Tuesday, January 29, 2013

In The Thick Of It

Sometimes people are surrounded, enshrouded, wrapped or blanketed by nature. Sometimes we go to see them specifically in the thousands.  And sometimes the thousands cover us unexpectedly.....

.......and while humans are distracted, a Coati eyes up a photographer's car, smells the crackers in the front seat of the open car door and...........

........the photographer becomes overwhelmed with emotion as thousands of Yellow-headed blackbirds flock around him.  Everyone stops in their tracks, pulls out their cell phones.......and watch the spectacular show Mother Nature is providing.  All of it.....unexpected.  A birder watches non-birders enjoy the beauty of it all and it makes him smile.  Would this moment spark somebody into birding?

These moments don't always last long. Sometimes only a few minutes.

He knows that he must act quickly, but his fingers aren't quick enough.  He fumbles the toggles and gets the lens ready for manual focus.

And sometimes, it's an epic fail as the photographer gets caught up in simply.....observing.

Meanwhile back at the ranch, the Coati gets closer to the photographer's car.  He crosses onto human sidewalks, jumps up effortlessly from the rocks onto the cement and approaches the open car door.

Cranes land.  Blackbirds deafen humanity's ears.

And the Coati has gotten too close.  The photographer slowly moves to his vehicle and shuts the door.  His buddy also sees the Coati moving closer to her and she doesn't know whether to flee or keep snapping pictures:)  Eventually, he gets too close and she backs away:)  And then the Coati disappears into the forest again with his friends.

Meanwhile the photographer scares up ducks by accident and almost has a heart attack.

When these moments come to pass, he is always grateful to have experienced them.

January is coming to a close.  As we get closer to the end, I'll reveal more big adventures from our Big January. Stay tuned for more!



  1. Love the flock images and the Coati Chris!

  2. Unbelievable experience Chris, how fantastic and you've done a great job of recording it, nice work indeed!

  3. These are all nice but the first one is my fav for its artistic value. I noticed on another blog recently swarms of birds. Is this normal behavior?

    1. Hi there! Yes, for blackbirds, it's normal to flock together especially during the winter. It's an incredible thing to see. 20 thousand will be seen in flight at once. Incredible stuff.

  4. The Coati is something new for me, I will have to do a bit of research on him. Great photos Chris.

  5. The Coati looks finest, he/she are making fine photos Chris.

  6. A great post for the theme!
    Nice photos!

  7. Amazing photos of those huge flocks of birds. I find simply "watching" when you are lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time is even better than capturing a photo.

  8. Chris, what a big January! Your sightings all sound wonderful. Awesome shots of the Yellow-headed Blackbirds. And the Coati is cool, great photos. I agree with Mick above... it is wonderful to be in the right place at the right time. Great post!

  9. Definitely a bird whisperer. You've enjoyed several community bird events.

  10. Hi Chris, You truly have had an amazing January... How can you make February better? Great photos of the mass!!!! So many birds... You were in the right place at the right time...

    Glad to catch up with you on FB..

  11. My goodness Chris! You do have some wonderful wildlife adventures, I love the Coati! On your recent posts I particularly liked the Burrowing Owl photos and the Bridled Titmouse but I was very sad to read of the fate of the poor Loon...Nature can be very cruel sometimes...!

  12. OMG, what an amazing sight! I haven't seen a lot of birds like that!

  13. Lovely photos and words Chris. Sounds like another brilliant wildlife adventure :)

  14. A Coati! never heard that name before but cool photos! I heard you really put together a huge Big January-congratulations!!

  15. Wonderful images - huge flocks of birds are such a remarkable thing to see. But I would have got very (very, very) excited if I had seen the Coati!

    Cheers and thanks for linking to WBW.

    Stewart M - Melbourne

  16. Great series!!Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

  17. Once you reach the stage of knowing the experience is the important thing, not the missed image or the new species tallied or the big name refuge visited - you have arrived!

    Very nice images!

  18. Świetny opis i cudowne zdjęcia. Podziwiam ilość "złapanych" na raz ptaków. Pozdrawiam.
    A fine and wonderful pictures. I admire the amount of "captured" at once the birds. Yours.

  19. Fabulous! I have yet to see a yellow-headed, but will get to eventually I am sure. That many at once has to be VERY exciting! And the coati...wow! I saw what must have been a coati in Texas once as I was driving down a country road. I thought by the bushy tail it was a raccoon, and then it turned and had a very pointed snout! :-)


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