Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

October 20, 2012

Accidental Birding

Don’t you love it when you end up with some photos you weren’t expecting to take that you really like?  That happened recently for me and I was able to add some new shots to my bird collection.

I mentioned in my  last post that I actually took two walks for Robin’s blog-along walk, but that I wasn’t overly happy with my photos from the first walk.  Near the end of that walk, I stopped and paused on a little bridge over a creek.


I tried to just relax and take in the quiet sounds around me: the burbling of the brook, rustling of leaves in the wind, and bird song.  While I leaned on the fence of the bridge, something changed.  My eyes suddenly were able to see birds flitting everywhere right in front of me.  I’m not sure if they appeared there after I stilled my body or if the stilling of my body is what allowed me to see what was already there.

catbird and robin

Catbird and Robin.  (Too bad it wasn’t a “batbird”, huh? 😉  )  These two are birds that I see in my backyard constantly, but I liked having the two of them together in one shot.  The pink leaves and red berries made a nice backdrop too.

Gentle shaking of nearby pine branches caught the corner of my eye.  I refocused my eyes to try to find the cause of the motion and saw one of my favorite little birds, our Massachusetts state bird, the chickadee.

Just beyond the chickadee, rustling the dry leaves, no doubt searching for tasty insects, I saw a bird that I’ve seen plenty of times, but of which I’d never managed a photo, a northern flicker.

northern flicker

Later that week while I was lazily staring into my backyard, I spotted a little bird that I couldn’t identify.  It wasn’t an overly distinctive bird, but I thought it was rather sweet looking.


My photos of it aren’t spectacular, as I quickly ran to grab the camera before it flitted away, but I believe this is an Eastern Phoebe, a small species of flycatcher.  That seemed to be about right as I watched it perch in various places around my yard and then suddenly dart into flight – I’m guessing to snag a fly out of the air.  These next two photos are very blurry, but I thought they were still kind of neat.

I see you tasty fly!”

“Coming to get ya!”

I don’t think I’ve ever taken a picture of a bird in flight with its wings closed before.  It struck me kind of funny, like someone had picked the bird up and tossed it into the air.

Nice what you can find sometimes when you aren’t really looking!


  1. I saw a Hawk take a Northern Flicker and feast upon it in my backyard last week. I did take photos with my 100-400mm but have decided not to share since they aren’t appealing. The Flicker is so large that I was surprised that a red-tailed would be able to manage it.

    Comment by Becky Sue — October 20, 2012 @ 12:22 pm | Reply

    • As much as I find the big birds of prey fascinating, that isn’t something I’d like to take photos of!

      Comment by Karma — October 21, 2012 @ 8:30 am | Reply

  2. Really like the second and third photos. The last one looks like the Phoebe leaped into the air – or was shot from a slingshot.

    Comment by Carol — October 20, 2012 @ 12:24 pm | Reply

    • Thanks Carol. Yes, a slingshot! That’s just what it looks like, lol!

      Comment by Karma — October 21, 2012 @ 8:30 am | Reply

  3. Birds “accidently” found me a few years ago, and I haven’t stopped noticing them since, but it wasn’t whilst walking or taking photos, but while gardening. Your birds are so very different to the Australian birds who visit my garden, much more delicate and small. I was pleased to see what a chickadee actually looks like to; Kathy at Lake Superior mentions chickadees often! 🙂

    Comment by Joanne — October 20, 2012 @ 5:43 pm | Reply

    • There are certainly larger, less delicate birds that visit my backyard – bluejays, crows, grackles, Europeon starlings are a few that come to mind. Those chickadees are cuties, aren’t they? Thanks Joanne.

      Comment by Karma — October 21, 2012 @ 8:33 am | Reply

  4. Had to look twice to find the robin in catbird and robin…how cool! I love the chickadees too, they are so brave…they always tell me when the birdfeeder is empty.

    Comment by Dawn — October 21, 2012 @ 8:25 am | Reply

    • That’s the sign of a good sidekick, isn’t it – having to look twice to see him? 😉

      Comment by Karma — October 21, 2012 @ 8:34 am | Reply

  5. I sometimes wonder that when we can’t see things like birds–and then we can–if it’s really Spirit that is pointing out the birds to us. (Of course I have to put a spiritual twist on this, lol.) Lovely bird photos. I especially like the chickadee.

    Comment by Kathy — October 21, 2012 @ 11:05 am | Reply

    • Thank you Kathy. At that moment, alone with the birds and the brook and the trees, it certainly felt like a spirit was doing the directing for me!

      Comment by Karma — October 22, 2012 @ 12:59 pm | Reply

  6. Amazing what a person can see when a person stops buzzing around and just starts looking and listening. It took me way too long to learn that. You are much, much wiser. “Good on ye.”

    Comment by Gerry — October 21, 2012 @ 8:10 pm | Reply

    • Thanks Gerry. It is not always so easy to stop the buzzing, especially the buzzing in my head that happens all day, most days. I’m trying my best to find those opportunities that allow me to stop the buzzing and just appreciate what is around me.

      Comment by Karma — October 22, 2012 @ 1:02 pm | Reply

  7. These are great accidental photos! Better than I can do on purpose. Batbird…LOL! Good one. 🙂

    Comment by Robin — October 27, 2012 @ 10:18 am | Reply

    • Thank you Robin. I think you and I “get” each other when it comes to our senses of humor! 😉

      Comment by Karma — October 28, 2012 @ 9:09 am | Reply

      • We’re just a couple of odd birds, Karma. 😉

        Comment by Robin — October 28, 2012 @ 10:37 am

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