If you follow me on Twitter (you should! I’m @rdeatsman!), you probably know that I’m a birder; my tweets are often liberally peppered with my latest sightings and the hashtag #birding. Here on my blog, though, I can go months at a time without writing a post about birds. That’s because most of the time I limit my blogging to topics I can illustrate with my own photographs, and it’s pretty rare that I can get an acceptable bird photo with my little pocket-sized point-and-shoot camera. It’s a Canon PowerShot, and its macro setting handles insects, plants, etc., but a warbler up in a tree? Yeah right. Someday I’m determined to get my hands on a DSLR, but they cost like $400, so probably not anytime soon.
Which is all to say that, when I manage to take a photo like this, it is VERY exciting.
Now, this is by no means a good photo, but it is a photo of a warbler. Not just any warbler, either – a gorgeous male Blackburnian Warbler with his fiery throat. AND I TOOK IT. MYSELF. WITH MY CAMERA.
This happened Sunday afternoon. I went for a walk, and ended up poking around one of my favorite patches of bog. The trail was lined with small pine trees, and in one of them I could hear a warbler song I didn’t immediately recognize. I didn’t have my binoculars with me, but I pished a little to see if I could call it in close enough to identify without them. Bam! Suddenly this gorgeous fellow appeared right at eye level, not five feet in front of me. I was standing there going “Oh wow, oh wow, oh wow, oh wow” – this was by far the best look at a Blackburnian I’d ever gotten. The fact that it stuck around long enough for me to take my camera out of my pocket, turn it on, zoom in, and snap this is nothing short of a miracle.
When I showed my roommate the photo she told me it must be my birthday warbler. I turned 25 on Sunday, and yeah, I’d say this was adequate compensation for hitting the halfway point on my way to being (shudder) 30.