Last day of March so one last bonus round for the month. Been doing a bit of Spring cleaning in the digital darkroom to get a bit more caught up. The hope is I can get to processing all those trips that we have taken since 2013 – which was the time most of the posts as of late have been originating out of. There are so many +1’s in the tin just sitting there waiting to get processed and counted! I’ve had this post ready go for over 6 months now and never got around to getting it out of draft mode. Today we remedy that.
These shots of the Northern Flicker came from a birding outing my brother Ron and I took at Chain O’ Lakes State Park back in April 2014. That would be the same outing where the shots came from in my previous post of Ring-Neck Ducks. Main difference is those pictures were crap and these are some of my favorite. In fact, the shot above was worked up for the Heart of Illinois Fair competition last year and ended up preserving my no-UB status for the year thanks to pulling in an Honorable Mention (which in or books a huge victory for reasons I will not go into right now).
Ron and I were hiking a hidden trail I had found the year before which takes you into a fairly remote area of the park. We ended up getting trapped thanks to flooding waters on this particular hike, but we were able to get some good shots in the tin. It was later in the day when we came upon this Northern Flicker hanging out in a dead tree. Unlike the Ring-Necked ducks, we were able to get nice and close to this specimen who didn’t seem to mind our presence. We could not have asked for better lighting or composition. Although I already have this bird checked off the list due to a chance encounter in my backyard, these shots are definitely worthy of replacing the crappy shot I had to use for my NA Birding List Gallery up on our EddieSoft Photography Gallery (link here).
I actually have a couple more Flicker shots in the tin from an encounter at Independence Grove and on our trips out East, but these by far are the best of the bunch. As my brother has pointed out – the great thing about birding from a photographer’s viewpoint is every trip has the opportunity to be successful – you can observe new birds, you learn more about behavior and you can always improve on your shots of birds you already have on your list – case in point with this post. For some reason Ron keeps getting asked (he is a very social person!) if he is a photographer who likes to take pictures of birds or a bird enthusiast who happens to have a camera. I’ve thought about that a lot and determined I must be a photographer first and a birder a very close second. A shot of a bird is nice, but a shot of a bird in perfect light can be breathtaking.
Happy birding everyone – see ya’ next month!