Friday 4 September 2015

Washington and Washington

I've finally got around to loading up my other website with a few photos of birds from Washington State. When all is said and done I am surprised by how few I have - and that;s not because I took thousands and then binned them all. In actual fact I didn't take very many as I was mostly birding.This kind of upsets me, kind of doesn't. It does in the sense that I don't take nearly as many bird photographs as I would like to, and 2015 has been a fairly lean year in comparison to 2014. Almost the whole of July and most of August went by without me attaching anything longer than 200mm to my camera - a lot of kit gathering dust and that is just begging to be used. Then again I can't get too upset as my reason for going to the US west coast was principally to see birds. I used to say that these two hobbies, of seeing birds and photographing them, went hand in hand. Now I'm not so sure. Certainly they're not mutually exclusive, but you are forced to neglect one at the expense of the other. I could have seen less and spent more time with individual birds, which would have resulted in better images than I came home with, or as I chose to, I could zip about here there and everywhere maxing out on the listing front and doing some superb birding along the way. You pays yer money as they say. I think it's a common feature of a first trip anywhere - it takes a while to get the measure of it. If there are new birds you want to see them, and you worry about everything else after that. It's on subsequent trips that you learn what you want to do, certain species you want to target. My trips to Morocco are a case in point, the first one was a whirlwind of birds, whereas the follow-up trips were more leisurely and more targeted. I saw far fewer birds, I came back with far better shots of them. Dubai is still on my list of places to go for instance, and I know exactly where I'll be going next time. And I won't be worrying about listing - I'll be worrying about head-angles and rictal bristles on Wheatears.

I've also been to Washington D.C. Blink and you missed it, which I may have done as it was somewhat of a quick trip given the distance. But I am nothing if not stupid, and Mrs L and I had a lovely two days with my Aunt seeing the sights both downtown and the rural area where she lives. We also had a fun day in New York on the way back, as Mrs L was headed there for a choir trip. She sensibly had a week lined up, whereas I got a few hours and then came home and went back to work in order to pay for the tickets. And to book some new ones, as New York is utterly fantastic and fifteen hours, half of them asleep, wasn't long enough.

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