Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Backyard Birds

Taking pictures of birds is like fishing. A lot of waiting is involved and you don’t know whether you’ll catch something to justify the whiling away of chunks of precious time—time that could be used to scrub your pans or to rid your fridge of long expired food or to complete that patchwork you started ten year ago.

However, I love waiting for the birds. The waiting provides me with quiet time and solitude when I’m alone with my thoughts. I could write, I suppose, or read while waiting—like hitting two birds with one stone—but changing book or pencil for camera would require a long string of movements. As it is, I always have the camera within reach and ready but even that isn't very helpful. By the time the camera is switched on many a bird has flitted away. Or I get to take a blurry picture of only the tail-end of the disappearing bird.

Whenever I notice a slight movement among the leaves in the backyard, I’d grab the camera and switch it on. “Wait for me,” I’d plead with the bird as soon as I have spotted it. My heart beats excitedly as I follow the bird’s movement and as I silently urge it to stop a moment at a flower, on a branch or on the fence. The birds are usually not cooperative. In fact I sometimes think they recognize me as that ‘weird woman with the camera’ and they’d chirp or sing a few notes to lure me out of the house but would fly away as soon as I train my lens at them.

I consider myself enormously lucky, therefore, when I saw this young starling recently and had it ‘pose’ for me. I could almost hear what it ‘said’ in response to my request.
“Won’t you please pose for me?” I asked the young starling. It was the first time I saw a starling which isn’t the glossy, all-black adult with blood-red eyes.
“Sure,” it said. “How do you want me pose?”

"Shall I turn my face upwards?"

“Or shall I turn to the left?”
“Or look to the right?”
“Would you like me to look straight ahead?”

"Or maybe you want me to face the other way?"
You could have knocked me over with a feather!




  1. Hi Tina,
    I see you are getting really good with your photography skills. The shots could pass for professional already. Keep it up, my friend :-)

    I think you would love it at our backyard. The birds here are so colourful and often visit us all day. They are not shy bathing in the water we leave for them outside. My FIL makes sure they have fresh water every day, perhaps that's why they are happy to keep coming and chirp for us daily.

    Happy New Year to you, Tina. I'm looking forward to your new book release :-)

  2. LOL.. nice one sis Tina! I like the conversation with the bird. Thanks for sharing. Cheers!