The years passed, and the cycles of migration came and went without me getting a look at a creature my research showed should be at hand. It remained an itch that would not be scratched until last week when I came by some information purporting to give the location of the largest colony of Yellow-headed black birds in the Saginaw Bay watershed. In my minds eye I began to conjure a magnificent WBW entry replete with gorgeously detailed portraits of it's brightly contrasted plumage.
I readied a thermos of coffee and a half dozen cinnamon apple cookies and thusly prepared, drove off in pursuit of the Yellow-headed black bird.
As so often happens, fate had finer plans.
I was seeing a scattering of high clouds and hoped I would be blessed with those thinly overcast skies that would give me a choice variety of lighting conditions. No luck there, the cloud cover dissipated into nothingness along the bay. There would be the stark shadows of a bright June sun to deal with.
Very little bird life showed itself until, walking a dirt path along a dyke system about a mile and a half deep into the marsh, I saw a dead bush with a brood of Tree swallows perched on it's dry limbs. My presence did not stir them. Unfortunately the high ground of the dyke was not at a good angle to the sun so I began to swing wide out into the marsh and come up from the South-East to approach the swallows in harmony with the light. A little blood was being shed as pickers scraped my arms and legs. That was easy to ignore when adult swallows began flying in to feed the youngsters.
My shutter speed was at a smoking 1/1600, ISO 400, @ f7.1 and as I was shaking and fumbling with focus issues I needed all that. I kept shooting and I kept moving in. The action was fast, the view exquisite. I had the elation of witnessing an extraordinary sight and at the same time a sick feeling in my stomach, brought there by the doubt that any of it was convincingly locked in my camera.
Sunburned and bleeding I walked back to my car thoroughly broiled by my experience, Yellow-headed black birds having been eclipsed by the common Tree swallow. I rewarded myself with coffee and cookies. Then what do you know...darting through the sky over the cattails at a mad pace I saw it's yellow head and black torso. I had time to swing the camera out for a couple of good clicks.
I waited and prayed through the hot mid-day for a closer encounter but I would come no further this day and sailed my little car home content.
"If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with success unexpected in common hours."
Henry David Thoreau
This is the home of World Bird Wednesday. A place for bird photographers from around the world to gather and share their photographs and experiences as they pursue Natures most beautiful treasurers, the birds.
You don't have to be a Bird Watcher or expert photographer to join in, just enjoy sharing what you bring back from your explorations and adventures into nature!
#1Simply copy the above picture onto your W.B.W. blog entry, it contains a link for your readers to share in the fun. Or, you can copy this link on to your blog page to share WBW. http://pineriverreview.blogspot.com/
#2Come to The Pine River Review on Tuesday Noon EST North America through Wednesday midnight and submit your blog entry with InLinkz.
#3Check back in during the course of the next day and explore these excellent photoblogs!
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