|You know your birding is getting desperate when you are photographing crows behind branches in bad light.|
So, how does a birder deal with the birding blues? I can't say I'm an expert at dealing with these issues, but this is what I did the other day...and it helped!
Get outside! - I ditched out of work a little early to go birding at a nearby park while I waited to pick up my daughter from her after-school choir practice. That's where I digiscoped the pictures in this post. This little park isn't the best birding spot, but it's somewhat becoming a patch for me as I am able to visit it now and then. Finding a Cackling Goose amid the hordes of Canadas was a great pick-me-up, even if they flew before I could get a photo.
Cut off the negative self-talk in the ol' cabeza. Enjoy what you have instead of what you wish you had. - I took some deep breaths and decided - actually making the mental choice - to enjoy the abundance of American Robins and to be thrilled anew with their antics. The robin below posed for me on metal fence post, with wild rose bush buds blurred in the background. I chose to find beauty in this moment and my soul began to heal.
On the south-facing bank of a creek, the low-hanging winter sun had managed to warm and melt the snow providing forage for the flickers and robins. I paused to watch this Red-shafted Northern Flicker plunge his bill deep into the mud, wondering what in the world he was finding to eat in there.
Consciously choosing to slow down and enjoy the moment with each regularly occurring species was just the remedy I needed. I couldn't help but laugh when the thought struck me that male Red-shafted Northern Flickers have big red mustaches, just like Yomesite Sam from Looney Toons.
Later, as I sat parked in the school parking lot waiting for my daughter, I decided to carry out a very aggressive birding game called "The Big 5-minutes!". How many birds could I see in five minutes from where I was parked? Several American Robins, a female Northern Flicker, a murder of crows, a tiny song bird in the shadows the flitted away before I could i.d. it, and several Mourning Doves erupting out of stand pine trees. And that was it. It was fun!