I’m not a professional photographer, and I’ve never been to exotic foreign lands. But I am an amateur bird-watcher, starting in my own backyard. I am often to be found in our kitchen, peering out the sliding glass door, watching to see who shows up at our two bird-feeders (one seed feeder and a suet-feeder). I have seen in the neighborhood of 25 different varieties of birds visit our yard.
In fact, just yesterday, we were visited by a juvenile red-shafted flicker, who I caught perched on our bird-bath/water source. I could tell he was a juvenile by the lack of the red stripe on his face. He actually sat there for quite awhile, so I could take his picture.
A few years ago, I walked out into the yard, and took this video. I was surprised at how close I was able to get to the feeder without frightening the birds.
The little gluttons! They were using the vine maple on the right as a “staging area” to decide when it was time to flit over to the feeder. They also seem to fling more seed onto the ground than they eat, making them pretty messy eaters. However, our local squirrels help clean up the ground under the feeder, along with the juncos who are mostly ground-feeders.
On my beach walk last year at the Dungeness National Wildlife refuge, I got a great shot of a white-crowned sparrow on a branch.
He sat there, nearly motionless, for a full minute.
On our trip to Hawaii in 2018, I always kept my eye out for exotic birds that we don’t have here in the Pacific Northwest.
I am proudest of this “catch”, from the promenade deck of our cruise-ship. He might be a rare Nazca Booby, and they rarely are seen on shore, since they spend most of their lives at sea. This variety is found mostly in South America, and was seen in the Pacific Ocean, just west of Mexico.
And, again from the deck of our cruise ship, I got these brown pelicans flying in formation over San Francisco Bay. Ungainly birds on the water and onshore, they are beautiful in flight.
One more non-wildlife treat from our Hawaii cruise.
We had a pretty good idea what was in store for us on our day on shore on the Big Island of Hawaii, but it was still a shock to round the point of land and see the fires of the volcano Kilauea, as it poured lava into the sea. We sat about a half-mile offshore, watching the volcano erupt, hearing the hissing sound when the hot lava hit the water, and smelling the fire-and-brimstone sulfur. A further treat was the commentary from the naturalist aboard. The ship stayed for about an hour, but we had to leave due to the water getting too warm. Since the engines are cooled with the sea water, we would have over-heated if we remained any longer. Yes, Nature is still creating land, but it may be awhile before it is habitable.
On our recent trip to South Dakota, we rounded a corner in Montana on the way home, and I persuaded Hubby to slow down so I could get some pictures of the small herd of mule deer grazing by the roadside.
None of these visual treats is especially rare or exotic (except maybe for the Booby), but they were treats nonetheless. If you just keep your eyes open when out and about, the world has treats galore. Just look, and see, and keep your camera handy.