I’m always pleased when I get a picture I’ve been trying to get for awhile. Generally, I get a picture because I’ve read that certain birds are back at Nisqually or Belfair or because another birder suggests where a particular bird can be found.

Sometimes I spot birds while I’m out walking, and I return later with a camera, which sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t. For instance, I’ve been noticing Northern Flickers oon my morning walks for the last week or so, but every time I go out with my camera they’re either not there or they fly away so quickly I can’t get a picture.

When the weather turned nice briefly yesterday, I thought I’d go down to the beach and see if any new ducks, or ducks newly-dressed in breeding colors, were to be found.

As I drove up, I noticed a Northern Flicker in the parking lot eating insects in the grass as cars drove by. I grabbed my camera, stepped out, and snapped several nice pictures because, miraculously, this flicker didn’t fly off:

The rest of the shoot was actually pretty dull, as I’ve already gotten plenty of shots of Red-Breasted Merganzers, Barrow’s Goldeneyes, cormorants, seagulls and crows.

Although I get a sense of satisfaction whenever I get any good picture, there’s something special about a serendipitous encounter like this one with the Northern Flicker. It made my day.