Sunday, October 23, 2016

Close Encounters with Woody

A wild bird photographer's dream setting is probably:  a wild and colorful bird, (preferably endemic, and hopefully a lifer), perched in the open, (in a natural perch), with great bokeh (green being the preferred color), a distance of ten meters or less, in the soft and gentle light of the early morning hours, and the bird unmindful of the photographer. The problem is, more often than not, such shooting conditions remain in our dreams.  However, last September 28 and and again on October 1st, I was blessed with these conditions.

On the afternoon of September 27, I decided to go birding the following morning. But our Front Desk informed me that the van had to pick up guests arriving on a 7:30am flight.  It meant I can only bird for about an hour to an hour and a half.  Deep breath...and make do with the situation.  

So we, (our driver and I) were in the airport area before 7am but I had low expectations given the short time.  However the birding gods smiled at me that morning and gifted me with the endemic Spot-throated Flameback in ideal shooting conditions.  

Mr. & Mrs. Flameback

Spot-throated Flameback Woodpecker, male.

I was very very happy with these shots. I would have been perfectly contented with them. But on the morning of October 1st was again blessed with the same scenario.  Although this time, the female was a no show.

Spot-throated Flameback, male.

I was even able to shoot a video of it.

Needless to say, I was (still am), in seventh heaven after these two encounters. If only all birds behaved like this :-).  But that is probably asking too much :-)

Thank you Lord for the beauty of your creation!