I love a good challenge and photographing a bird before it flies away is definitely a challenge! Today Patrick and I went to Bluff Lake Nature Center to see what birds we could spot. Birding often starts with the ears rather than the eyes. You listen for the melodies of birds singing to each other (probably saying "watch out for these crazy people") and then follow the sound with your eyes. One of the first birds we were able to spot was this beautiful red robin. Even though it is a common bird, I had never fully appreciated its vibrance. This little guy let us get pretty close which is good because I only had a 200mm kit lens which is not great in terms of telephoto lenses.
As we kept walking, I was surprised to hear sounds not of birds but little squeaks coming from a hill filled with prairie dogs! This guy was not happy that I got so close to him.
Not far away was this little rabbit running straight for me!
Another common bird- the Canada goose is a highly under appreciated. I was able to photograph this goose with a crisp reflection in the water as she gracefully glided across the water looking for food.
Next we came upon a type of red winged blackbird who was quite scared of me but I luckily captured this shot before he flew away.
This may have been the most unique bird we saw. Its white beak was quite striking against its black body. Patrick informed me that this was the American Coot. You can't see it here, but it even had red eyes. Very fierce looking bird!
Last but not least was the Kingfisher! I only knew of this bird because of the Indian beer brand but was so excited to see one in real life. It is no wonder it is called a Kingfisher with a bill as long as that. Cannot wait to buy a more powerful lens and photograph more birds/wildlife.
Patrick and I had a beautiful morning with all the birds and other surprise animals that graced us with their presence today at Bluff Lake Nature Center. That being said there were several people loudly talking as they walked by on the trail without taking any notice of the magical creatures around them. They were more concerned with exercise and talking about their problems than looking at the nature around them! I felt very appreciative to be in the quiet birding mindset that allowed me to be hyper aware of this world of animals that is found in several places in Colorado but that oftentimes go unnoticed because we are too caught up in the gossip of people. If we only took more time to close our mouths every now and then we might open our ears and eyes to a different view of this planet. We might find ourselves connecting to animals and seeing a bird we have never seen before! We can become like children again excited by the natural world discovering new forms of life and developing appreciation for our own.