Making the Most of the Bird you Get

One of those mundane sorts of days, today: the most interesting bird I saw was an American robin, and I didn’t even get a picture. (This was thanks to some COMPLETE NIT flashing his camera at it, as the sun blazed down from a cloudless noonday sky. Figures, the one time I run across another birder, he’s an absolute div. If you’ve stumbled upon this, robin-flasher, shame on you. Shame, shame, shame. Don’t, erm, overexpose yourself at the birds. (Haw, haw.))

I did get up close and personal with a gull, however, and I thought to myself, “ey, why not take a page out of Corey’s book, over at 10,000 Birds, and take full advantage of this pest?” So I cosied right up to it, and took as many pictures as I could of its creepy gullie eyes. Ever get a close look at those things? Check out the lashes on that! I mean, I know they haven’t got eyelashes, in the sense we do, but they’ve got something going on. They look like they’re growing spiderwebs round their eyesockets!

Dreadful; just dreadful!  (I think I can see my own reflection, in a couple of those eyes.)

Dreadful; just dreadful! (I think I can see my own reflection, in a couple of those eyes.)

After exchanging a good half-hour’s worth of soul-deep stares with the gull, I snapped a couple of feather shots, and went inside. I let the gull use my feeder for ten minutes, before waving it on its way. It deserved a treat, after such a long and patient wait…but it didn’t deserve every last seed in the tray!

Don't you want to touch these feathers, see if they're as soft as they look?  (Better not, though; wild birds can have mites.  And I didn't take pictures of its beak, but it had one of those, too, and a nasty one, at that.)

Don’t you want to touch these feathers, see if they’re as soft as they look? (Better not, though; wild birds can have mites. And I didn’t take pictures of its beak, but it had one of those, too, and a nasty one, at that.)

There was quite a breeze abroad, today, ruffling the feathers of anything that stood against the wind.

There was quite a breeze abroad, today, ruffling the feathers of anything that stood against the wind.

I’m still after the perfect snap of my hummingbird visitors, but they don’t like the sound of the shutter, so I’m having to shoot through glass every time. After all, it rather defeats the purpose of a feeder, if the poor birds get an awful fright, every time they try to eat. I wish there was some sort of casing I could put on my camera, to dull down the sound of the shutter. Ooh! But, I did come face-to-face with an extra-sparkly male Anna’s, this morning, while changing the nectar! It buzzed right up, and hung in the air till I’d finished. It was already feeding, as I turned my back on it.

Other birds spotted, at a distance: double-crested cormorants, bald eagles, black-capped chickadees, and the biggest crow I’ve ever seen.

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