Wednesday, April 30, 2014

My Big Week

If you are even mildly interested in birds, do yourself a favor and rent "The Big Year" with Jack Black, Owen Wilson and Steve Martin. Basically, three birders compete against each other to record the most amount of birds on their list in one year's time. They travel all over the world to accomplish this feat, and one of the characters is pretty cutthroat about the whole thing, so there's some nerdy drama.

Well, I had a Big Week last week, sighting four new species of birds. Here's another one I spotted: the blue grosbeak. I think I love him as much as the indigo bunting.


Either a female or young male


All but one of the new species were seen from my secret vantage point inside a bird blind. Not only was I able to get very close to these birds unnoticed, my shots are so much sharper! Here I've been spending money on the best gear I could afford, when all I really needed was a $75 bird blind. This has been the most exciting revelation during my six years of photography and birding. I had talked about getting a bird blind last year, then talked myself out of it. When one of the volunteer birders at Bluebonnet Swamp erected one this year and told me he didn't mind sharing, I was excited to try it. Best decision ever. So I ordered a chair blind for my yard that is scheduled to arrive today. Yippee!

Sharing with Wild Bird Wednesday. Please check out exciting birds from around the world. Thanks, Stewart!

Many thanks to Hilary for selecting this post for Post of the Week! I am so honored. :)

55 comments:

Andy said...

These are excellent photos. The only bird blind that have have ever seen is the ones that hunters construct from tree branches. So I Googled bird blind chair. Now I know. I am hoping to see a photo of you sitting in your's. :)

Nancy's Notes said...

Gorgeous shots, oh my!! Glad you were able to sit in the bird blind and get to see such beauty! What fun to get your own blind for your yard, way to go!
Nancy

Optimistic Existentialist said...

Wow the blue grosbeak is beautiful!! And that movie sounds like something right up my alley :)

HOOTIN ANNI said...

I've only seen one and got a couple of photos of the blue last Spring...didn't see any this year.

How exciting. To see this bird AND to get you a new bird watching gadget for your yard!! You go girl!!!!

eileeninmd said...

Gorgeous shots of the blue grosbeak! Congrats on your new bird blind, sound like a great idea!

Roan said...

Beautiful bird! And really great shots! Okay, give it up. We need to see a picture of your bird blind. I have thought about setting up hubby's hunting blind, but it is big and bulky.

R. Mac Wheeler said...

Absolutely gorgeous birds.

Nice shots, too ;O)

I'll look for that movie.

Beth @ "E." Lizard Breath Speaks said...

gorgeous blue ... what an amazing bird. what a beauty. ( :

EG CameraGirl said...

It's a very funny movie and reminded me of a few birding friends. ;)) Actually, most birders are extremely helpful to novice birders like my husband and me.

TexWisGirl said...

incredible shots, gail!!! yay for you and your bird blind - yes, you do need to drag in some downed limbs and trees for them to perch on, too!

Terri @ Backward B Ranch said...

Wow- he's a beaut! Good idea about the blind- I've never thought of that...have always wished a could perch in the trees to get better shots! LOL! A blind is much more sensible!

Shug said...

I just adore the big beak on this bird. That thing can gobble up lots of big worms!! I hear excitement in your words about the blind....I'm not sure how your photos could get any better, but I await what you post from the blind....
Be sure to show pics of your blind!!
hugs,
Shug

Debbie said...

the images are stunning but your enthusiasm and joy are the best part for me!!

i own that movie, a dear blogging friend told me to buy it. i have watch it probably 10 times, there were a few moments where i saw myself on screen ;)

Kim Stevens said...

What an absolutely stunning bird- where are you ordering your bird blind?

And is that movie the one where they go to High Island?

Anvilcloud said...

The blind sure seems to be paying off. These are great.

nookworm said...

I'm wowed down with those BEAUTIFUL shots! I'll bet you were jumping up and down and all around after seeing these. More excitement to come!!!!

hootnonny said...

They have really gross beaks! You're an amazing bird photog! Will have to watch the movie with a cast like that!

Linda R said...

Oh my stars girlfriend. These are awesome. So sharp and clear Love them. We did see the movie "The Big Year" It was a great movie..

Happy Wednesday...

Hugs~

bailey-road.com said...

Beautiful captures!

Irma said...

Beautiful pictures of the blue grosbeak, Gail.
The bird I've never seen, thanks for sharing.
Greetings Irma

Karen said...

