Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Patience Pays Off

Okay, so I'm a bird nerd.  I love watching birds, looking for birds, adding new species to my life list.  (Oddly, don't like parrots - but that's a story for another day.)  A week or two ago, I was driving past a nearby lake and saw a big bird I didn't recognize.  I mean, I thought it was a cormorant, but there are several species and I couldn't be sure.  So I sped home to grab my camera.  Sure enough, the feathery bugger was nowhere to be found when I got back.  Here and there since, I've been taking the camera over to the locale to try and catch said feathery bugger.  No luck.  I caught part of him flying away once, but other than that, nada.

This morning I was in a particularly foul mood (no pun intended), and since I couldn't get ahold of my mom to vent it out, I grabbed the camera.  I got some really nice flower shots and a few good duck shots, but the cormorant was nowhere to be seen.  Shrugging it off, I got ready to go to my other favorite place to bird.  If the cormorant wasn't going to show, I could probably catch an American Avocet or some other nifty bird.

As I got close to my car, I saw movement out of the corner of my eye.  Something big was landing.  Probably just a Canada Goose or some such common bird.

Lo and behold, it was the elusive frickin' cormorant.  And of course, it was in the middle of the lake, with the sun at an odd angle for taking pics.  So I walked around the lake and used my zoom to get some middlin' shots.  Several times when I went to take the pic, the damn bird dove under the water.   I took as good a shots as I could and then headed for the car.  At this point, the cormorant took off.  He circled the lake and my head several times, flying just fast enough to make it really hard to get a pic.

Finally, he took pity on me.  He landed in a tree.  On the opposite side of the lake from where I was standing - he couldn't make it easy for me - but he stayed in that tree until I got right up underneath him.  And took this:

Pretty damn cool, huh?  I left there feeling pretty good about life in general.  Went over to my other birding spot and got a shot of four little Phalaropes getting chased off by a bully Avocet.  Good birding day.  It sure changed my crappy mood, let me tell you.

And it served as a reminder.  Patience pays off. 

Which reminds me.  If you haven't entered last Thursday's contest, head on over there.  I mean, I'd love for one of the people who have already entered to win, but the more the merrier.  You have until this coming Thursday (5/10) to comment.  Still haven't decided on a prize, but I've got some ideas.  Swag acquired.  Whoever wins is gonna love it.  So enter while you still can.  ;o)


  1. Great shot! So fun when you finally get it. Congrats!

  2. Great pic, B.E. - are cormorants rare in your neck of the woods? I know nothing about birds.

    We have a ton of them here - and before we knew the name of them we called them Karate Birds (OK, we still do). They're always drying themselves on rocks, or like your guy is in the tree, and they remind us of the Karate Kid stance; therefore Karate Birds!

  3. Wow, great photo.

    I'd love to see one of those, but we don't have them here.

  4. Great pictures!! I'm glad you had a better day after getting the shots you wanted =)

    Btw, I think it's funny that all Americans call it a "Canada goose." We just call them geese here, LOL! If someone is being super formal, we call them Canadian geese. It's just funny how those things change just slightly over the border =)

  5. Thanks, Janet. They're super rare here because we don't have much water. When they do show up, they're just passing through or they've been blow off course by the winds we get. I love the Karate Bird! Maybe I should name him Daniel-san. ;o)

    Thanks. You get other neat seabirds over there, though, don't you, Debs? I wish I could visit just to see what feathery friends you have.

    Thanks, Nat. It was a better day. LOL about the Canada Goose thing. All I know is that's their official species name in the Audobon books I have. And birders here get really snippy if you say 'Canadian' instead of 'Canada'. We're a strange people - come on over. ;o)

  6. LOL Wild critters never make it easy. Glad to see you have some "stalking" skills! Great pic and great reminder that patience AND persistence pays off.