Forget Your Birding Plan

My goal was to photograph the red-faced warbler. Well actually to get a better photo since the last time I saw one. How difficult can that be? For starters, I needed to find the bird. And have my appropriate camera lens out and ready to capture the photo.

Forget any birding plan you may have; it’s a crazy idea to think you’ll view and accomplish what you want. Last week I did not see the red-faced warbler till I was further in the woods so today I casually walked the path observing yellow-eyed juncos, robins, and gnatcatchers. Then to my surprise I see a pair of red-faced warblers!

I was happy and annoyed to see this pair as there was no way to capture a good photo! I decided to follow them down the path. I mean how far could they go and not allow me another opportunity to see them in this vast forest!?! Stupid idea on my part. It’ll be hours before I see red-faced warblers again.

I spent 4.5 hours in the forest and did capture a couple of okay photos and saw a bird I had never seen before: the painted redstart. Here’s a photo:

Painted redstart

This bird was then displaying it feathers and putting on quite a show … obviously not for me, but I tried to capture the action in a photo.

Painted redstart trying to catch someones’ attention!

I walked past acorn woodpeckers, Swainson’s thrush, Western bluebirds, yellow rumped warblers and FINALLY I see red-faced warblers! I am hoping for the best light. I am holding the 5 pound zoom lens to capture a good photo within focus. I am wishing my tripod was set up, but I am not going to let these birds escape me again today. So here is one photo:

Red-faced warbler

I will keep working on my birding, my photography and my patience with hopes that someday my birding plan will go as I planned. No, that’s crazy! That will never happen.