One Good Bird

Birding locally is running slow at the moment, but that didn’t keep me from going back to Theler Wetlands in Belfair last week. I ended up seeing a few nice birds like goldfinches and, even better, a family of kingfishers on the creek. Unfortunately, the kingfishers were so far away that the shots I took were rather unimpressive.

In fact, I ended up deleting all the shots except for these two. This first one is it shot of an Osprey heading down the creek towards Puget Sound.


It was a while later while talking to some fellow birders and looking for the Virginia Rail that we saw an Osprey heading back up the river, this time with a fish.

Osprey with fish

It obliged by flying directly overhead giving me a great shot of the fishing it was carrying.

When I started birding with Ruth Sullivan a couple of years ago, one of her favorite sayings after a day when birding wasn’t very good was, “All we need is one good bird.”

For me, of course, it’s really, “All I need is one good shot.” And though I usually post more than a single shot from a day’s birding, the reality is that in the long run it’s a good day if I even get even one shot I end up keeping. And the longer I shoot, the rarer it becomes that I will get even a single shot better than one I’ve already taken. It’s the experience that really counts, but I’m also driven by another saying a birder/photographer told me while at Malheur this Spring, “The best shot is the one still in your camera.”

4 thoughts on “One Good Bird”

  1. As I was driving back into my street this afternoon, I spotted our resident hawk sitting on the ground at the edge of my neighbor’s driveway. He spooked and flew away before I could get my camera out of my purse. I was so disappointed!

  2. It must take a lot of practice and skill to get a shot like that. Most of the time when I try to get photos of birds on the wing they just look like a black silhouette against the bright sky. In your shot the bird’s underside is beautifully lit showing the fish in its talons.

    1. Lots of practice and expensive equipment, I’m afraid, Anne.

      My camera is set on single point exposure and focus so it tends to read the underside of the bird and not the whole sky. Plus I shoot in RAW format, which allows me to bring back the color in shadows more than you can with jpeg shots.

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