Thursday, September 27, 2018


If you follow my travel blog Vaughn the Road Again, you know that we've been having a great time hiking our way through Lassen Volcanic National Park. Our latest hike to Boiling Springs Lake and Devil's Kitchen was supposed to be great for birding, according to the brochure anyway.

While we did see and hear a lot of birds along the trail, they WOULD NOT cooperate for the camera at all. In fact, I'd go as far to say that every yank-yank of the Red-breasted Nuthatch and every dee-dee-dee of the Mountain Chickadee was to mock us. I'd like to say that my photography has improved over the years, and that's bound to happen when you have a lot of practice at something, but these mountain birds have proved frustratingly elusive for my camera lens.

I had dozens of photos to post on VTRA from our hike and when I scrolled through to post the bird photos here, I came up with a big fat goose egg. We hiked over 7 miles that day through the forest and meadows and around a lake and I still couldn't find a decent photo to post for you.

Well, I take that back. There was one Cassin's Finch (or Purple Finch according to the app) who took mercy on me and turned toward the camera for a split second.
As for his fellow avian buddies, here they are in all their "no pictures please" glory...
Dark-eyed Junco "Oregon" Pink-sided

Mountain Chickadee in flight

Steller's Jay

Downy? Woodpecker
Normally, I only post my best photos here to showcase the beauty of birds out in the wild. But this time I just had to share my photography fails because there were so many of them, one right after the other. I think it's hilarious that the birds we encountered did everything they could to not appear on camera. Sometimes you just have one of those days, right?

Now I can appreciate how easy the wildlife refuges make it to photograph birds. Rarely have I ever had a Great Egret refuse to pose for the camera!

Today's birding lesson is: Even if you don't walk away with photographic proof, at least you still had a marvelous time out in nature.

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