Although I never intentionally picked a bird out to focus on for a year, it seems that a particular bird does become the focal point of my photographs for the year. The first year it was the Great Blue Heron, probably because it was a large bird and willing to pose for long periods of time. One year, it was the elusive Belted Kingfisher, still a favorite, perhaps because I could never get the shot I was, and still am, looking for.
This year, though, I think it would have to be the Red-Necked Phalarope. Even though the female only has the red neck when in breeding colors, it is a striking bird any time of the year.
What really makes the bird stand out, though, is its movement, particularly the constant bobbing of the head as it floats by.
Since I find shots of birds moving much more compelling than shots of them standing still, I was fascinated by the behavior of several phalaropes at Ocean Shores
as they stealthily crept up on insects,
ran after them for shorts distances,
and finally bounded after them, barely taking off
before landing again,
to repeat the process.
Of course, this sequence of photos also reminded me that both my Canon cameras can take motion pictures, and a short movie would probably have done a better job of capturing the action then any number of still shots. I’m trying to ignore that fact.