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North Bend: Expecting the Unexpected

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Birding is being open, expecting the unexpected. Being ready for it, having your binoculars and camera half-lifted all the time, your eyes scanning the sky and water. I wasn't expecting ospreys, but there were two at North Bend this September day, peeping their complaints at my intrusion.

I'm used to phlegmatic New England and southern coastal ospreys who don't mind if you paddle right beneath them. Where are these from, that they take me as such a threat?
Nothing to defend here, no nest or young, and yet they're sorely affronted that they must share this quiet water with me. Even here, he's peeping and complaining, just before he takes off around a bend.

I wasn't expecting a scarlet tanager, either, especially against such a backdrop of lime and russet. Wow! He's in fall plumage, all olive drab. See if you can find him. Hint: He's on the lower of the two parallel branches, just left of center.

I was expecting Sachems, and I found them. Sachems are common in fall in my part of the country.

I was NOT expecting my life Sleepy Orange!! When this creature flew, I saw a flash of neon orange, and knew I had something new. I've been wanting to see a Sleepy Orange all my life. This is not a fabulous photo, but it's identifiable, and that's something when you're talking about a jittery hyperactive butterflier trying to get a decent photo of a jittery hyperactive butterfly that's anything but sleepy.

I was not expecting the drake wood duck, clad in eclipse drab, to be standing on a log waiting for me to shoot his ascent. Mmm. Thank you. 

Nor was I expecting the turkey vulture who, unlike the osprey or wood duck, paid no attention to me as I circled beneath him, admiring his unearthly beauty. 

Turkey vulture: my totem, who guides me to better things.


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Well I have nothing for sale to offer but I am loving the photos! I obviously need a sharper eye and some practice. Very cool shot of the Osprey. I will get one of those someday.

Posted by Fritzann October 1, 2013 at 5:35 AM

Wow, I can't believe you captured that Scarlet Tanager in that beautiful foliage!

Kathy in Delray Beach

Posted by Anonymous October 1, 2013 at 6:00 AM

Beautiful. Nice that you got the shot of the Sleepy Orange!

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