I’m a Birder — Today, at Least

Though I describe myself as a “photographer”, not a birder, because I’m not nearly the expert that people I hang around with and spend more time working on my photography skills than my birding skills, I am also a “birder.”  That was a good thing on a recent visit to Ft. Flagler because we spotted more birds than I was able to get good shots of

The first thing I spotted was this Bald Eagle

sitting on the posts usually reserved for cormorants.  I suspect he was a reason we didn’t see many of the usual birds on the sunny side of the spit, though I did spot this male Red-Breasted Merganser on the other side.

Unfortunately, the low-in-the-sky sun was right behind him and no amount of photoshopping could reveal its brilliant colors without underexposing the blacks.

The only way I could identify this loon nearby was by its profile.

I had to walk all the way to the end of the spit in order to shoot some pictures with good lighting and the high tides made it impossible to approach without chasing the birds away.  I ended up capturing a few shots of Black Brant in flight that would almost pass as a good shot.

The photographer in me wasn’t really happy with any shot except this one of a male Harlequin Duck taken after our initial walk and a short drive.

Thankfully, as I’ve aged I’ve learned that not everything has to go right in order to have a good day.  Seeing birds I seldom see at home, basking in sunshine, and indulging in an excellent lunch can make for a wonderful day.

A Day Out at Theler and Port Orchard

January has continued to be one of the wettest I can ever remember, so Leslie and I have been focusing on getting back in shape at the YMCA. We did have at least two non-rainy days this month, though, and managed to get out to Theler Wetlands once.

Birding still seems slow (maybe the birds are trying to avoid the hunters?), and the heavy fog made it even harder to get some decent shots. This male Green-Winged Teal still managed to flash some beautiful colors, though.

The ever-present Song Sparrows show no signs of being intimidated by distant shotgun blasts.

The best birding of the day continued to be at the Port Orchard Marina. Not only was I able to get closer to the birds, but the sun deigned to peak out from behind the clouds. This female Baird’s Goldeneye seemed quite striking after months of shooting with little or no sunlight.

Not sure this female Hooded Merganser needed extra light to be striking,

but I’m pretty sure that this male Hooded Merganser would be striking in any light.

A Quick Update

Just a quick update to let readers know that I did survive the update to my hard drive. The actual installation of the drive into my Mac Pro was just as easy as the seller advertised, a few minutes to install the drive itself.

What they didn’t mention was all the time spent before installation making sure I had the tools necessary to reboot the computer if something went wrong. Nor did they mention just how long it would take to install a new operating system over WIFI. At first, I thought the installation had failed when the screen remained black for a minute or two. After three tries, I finally just walked away to see what would happen, and the system started to install itself. Several hours later my computer was up and running, kind of.

I still had to transfer all the files over from the original hard drive, and that took another hour or two. At least this transfer was pretty straight forward, and I never doubted that it would work. As is always the case when you transfer files from an old computer to a new computer, some of the links are broken. I spent more time than I wanted to logging back into my Apple account, my WordPress account, my Amazon account, and into various other accounts.

Unfortunately, I could never get the Bootcamp partition of the drive to reinstall despite spending $35 for a program to do specifically that. Although it looked like all the files had transferred, Windows would never restart. Not sure if that is something Microsoft had built into the program to prevent moving a system over to another computer or if it is an Apple problem, but, despite several hours of work, I could never get it back up. In the end I decided I didn’t use Windows enough to justify the frustration. When Electronic Arts releases a new version of Dragon Age I may have to reconsider my decision.

Thankfully, the computer seems a little faster and I have a lot more storage space for those pictures I haven’t been able to take because of the constant rain.

Pushing My Limits

I used to consider myself technologically-adept; more and more I consider myself technologically-challenged. Not only was I challenged to update my WordPress theme, but I’m having trouble adapting to the latest editor in the most recent update.

I’m used to formatting my entries in BBEdit including all the HTML, pasting them into the editor, and adding images at the end. As far as I can tell, that method is no longer going to work.

Supposedly the new editor will be easier for those new to WordPress, but that certainly hasn’t proven true for me so far. I’ve read that learning a second language is good for the brain; hopefully trying to keep up with technological innovation will have the same advantage because it seems like a foreign language to me.

Later today I’m going to attempt to replace the hard drive in my Mac Pro. The physical replacement looks remarkably easy but making sure that I can install a new operating system looks a little more challenging. If I disappear from the network for an extended period of time it’s either because I’m having my computer repaired or I’m waiting to be able to afford a new iMac.