A Month of Birthday
September 8, 2014
As I stepped out the door I heard an owl call from the fir tree directly in front of me. A second hoot responded from the neighboring fir tree. Then a third owl joined in their conversation from the next tree over! If I had not been in a race to meet the sun rising on the Columbia River, I would’ve grabbed a flashlight to seek them out. My date with the sun would not wait so I left the owls conversing and sped down the hill to meet my sunrise at Mayer State Park.
My BirthDay is in September and I generally spend the entire month celebrating. One of my birthday gifts was a NEW CAMERA! So, after three hundred sunrise photos I headed to Lyle Point, a favorite birding spot to see how my new camera would capture birds. I watched this pretty Starling sitting on a snag observing his world for a while.
There were tons of black birds at Lyle Point – I am including the speckled Starling because from a distance they look black. I watched a group of them flying through a pine tree, having a little pine cone breakfast. Trying to learn my new Nikon D-7100 while keeping up with the action was daunting at times. I was thrilled to have this bird pose for a minute.
To our delight, we found a flock of Ringed Turtle Doves flying from tree to tree shortly after our arrival at Lyle Point. It was such a beautiful morning, windless, warm and the river was crystal clear and calm. By now, it is daylight and I can see all the buttons on my camera. Trying to learn and remember each button and it’s function!
A Red-winged Blackbird landed on the top of a tiny tree and posed for just a minute. I think he was saying ‘Happy Birthday’ to ME!!
To my surprise, one of my favorite birds appeared for just a moment, a Lewis’ Woodpecker! I managed to get 3 shots of him before he skipped town. I followed in his path, but to no avail – he was gone or very well hidden.
I love how iridescent the wings of a Brewer’s Blackbird are. This is another black bird that I was unfamiliar with. We saw a lot of these, but they kept their distance and didn’t pose long. Yes, I needed them to pose because my 150-600 Tamron lens is heavy; and I am trying to learn my new camera!
I think this is a Brewer’s Blackbird coming in for a landing, but I think I’m starting to get all the black birds confused.
“This is a female Brewer’s Blackbird” she said as she put down her birding field guide to re-check her camera manual and re-read how to change the white balance and f-stop. Again.
Although there were a few more black birds at Lyle Point yesterday, this is the last of the black birds I’ll show you. For now. A pair of crows. I believe. Thankfully they were not in flight. Just posing on a snag for me. Where was that re-play button on my new camera?
While we were in Lyle, we snapped some shots of the Cycle Oregon folks taking a break. And I re-read page 6 “The Mode Dial”.
By late morning we found a cove on the Oregon side of the Columbia River. It was a stunning spot – calm, peaceful, restful. We took our time exploring.
We found a few woodpeckers but they were in dense forest. Instead I focused on this sweet Song Sparrow taking a bath in the Columbia River.
A blue Dragonfly resting on a rock – I had my lens locked and by the time I unlocked it the dragonfly was gone so I only snapped this one shot of him. A late summer picnic lunch, then we were off to our final destination for the day.
As we arrived at the Bingen Marina, a Cormorant flew by and I managed to grab this shot. He was flying low and slow just for me. And my new camera. He landed on a piling and we meandered over to watch him and his friends bask in the sun. I know it’s a matter of ‘practice, practice, practice’ and my new camera will become as comfortable as my (barely) old camera, but I want to learn everything now. Right now. Today!
There were a ton of Mallards at Bingen Marina, but this Coot was a nice contrast and an interesting duck for me to practice with my new camera. I’ll be out and about almost every day this month, so if you see me, stop & say hi. I love my BirthDay month! And my new camera!! I have new photos from Ridgefield and Conboy Wildlife Refuges to show you too! As soon as I process and ‘tag’ them in my still ‘new’ish’ LightRoom Program. Yet another learning curve I’ve been playing with!
Thanks to all who voted for my image in last week’s Daily Depiction of Nature photo contest, I WON!! Thanks for following my adventures! And letting me know that you are noticing and enjoying nature and wildlife because of something I posted!! I love nature and wildlife! xoxoxo