2018—“Hey, Is That the Bird You’re After?”

Before I went to the gym on two mornings last week, my camera and I were at the city’s Mahany Nature Preserve, which is next to my gym. There are acres of dried grasses, a creek, a seasonal pond, a small grove of blue oak trees and some birds.  A Cooper’s Hawk watched from atop a stump.  Mourning Doves perched in the limbs of cottonwood tree.  Western Bluebirds flew in the distance.   A Western Kingbird observed from the top of a dead oak tree.  Scrub Jays scolded from the treetops.  Anna’s Hummingbirds buzzed by my head.   Lesser Goldfinches flitted around tall grasses near the creek.  A white-breasted Nuthatch scurried down a branch.  Acorn Woodpeckers announced their presence with rat-a-tats.  Aha!  That’s what I was there for.  And, when I espied a pair high in a dead tree, I left the trail and slowly approached the tree, keeping my eyes on the birds as I walked.  I hoped to get a better chance at a good shot if I got closer

“Hey! Is that the bird you’re after?” a harsh voice shouted at me.  The woodpeckers  flew off and I glared in the direction of the voice.  The voice was from a man I had encountered when I entered the preserve.  He had asked me lots of questions about my camera and what I was photographing in the preserve.  We kept pace for 50 yards or so and I tried to ignore him but admitted I was there to photograph birds.  I was relieved when a “Y” in the trail allowed me to go left  in the direction of the woodpeckers when he veered right.  But, a few minutes later, he found me again atop a grassy knoll,  as I looked up into the tree at the woodpeckers.

And, “no” this photograph is not a photograph of an Acorn Woodpecker which is the bird I was after.  This is a Black Phoebe that landed on a fallen limb behind the woodpecker’s tree, just as I turned away from the annoying man on the trail.  Serendipity.

Black Phoebe PS

One thought on “2018—“Hey, Is That the Bird You’re After?”

  1. But phoebes are so cute too! If you want acorn woodpeckers wait till you come to my house for dinner, we have at least 20 who live in my trees haha.

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