Sometimes, when my husband gets home from work, I will say to him "It's been a good bird day". Usually this means, I have seen several types of birds throughout the day, participating in various birding activities. Yesterday, was one of those days... and it also just happened to be our 24th anniversary! I can remember back to our 5th anniversary. We were staying in a rental apartment in Leavenworth, a sweet little German town in central Washington, while on a white-water river rafting trip with some friends. I happened to visit a quaint little bookstore, where a bought myself my very first bird identification book, in hopes it would help me identify a couple of birds I had seen at our home in Poulsbo. The book was called "The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Birds (Western Region)", and I still use it to this day, as well as some others I have added to the collection. The birds, I finally identified where a Pileated Woodpecker and a Red-shafted Flicker, also of the woodpecker family. They are still exciting birds for me to see, even after all these years.
Back to my "Good Bird Day", on our anniversary day, I spent quite some time out on my balcony trying to get the perfect action photo of the Great Blue Heron that was patiently fishing on our ski dock. I set my camera up to take multiple shots at once, so I could get some pictures of the heron flying when he decided to leave. I even got my mini-tripod and setup on the railing of the balcony so I could get just the right shot. As, I was getting things prepared, the family of white-breasted nuthatches showed up to feast again. They make several visits each day.
Also visiting, were the Black-headed Grosebeaks and a Downy Woodpecker.
A female hummingbird kept buzzing me while I setup my tripod, as it was right below the hummingbird feeder. While I was taking pictures of the heron, the hummer would be right there by my hand. When I have someone to help with the camera, I can film the hummers landing on my fingers to drink. Such a cool feeling for sure. But today, I was snapping away at the heron, who several times flew off of the dock and dove into the water to try to catch a fish, only to come up with nothing, and then fly right back to the ski dock. Each time he did this, I took bunches of photos, or so I thought. I was sure I had my camera set to take multiple snap shots, but found out later, it was only saving the last 3 of the shots. So all my action shots of it flying and diving were not recorded. I only ended up with this one shot.
I try not to judge my good bird days by pictures alone, because some of the best birding adventures happen too quickly for the camera. Sometimes, it is worth just sitting and enjoying the moment, rather than trying to capture it with the lens. Now if you can do both, that is the BEST!