My Bluebird of Happiness

It was too sunny here Wednesday and Thursday to stay inside reading, so I put my Kindle and new book of poetry aside and headed out to the new boardwalk at Nisqually Wildlife Refuge on Wednesday. It was a beautiful day and I enjoyed walking the mile long boardwalk, but birdwise it was rather disappointing. About the only bird I saw that I haven’t seen for awhile was this Yellowlegs.


I’m pretty sure there were more people on the boardwalk then there was on the wetlands that it crosses. Luckily, the birding will get better with time and less people will show up to see them.

Undiscouraged, I set out for Waughop Lake in Steillacoom on Thursday. I photographed a lot of birds, but I probably spent the most time trying to get a shot of one of these Ruby-Crowned Kinglets, a small, skittish, hyperactive 4 inch sized bird.

I was delighted with this shot.

Ruby-Crowned Kinglet

I didn’t have to spend nearly as long getting a shot of this American Coot, who darned near nipped me in the foot as I stood photographing it. This bird would seem to epitomize the phrase, “Odd Duck,” except that it isn’t a duck at all, though many people continue to think so.

American Coot

All you have to do is look a the strange feet to see it’s not a duck. Judging from those feet, though, I would probably surmise it was a long-extinct dinosaur.

The highlight of the day, though, was when this Belted Kingfisher flew down to greet me just as I walked into Titlow.

Belted Kingfisher

It’s may not be a Bluebird, but it was certainly my blue bird of happiness yesterday.

5 thoughts on “My Bluebird of Happiness”

  1. Loren, love the photos as ever and so glad you found your “bluebird”! I’ve been meaning to ask what you do to the backgrounds that gives them that slightly sponged look – I imagine it’s some sort of tool for decluttering the backgrounds but sometimes it’s a bit distracting in itself, e.g. in the yellowlegs shot.

  2. I often “tweek” both the foreground and background, Lirone.

    Since I set my Canon to record the shot as “Neutral” and RAW, I usually have to adjust both the highlights and shadows.

    I also “sharpen” the photo and mute the background. In the Yellowlegs photo I used two “patterns” set to “OVERLAY.” In this case it was meant to emulate a watercolor.

  3. I am always amazed that you manage to capture flitty little birds like that Kinglet. I barely have a chance to get my binoculars on a bird I’m trying to see in the tree before the thing flies away – I can’t imagine getting it in a sharp closeup picture as you do! Great shots, all of them.

  4. Mauigirl, there’s an awful lot of blurry, partial, and shots without a subject in every roll of film I shoot.

    Patience and persistence are the keys to all wildlife photography I think.

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