Saturday Snapshot Jan. 26: Winter Birding

The sun and the birds are the main reasons for going into the woods in January. These are common birds for us, but catching a good photo of them is always a challenge. That’s when the common becomes a joy.

The Northern Flicker, I know where they hang out. And they’re not too hard to photo when perching or pecking.

Northern Flicker pecking

But what I’ve been aiming for is when they fly, I can shoot from below, for the orange underwing is beautiful. I’ve spent frustrating hours wading and standing in deep snow just to wait for such a moment. Here’s a semi-successful one.

Northern FlickerThis is my first photo of a Common Redpoll. Look at her demure pose.


This Red-Breasted Nuthatch is easy. She comes near me as if to greet a friend:

Red-Breasted Nuthatch

And for all ye squirrel lovers, here’s another one, too oblivious to be bothered by me taking pictures of her (him?) having breakfast. Look at the open mouth:

Squirrel at breakfast


Saturday Snapshot is hosted by Alyce of At Home With Books. CLICK HERE to see what others have posted.


Published by


If sheโ€™s not birding by the Pond, Artiโ€™s likely watching a movie, reading, or writing a review. Creator of Ripple Effects, bylines in Asian American Press, Vague Visages, Curator Magazine.

46 thoughts on “Saturday Snapshot Jan. 26: Winter Birding”

  1. Your bird shots are truly inspirational. I can only imagine the patience and time it must take to get these great captures. Thanks for sharing – I always enjoy your pics ๐Ÿ™‚


    1. Brona,

      Thanks so much for your kind words. Yes, it takes a lot of patience, but sometimes even that has to yield to the cold. I’d to go back into the car and warm up before coming out again.


    1. Thanks, Sim. Yes, they are fascinating to watch, but much harder to capture in photos. However, I just thought maybe next time I’ll just shoot a video clip of them flying, and freeze the frame for stills. ๐Ÿ˜‰


    1. It’s very difficult indeed. Seems like whatever I can get has been purely by chance. Sometimes they’re very blurry, sometimes a bit clearer. I admit I’ve to do some cropping and editing to get this close and sharp. But still, I consider it just ‘semi-successful’.


  2. What great shots. That underwing is very special. Count me as one of the squirrel lovers too- it’s much easier when you don’t have to live with them I think.


    1. Louise,

      You’re quite right. Don’t we enjoy them from afar, but wouldn’t like them ‘too close for comfort’. ๐Ÿ˜‰ For me, it’s a wasp nest… and birds building nests right under the tiles of our roof.


    1. Anne,

      Are you from the Eastern part of the US? The Northern Flickers there have yellow underwings. It’s a most intriguing thing to note, that the same species of birds have different colors according to geographical locations.


      1. I’m in Indiana. Not exactly east, but east of the Mississippi. I’ll have to check in my bird books to see whether they have yellow or red wings in my area. I’m guessing yellow, but maybe not that noticeable? Hmmmm… I’ll have to look more closely next time I see one in the woods & try to see the underside of the wings.


  3. I do love the flickers – and you’re exactly right. Ours have the yellowish underwings. You’ve a beautiful capture here of yours. The redpoll isn’t familiar – it certainly is a pretty little thing.

    My big surprise last week was coming around the corner at my apartment complex and finding a red-tailed hawk perched in a tree, about 12′ up and about 12′ from my car. I just stopped, rolled down the window and watched him watch me. What a huge bird he was! He was larger than most I’ve seen, and not skittish at all. I finally rolled down my window for a better look. He cocked his head, sized me up and went back to sitting. ๐Ÿ˜‰


    1. Linda,

      Did you happen to have a camera with you? I’ve seen a red-tailed hawk from afar, really far, but not so close. I would have just grabbed my phone and take a pic. What an encounter!


  4. Oh, I know how you feel standing in snow trying to get that one great shot! I haven’t been able to get a flicker in flight yet but I did get one extending one of it’s wings while perched. I’m in the Midwest and we have the yellow-shafted variety.


    1. Leslie,

      I’m really curious about this difference in colors under their wings as one goes from west to east. And… I’m glad I live in the west, for the orange/red is stunning. ๐Ÿ˜‰


  5. I just read your last 3 posts. Iโ€™ll answer the questions you asked on my blog. I went to Florence years ago but not during this last trip. We stayed in Venice then took a cruise to the Black Sea. I only took two cameras with me, my Nikon D40 and my little Panasonic Lumix. I am not very techy about my cameras โ€“ I usually leave the setting on automatic. I just try to do good composition and let the picture do the talking with my commentary on the side.
    Your pictures of birds are very good. I am sure your camera is more sensitive than mine. I am going to stop after writing this because this is my night to watch TV โ€“ Downton Abbey in 20 minutes! I have been reading some interesting books about the Gilded Age and the American heiresses going to England to marry titled peers. I finished the book which inspired Downton Abbey, itโ€™s called โ€œTo Marry an English Lordโ€ by Gail MacColl and it is really interesting. I can see how one could get ideas for a series after reading it. I read it from my library, maybe yours has it too.


    1. Vagabonde,

      By now, you would have recovered from E4 of Downton Abbey, I hope. I was rendered speechless last night. That’s one episode of TV drama that’s the saddest and most memorable for a long time to come. I’m glad too to see the whole cast of DA win the Screen Actors Guild Award last night for Best Ensemble for TV Drama. Sure needed the good news.


  6. Wonderful, Arti! You must have a super camera. Photography is something I always wanted to do, but the equipment can be very pricey. Oh…and Downton Abbey…Aaaargh…how could they do that to me? I was a weeping, slobbery mess last night.


    1. Thanks Grad. As for DA, I was left numbed and speechless last night. So, no post today. But thanks to your “Dewey Decimal Doesn’t Live Here”, I’ve challenged myself to do the same.


  7. I was wondering what that red breasted nuthatch was. I think Lizzie has her eye on one quite regularly! Splendid photos — and fabulous camera work. I’m extremely impressed!


  8. Beautiful! I love the brisk chill I get from each one – winter isn’t quite over, is it?

    Taking photos of birds in flight is a challenge, but so gratifying. I haven’t the patience to wait, but if I see a pelican in flight, I’ll track it until it begins its dive – or track a flock of Seabirds of the Day to cross my lens. Then I snap the photo and hope for the best!

    Again – very stunning.


  9. The photos are stunning, and I imagine the walk must have been even more so, even though you clearly spent much time waiting for them to pass you by.

    I just read an essay by Kathleen Jamie about her attempt to watch birds and to try and write about them without analysing or identifying, perhaps a little of the same as you patiently watching and waiting too. My, you have been rewarded for your perseverance. Just beautiful, thank you for sharing and bonne continuation.


    1. Claire,

      Yes, it’s now almost an obsession now, photographing birds. I’ve read reviews on Kathleen Jamie’s Findings and know this is a book I must get hold of. Thanks for stopping by Ripple Effects and leaving your kind words. Hope to hear from you again. ๐Ÿ˜‰


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s