Saturday, February 7, 2009

Birding Aint Easy

Another day another goose chase. I got up at 5:00am to head up to Western Massachusetts in search of one of my two goal birds this year, the Bald Eagle (Pileated is my 2nd). I was rearing to go and drove an hour and fifteen minutes to catch a glimpse of the magnificent bird.


I got to where I was supposed to go and there was nothing but quiet.......No bird song at all or other wild life for that matter. I decided to drive around some more and covered about 10 miles of prime birding spots to not see anything. Suddenly I drove past a man in his car with one of those fancy scopes attached to his camera. HA! I thought to myself, finally some potential. It was obvious this guy was a hard core birder with equipment as fancy as that!!! I waited for him to get his pictures and then drove past stretching my neck at what it was he was photographing and figuring out how I could get in on the action too. Guess what it was......Go Ahead..........A Titmouse and a squirrel. SOB!! If I take one more titmouse picture I am going to scream seriously I am. That there was a sure sign to me that the place was indeed dead if this serious birder was taking photos of these two.

Driving back and very disappointed I decided to stop at a cemetery in Worcester. The Canada geese were at this one too. No other birds were there except for crows and mallard ducks. Same as always. I feel as if I am in my own movie version of Groundhog Day here.

Still unwilling to give up I went to the bike trail in my town. It was there that I saw the blue heron in the top photo. I have NEVER been able to get a closeup of this bird because it is too skittish. I approached it slowly and took pictures and it didn't move which was very puzzling to me.

I also got this picture of crows stalking yet another hawk. I seriously think the crows enjoy this as it seems as if they do this whenever I venture outside. I know the picture isn't good but can someone tell me if this is a red-tailed hawk? I am trying to get better with hawk identification but need confirmation please.



Lastly a picture of wild turkeys in Belchertown. The only bird picture I was able to get while in Western Mass.

While driving home I came to the conclusion that birding isn't easy. I spend countless hours every week chasing after birds only to see the same ones I see every week. You would think this would discourage me enough to stop for a while but I can't. I have already scoped out where I will be headed to tomorrow!

19 comments:

Craig Glenn said...

What a fine day you had! Don't be discouraged. I know how you feel though. I couldn't get great bird captures and all I seem to find is squirrels, dull boring grey squirrels. So I just photographed them and actually got some cool stuff.

Just hand in there, cool captures are just aroung the corner.

Craig

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Let's cry together, Kallen... I have been outside almost all day long--and haven't seen anything new... In fact, even our old faithfuls are not around this afternoon. I told George that maybe I don't have the patience to wait and wait... ha... Sniff Sniff!!!!

Wanna go to dinner? Come on down.. We can eat away our PAIN... ha ha

Hugs,
Betsy

Ruth said...

I go out to enjoy the whole nature experience and am happy whether I see birds or not. The birds are a bonus and sometimes show up when you least expect them. I was looking for a GBH yesterday in the ice because someone reported seeing one. I can't ID the hawk in that picture.

Shellmo said...

Kallen - I am laughing at your SOB! ha,ha! I would've done the same if I saw someone w/ their big fancy camera equipment - thinking they were looking at some rare - remarkable bird! Better luck next time -but I still enjoy the geese photos! Sometimes the ordinary can be extraordinary!

Richard said...

Know the feeling about not seeing anything interesting. Drove around in one of the state parks yesterday for over an hour and saw 1 squirrel, 1 sparrow and 3 crows. The trees looked nice and there wasn't anybody around which in itself was kind of nice...lol.

Kallen305 said...

Craig, I really have to adapt an attitude more like yours. I am type a by nature and birding has helped to lesson some of that. The type A in me is coming out while birding and I have to cool it or it won't be fun anymore. Baby steps here of course. ;o)

Betsy, I have already thought of food. I am thinking of Pappa Ginos to drown my sorrows in cheese pizza!! I will email you a slice!! HA!

Ruth, thank you for reminding me of that. Sometimes I get so caught up in my goals that I forget about the other things I should enjoy when going out in the woods or fields. I am going to have your perspective tomorrow. This isn't a race. I would love to see a redpoll or two tomorrow but if I don't so what! Seriously....

Shelley, yes the geese were very pretty today. I actually threw them some bread to get that photo. Normallly I wouldn't do that but it is heart breaking to see them eating grass, even if they are pain in the neck birds who are belligerent and poop all over the place. I am telling you, I really thought he had an extrodinary bird in that lens of his and was shocked when I saw the titmouse and squirrel both on the ground together. Granted I know the photo was magnificent because he got both of them in there, but I was expected something a little more unique that's all. HA

Richard. I love the quiet too. I didn't like it so much in Western MA because I don't know the area that well, but once I got to my local spots in town, I loved it. Quiet is my friend! I guess we will have to wait a couple more weeks and then the state parks will really pick up.

Kelly said...

Kallen, you crack me up. I always enjoy reading your posts...

Chad said...

I hope you get your Eagle and Pileated soon! Both are such cool birds!

Andy said...

Check out these sanctuaries that are near you

http://www.massaudubon.org/Nature_Connection/sanctuaries.php

It is a good place to start.

Rich said...

A lot of the enjoyment (and frustration) is in the looking. These pictures look like a successful outing to me. You will find those birds one of these days.

ramblingwoods.com said...

That looks like a great blue heron to me. I was excited as I heard my first chickadee 'fee bee' today which means that spring will come sometime. Do you have a local birding list? Mine posts what is around so people can go and see it...

Jayne said...

LOL Kallen, you crack me up! Groundhog Day!!! Some days are just like that, aren't they? I look out at my feeders covered with what seems like hundreds of Pine Siskins (the cannibals I call them) and just have to laugh. If I take one more photo of a Pine Siskin it will be one too many.

A New England Life said...

Today should be a better day for birding, especially with the warmer temperatures. Our birds are singing away this morning. I too had thought of heading out to the beach this morning, but here I sit.

Hope you get something good!

Jerry in Tampa said...

Incredibly interesting and I love the images Kallen!!! I'm glad I found you and I will be back!

Cheers:-))

Jerry in Tampa

Steve B said...

Oh, yah, been there, done that.

Robert V. Sobczak said...

Sounds like you've hit a plateau, but keep on plugging away, that's when you finally break through to the next level.

NCmountainwoman said...

Looks like you had a great day anyway. I've never gone birding with the intent of seeing a specific bird (except for the Hawk Watch), so I'm rarely disappointed.

The Early Birder said...

Kallen you were definitely an 'Earlybirder' - out at 5 a.m. its just a pity the birds didn't play ball - It happens to us all, so don't get depressed, there will be exceptionally good days to come.
I used to go out seeking specific species but now I just accept what I see or don't see - when the unexpected appears I'm delighted otherwise just enjoy the rest of the natural world around you. Frank

Leedra said...

Unless I missed it, I do not see that anybody commented on what kind of bird you photographed. It is a Great Blue Heron. The little blue is blue all over. There is no doubt why he is called Little blue. Sometimes the Great Blue Heron will let a person get fairly close, others good luck!

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