Always a popular location at Sax-Zim Bog, we were lucky to have the Admiral Road feeder station all to ourselves.
A pair of Boreal Chickadees had been frequenting the feeder to enjoy the peanut butter left there by both the Welcome Center staff and by thoughtful visitors to the bog. Though I had stopped by to see them a couple of times before, this visit I was hoping to get a better photo than the blurry feeder shots I had gotten on previous attempts. (Those little guys move fast!)
Once you post up in front of the feeders, it’s hard to walk away. There are so many birds popping in and out of the area, that you know – you just KNOW – that if you stay long enough, something cool is going to happen. And you worry that if you leave, that “something cool” will happen right after you drive off.
The feeders were hopping! There were Hairy Woodpeckers on every tree, a few Canada Jays checking out the suet, Black-capped Chickadees dive-bombing me, and a large flock of beautiful Pine Grosbeaks enjoying the platform feeder. But no Boreal Chickadees…
I decided to just camp out for a bit and wait to see if they showed up. It only took a couple of minutes before they made a (too) brief appearance. They flew in from the opposite side of the street, attacked the peanut butter, and then zoom! they were gone again. I waited.
Suddenly they were back, this time in the spruce trees. Once again, too fast for a clear shot. I waited.
While I was spending some time shooting a video of the Pine Grosbeaks on the tray feeder, they came back again… of course. Hard to take a photo while shooting a video. I decided that I would give it a little more time. One thing I have learned when it comes to photographing birds, if you are patient you have a much better chance at getting a shot.
I decided to change my position a bit and move over by one of the spruce trees, hoping that by being a little further from the feeders the birds might spend a little more time there. Well, it worked, but not like I had planned. One of the chickadees landed right in the tree I was standing next to! I had to back away from it in order to focus. I managed to get about three shots off before he buzzed over to the feeders and started munching on the peanut butter.
I looked at the back of my camera and thought, “good enough”. As I was packing up my gear and getting in the car I noticed that the little guy was still there. The moment I decided to leave, he decided to hang out for awhile. Oh well… I was pretty happy with the shot I got and there were a lot more birds to see around the Bog, but I could’ve stayed there all day.
#BirdOn – Chris
Sax-Zim Bog – St. Louis County, Minnesota – USA