Oh what a gorgeous bird! I love the rose-breasted grosbeak and these guys are just as fabulous. Stunning captures! I'm now going to google bird blind chair!

Black Jack's Carol said...

Oh goodness, those shots are extraordinary! Thanks you for the movie referral. Sounds perfect! (guess I'm a nerd :)

Evelyn S. said...

Do you use a tripod in the blind, Gail! These are truly extraordinary images....and I do love that blue!

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

I haven't heard of that movie but it sounds hilarious. Wonder if I can get it through the library.
Amazing shots today!

beth said...

these are sooooooo gorgeous….and we loved that movie !!!

Mama Zen said...

These are stunning!

Ida said...

Wow! What amazing shots and the blue on this bird is just stunning. The bird blind is obviously working.

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Stunning pictures. I have considered getting a chair blind and now I might have to get serious about that.

Chris Rohrer said...

I know people hesitate with bird blinds but they really are quite amazing. Congrats on the Blue Grosbeak. One of my favorites!

June Caedmon said...

Congrats, Gail, you're doing fabulous on your life list! Four in one week, oh my! And he is a beauty! I'm curious, are most of these birds passing through, or can you find them in the swamp pretty much year round? Can't wait to see what your bird blind produces! You're husband will be wandering around wondering where you are, lol!

Pantherka said...

Good evening,
it's just beautiful.
You have a really great blog.
Greetings.

Kerry said...

Blue Grosbeak? I never heard of this beautiful creature! Wow! The bird blind totally paid off.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

I can't even imagine how your pictures could get much better as they seem beyond perfect to me. But am excited to see how you like the blind. Never even heard of a blue grosbeak -- what an amazing spotting! Congrats.

Kathy said...

A blind is definitely the way to go. Might help protect you from the skeeters too!

Brian King said...

Congratulations! Beautiful photos!

thewovenspoke said...

What a beautiful bird, blue grosbeak fantastic shots. I will have to try a blind sometime, Ihide under the trees now.

Hilary said...

These are just amazing and crisp. What a gorgeous bird. You will have to tell us more about the blind when you get it, please? And thanks for the tip about the movie. It sounds like one I'd enjoy.

Anita Johnson said...

Oh these are beautiful shots of quite a stunning bird! I like the idea of a bird blind!

Lois said...

Absolutely gorgeous bird and your shots are wonderful!

Amy Burzese said...

You've outdone yourself! These are excellent. Please share your blind when you get it set up. I agree with some comments above . . . Get hubby to take a photo of you in it and share it with us. :;

DeniseinVA said...

Incredible close-ups and what a great idea to buy a chair blind. I've often wondered if these are effective. I've also wanted to rent this movie. Must do so now :)

Linda at To Behold The Beauty said...

These photos are superb, Gail. I'd never even heard of a blue grosbeak before. The detail you captured is really amazing, and the images are so crisp. Wonderful job, my friend.

LC said...

Going to look up that chair bird blind. Thanks for sharing your strategies as well as the awesome photos. Bravo on the additions to your life list!

Margaret Adamson said...

HI Gail Fantastic shot of this lovely bird. Now that hide sound a great idea, must look it up on the internet. Great on getting another lifer.

Barbara Shallue said...

These are gorgeous birds, and your shots are beautiful, as usual. I want to know more about the bird blind!

orchid Miyako said...

Wow, blue grosbeak is SO unusual to me and happy for you to find the new kind♫♫♫
Oh, bird blind!!! Sure sounds SO professional and checked with pc what it is like p;)

Sending you lots of love and hugs to my dear Japanese friend in America, xoxo Miyako*

Gunilla B├Ąck said...

Awesome shots of these gorgeous birds!

Melissa said...

They are a very handsome bird for sure! Beautiful beak, and I think they have longer eyelashes than I do!!!

Adam Jones said...

Really stunning pictures.

Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

I'm in love with your blue grosbeak. These are fabulous photos! Congratulations on your POTW.

Linda at To Behold The Beauty said...

Hi, Gail. I had to stop back and say congratulations on your POTW.

TexWisGirl said...

came back to say congrats on your potw!

holdingmoments said...

Stunning shots of a stunning bird Gail.
Congrats on POTW; well deserved with these.

Kerry said...

Such a well-deserved potw. But then, I always think your posts are the best. :-)

Helma said...

Just the blue color of these birds is great to see.
Truly a wonderful kind of brilliant colors.