Saturday, August 25, 2012

The Ones That Get Away

In this photo the bird got away a millisecond before my shutter clicked.  And that’s the way it always is. Birding is a lot like fishing; the best stories are always about the ones that got away, as in this case the one I didn’t get a photo of. I was having a slow birding day on my hike up the Williamson River Trail; it was almost half over before I starting writing down any bird sightings. And, then I spotted what turned out to be a Green-tailed Towhee! It was extra exciting because it was a new addition to my life list. I failed after about three attempts to get a photo, and then it flew out of sight. I was determined to get a photo so I decided to try calling it in with my iPod.  I dialed up the Green-tailed Towhee call and gave it a couple of tries.  No response, then I noticed an approaching shadow overhead that swooped in and landed in the tree.  It was a Cooper’s Hawk, an eater of small birds, who had come to investigate the Towhee call.  It took a puzzled look and me, turned around, and flew off.  They both got away without a photo, the Green-tailed Towhee and the Cooper’s Hawk.

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