Sometimes It’s The Little Things

My last trip to Theler Wetlands was certainly less productive bird-wise than the previous visit, but it turned out to be an enjoyable morning because I met John who I hadn’t seen for nearly a month. Although I’m perfectly happy to bird alone, it’s also nice to visit with a fellow birder while birding.

The day was probably more notable for the birds we didn’t see than those we did see, though John did note some twenty plus species for the day. Seeing and photographing are quite different, though, and I ended up saving shots from just two different species, this Black-Capped Chickadee

Black-Capped Chickadee

which we first thought had a large green worm in its beak. Then we noticed that several different Chickadees had the same thing. A closer look revealed that they were actually eating the fine shoots at the tip of the fir tree, which I’d never thought of as a food source.

The main subject of the day, though, was the same Marsh Wren (at least I think it is the same Marsh Wren) that I showed from a previous trip. This has to be the boldest, or most desperate, wren I’ve ever seen. It sat on the railing

Marsh Wren

while John and I took several shots and then flew to the nearest stalk and took up the classic pose

Marsh Wren

that every birder will recognize. It’s impossible for me to ignore these kinds of poses when they’re this close. Amazingly, these photos are actually larger than life-size.

Pt Defiance Iris Garden

My recent trip to Theler Wetlands where I didn’t get many good pictures reminded me of a trick I learned from my dad long ago when I went fishing as a child. If at the end of the day we hadn’t caught the number of salmon we wanted to catch, or if one of us (particularly me) hadn’t caught a fish all day, then we headed closer to shore and fished for bottom fish. And in those days, you could ALWAYS catch bottom fish.

I realized that since my favorite shot from this trip to Theler was the wild iris,

Wild Iris

the iris in Pt. Defiance should also be in bloom.

I headed back and checked out the roses in bloom


on my way to visit the iris, but the highlight of the day was the Iris Garden. It’s hard to go wrong with sunshine and a garden full of just-blossomed flowers. I’d be hard pressed to pick a favorite. This multi-blossom stock was certainly impressive,


though I preferred the striking colors of this purple, white , and gold specimen


until I saw this orange-yellow-white variety.


By the end of my visit to Pt Defiance I’d forgotten that the morning’s birding had been so mediocre. Beauty usually has that effect on me.

Birding is Slowing Around Here

After the great day I had birding at Theler I was anxious to get back as soon as possible, so I went back just four days later. I still found a few birds that were content to stand around while I photographed of them, like this Tree Swallow.

Tree Swallow

There were even a few birds still desperately trying to attract a mate, like this Song Sparrow, and poses like this are easy to capture.

Song Sparrow

But, generally, birds were much harder to find than four days before, possibly because many are too busy building nests

Tree Swallow with nesting material

to stand around posing.

Others who long ago mated are even busier, keeping their hatchlings alive


and safe from frightening photographers.

In other words, birding was just “okay,” but not nearly as inspiring as four days earlier.