I guess I can count myself as an official amateur birder, now, since feathered critters seem to be all I’m taking pictures of nowadays. I’m overdue for a zoo trip, but until then, I’m honing my picture-taking skills with these small, energetic and thoroughly enjoyable creatures.
Today we attempted some exercise at Joyner Park, but I took my camera, and spent more time bird watching than walking. I kept hearing a red-bellied woodpecker – probably a pair of them – but was unable to locate either.
There are numerous seemingly drab birds darting around the brush and hopping from branch to branch at the park, but a good camera with a zoom lens can reveal surprises.
I snapped picture after picture of a fluttery little specimen jumping from branch to branch, not having any clue what it was. I was able to lighten one of the pictures, and after consulting a bird book, decided it is a golden-crowned kinglet, a bird that lives in southern Alaska and central Canada, but migrates south for the winter. It’s apparently frequently spotted in the North Carolina mountains. I wonder if it will spend the winter here, instead.
I snapped some pictures of a fat mockingbird, but this profile picture turned out best. Mockingbirds are territorial; I’ve seen them chasing all kinds of other birds, and was “attacked” by one myself once. They can be funny, though. I once heard one mimicking a car alarm.
Apparently, we have plenty of pileated woodpeckers around, although it took finding a camera with a good zoom lens to locate them. I’ve only just started photographing birds, but the colors, and the variety, continue to amaze me. I look forward to discovering more.