Kat and I were working in the yard--mowing the lawn, finishing planting, cleaning tools, pressure-washing the outhouse to prep it for repainting, and other things--when we saw one, and then two HUGE white birds on the marsh. Two great egrets! I tried to digiscope some shots of one of them in the Heron Tree (its new official name), but I just couldn't get at the right angle. This was my best effort:
After listening to me whine about getting my tripod tomorrow, the passing cloud that obscured the sun momentarily, the wind, the grass tickling my feet, etc., Kat finally just said, "Give me that scope." She walked to one of the fence posts, put the scope (on its little table-top mount) on the post, took the camera, and started to focus the scope! Kat was digiscoping!
Now this is a great advance in our civilization, folks. This is Kat, who doesn't really like birds because
"They have beady little eyes that stare at you."
"The little baby birds are ugly."
So for her to first admire the egrets, then start to help me photograph them, well, it's just like one small step for Delia, one giant leap for Kat-kind!
Admittedly, she didn't do too well, but her photos were actually better than anything I got. Here are the best two; she doesn't really use my camera very often, so she didn't understand about getting it to focus, or about zooming for vignetting. And I was NOT about to make any suggestions; she likes to learn things on her own. Her best results:
Not great, admittedly, but wait until we get a tripod! I then explained to her about the auto-focus, the vignetting, the fact that the camera is not optimal for digiscoping because of the external zoom -- she listened to all of it, even! Then my new assistant offered this helpful note:
"Oh! Big white birds! Flying away!"
The digiscoping was over.
We watched for them for about an hour, relaxing in the Adirondack chairs, but those birds could sense when I would turn my camera off to save the battery; that's when they'd make a little circle around what I presume is their nest and then settle back down again, hidden by the marsh grasses. Even Kat said they were just taunting me.
I thought about taking a walk into the marsh, but we had so much to do in the yard; I just didn't want to stop working on such a beautiful day.
Some birding club members are coming out here on Wednesday night to case some locations for the upcoming Birding Cup competition, so I can't wait to tell Roana that in addition to sora, Virginia rail, American bittern, and great blue heron, she might get a great egret! Boy, this marsh just rocks so hard; I love living here!