I was on Muddelty Creek the other day in the marsh and heard an unmistakable sound. The trilling call of a red-winged blackbird. And then another, and another. The marsh was suddenly alive with them. Well, their calls at least. They didn’t really seem to want a portrait on this particular day. I would catch one setting still for a moment but as soon as I raised my lens they would take to the sky and disappear into the greenery.
I remembered the iconic pictures from wildlife books I had as kid. The red-winged blackbirds were always pictured as being perched on a reed or cattail stem and I really wanted to reproduce that childhood memory.
I discovered that even when perched these hyper little guys are never really still. They seemed to be more jittery than I had remembered. Finally the one that’s pictured in mid flight moved a little closer and gave me the shot that I had been waiting for.
I definitely want to go back to this spot for more shots. I know there’s a female in the area but she’s much better camouflaged and will be harder to spot. I also want to catch the male in full display during his call and I’ve downloaded the call to help pull one in a little closer. For now I’ll have something that I have wanted to capture ever since I was a little boy leafing through an encyclopedia at Mt. Lookout Elementary School in the 70s.
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