Birder For a Day 2

This spring, when the entire bird watching gang traditionally ran from one bluethroat to the other, I, – very traditionally as well-, had other things on my mind. Even without a blue chest, fox cubs easily win the cuteness contest, and so I let the bluethroat pass me by again.


Photographing fox cubs involves a lot of waiting. Usually this offers space to re-examine the meaning of life, universe and everything or to develop a new business strategy. This time, though, my ear was drawn to a rather present sound. I could definitely  hear it was a bird, but sound-wise I cannot distinguish a robin from an ostrich, so it remained kind of background noise. Like a fine fox photography soundtrack.

Suddenly, while I was innocently enjoying a calm spring evening, this cheerful whistler almost pushed its blue breast into my face. The hint was clear, even I didn’t need ObsIdentify for that!

Blue vs Orange

Oh well, a bluethroat. Very cool, but my mission was and remained orange, so I decided to ignore this somewhat intrusive bird.
Boy, did I underestimate the bluethroat! They must and will be seen. And – admittedly – they have a point. That beautiful blue chest is seriously made to be admired. But the same goes for fluffy orange fur! So no, I did not succumb to this charm offensive. Bluethroat, go home!

Fun Pack

“He who will not listen, must see,” The bluebird must have thought. Again he came into my field of vision and filled my frame with a big blob of blue. Slightly irritated, I turned my lens away and looked for a cub to free myself from this busybody.
Then, all of a sudden the bluethroat flew off. Offended? Did he just give up?

On the contrary! He came back to deploy even cruder artillery: There he was, with a fun pack in its beak: Caterpillars, beetles and spiders and a whole bunch of indefinable critters. The poser. And as if this wasn’t enough, he even brought his wife, who tried to outdo him by showing off her catch. When he brought a dragonfly, I had a hard time; it suited him so well! Stubbornly ignoring a desperate attention seeker is not my style, I am not made of stone! But hey, foxes first!

New trend

And then the golden summer sun decided to support Team Bluethroat and put it in a marvelous spotlight. As the rays slowly dyed its blue into gold, I felt my inner birder – usually tucked deeply away- stretch her little arms and slowly but surely awaken. I still played hard to get, while looking suspiciously at a beautiful plume in perfect backlight. Knowing that if it landed there, my last bit of resistance would be broken. I took one more hopeful glance at the very invisible cubs, but as if the bluethroat had just completed his telepathy course, he prominently landed on that plume…. Bluethroat: me, 10:0. Cubs can wait. So that evening I became a temporary bird watcher.

To be honest, I think it’s a cool new trend: If I don’t come to the birds, the birds will come to me! So let’s hope the bittern, short-eared owl, bee-eaters, hoopoe and bittern also catch on to this concept. My birder and I are already setting up our tent!

Mr. Bluethroat himself
Daddy bluethroat with its fun pack
Daddy bluethroat with its fun pack
Bluethroat male with mosquitoes
He even brings an entire mosquito swarm with him…..
Bluethroat with dragonfly
This is where the Big Bidding begins
Bluethroat with a dragonfly
Just in case I hadn’t noticed: dragonfly
B;uethroat  on a plume
With prey on a plume!
Bluethroat female
Of course wifey can’t stay behind. Whatever he can do, she can too!
Bluethroat female flying
And even better!
Bluethroat female in a beautiful setting
She clearly has a better sense of style
Bluethroat male at sunset
But don’t underestimate his talent for drama…
Close up of a bluethroat male
Look at him… with its blue chest!
Backlit Bluethroat
Thank you bluethroats….you are fantastic birds.
Bluethroat silhouette
Almost as cute as foxes!

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2 thoughts on “Birder For a Day

  • Judith

    Thank you dear recorder of heart sustaining beauty and wonder in our human world of being pummeled by not-so-good news. Please carry on your antidote giving work.