Watching the Audubon Visitors’ Center is not exactly an arduous task. In fact, the only reason it’s nice to have at least 2 people there is so that one of them can go do something else from time to time. While visits are picking up as more and more activities are scheduled, it really isn’t like there is ever a line of people trying to check in.
As such, when I was asked to be the backup volunteer last Saturday, I took my camera along and thought I might get an opportunity to do a little shooting while I was there.
Not wanting to assume anything, I decided to come back for my camera after establishing how much help the main volunteer was likely to need.
I hopped out of the mini-van and immediately heard the plaintive cry of a red-shouldered hawk. She was flying straight at me over the roof of the visitor’s center. I stood there admiring her and simultaneously kicking myself for not having my camera at the ready. She flew overhead and perched on some wires briefly. When I started to move back towards my car, she flew off.
Now, I might have gotten a clue and grabbed my camera right then and there, but I figured that was going to be my one big sighting for the day and continued on my way into the center. And of course, I got to chatting with the other volunteer and one of the board members who stopped in and didn’t get back out to get my camera right away.
And, of course squared, as we were chatting, a family of wild turkeys suddenly appeared in the parking lot. There were 7 chicks with two adults working there way across the parking lot.
I have a history with wild turkeys and my camera. Whenever I see a wild turkey, I think “wild goose” and I don’t even try to chase it. It’s just fortunate I’m shooting digital. Otherwise, I would really resent all those shots of bushes where a turkey had been a moment before.
I did, however, learn my lesson and go get my camera. I didn’t, however, see any more birds that were exciting. I did, however, manage to get some shots of the birds at the feeders. I particularly like the female house finch drinking the water that collected in the indentation in the hummingbird feeder. Who says you have to go all out to create a water feature attractive to birds?
I also really like the hummingbird and the bee racing to the feeder. I wish it were a better shot (not enough depth of field), but I was at least pleasantly surprised that I managed to get them both in the frame at the same time.
The titmouse peeping at me also makes me smile. I can’t say I’ve ever seen a titmouse from quite that angle. It took me a while to remember what kind of bird it was.