expense of enjoying what little time we have enjoying these backyard gems as a family. I choose any place other than in front of a computer screen and keyboard in the summer.
Coopers Hawk, Juvie
(Shot with the wide angle — yes, that close!)
A Surprise Feeder Visitor
Making a Living
Black-bellied Whistling Duck
The Woodland Hoss
Always Foraging for his Babes
Getting a Much Needed Break From Kids
Browse the 2015 Birding Photo Album at SmugMug
anytime you like.
We are currently at 220 our 2015 Bird List.
How are you enjoying the birdies
in your neck of the woods?