A Happy Moment

So, I was taking my morning walk today and got a series of photos that I love. I thought I’d share them immediately. There I was listening to the bird song, trying to spot the various singers.They were all around me at one point, but I was able to focus on this little guy. I suggest you click on the pictures. They aren’t actually black and white. That’s the day.

A Blue Tit at the top of an ash. I've cropped the original to bring him in close.
A Blue Tit at the top of an ash. I’ve cropped the original to bring him in closer.

As usual, I took a ‘keeper’ shot – just in case the first hadn’t come out.

Blue Tit looked like he was nodding at someone so I looked left. What I thought was a key bundle, moved.
Blue Tit looked like he was nodding at someone so I looked left. What I thought was a key bundle, moved.

Then I focussed on the moving key bundle and realised that it was a bird. I thought it might be a Nuthatch, but I wasn’t certain. I’ve been wanting a picture of a Nuthatch, but they’re cunning little guys — shy, skittish and with an unerring sense of when I’m about to press the shutter on a beautiful shot of them.

The beaks have it, all I need now is a good look at the belly colour.
My original subject now in the background, the beaks have it. All I need now is a good look at the belly colour.

So I moved a little farther around the tree, hoping upon hope that just this once, I might get a good shot.

And there he was. A Nuthatch. Finally.
And there he was. A Nuthatch. Finally.

Taking my heart into my hands, I zoomed. I knew that this might be the end of the photo session, so I didn’t even stop to adjust my settings. Just zoomed, pointed and prayed – please let the bird stay – please let the picture come out even tho it’s over-zoomed for the settings. And I started shooting.

He hears something.
He hears something.
He pays attention to it.
He pays attention to it.
He turns to listen and I hold my breath.
He turns to listen and I hold my breath.
As he turns back, we both relax.
As he turns back, we both relax.
Then I see his focus sharpen as he hears something again.
Then I see his focus sharpen as he hears something again.
This time, he looks around immediately. So intensely graceful in the doing.
This time, he looks around immediately. So intensely graceful in the doing.
I know full well that he's faking it when he seems to ignore whatever has his attention.
I know full well that he’s faking it when he seems to ignore whatever has his attention.
He's on guard now, surveying the area. I decide to leave  it there. He was still there when I looked back a few yards down the path.
He’s on guard now, surveying the area. I decide to leave it there. He was still there when I looked back a few yards down the path.

I feel so blessed today, as if this one little encounter made up for all the missed shots. It’s grey again , but I’m smiling because of these five minutes. I hope they make you smile, too.

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