Everything has it's beauty, but not everyone sees it. - Confucius
Sometimes the picture doesn't have to be perfect; it's the captured moment that counts. - me
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Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Being watched

So I get up early, and head off out somewhere, to watch and photograph the wildlife.

Slowly, walking through the woods, the birdsong is all around me. I stop to listen, and take it all in. Wonderful.

But I become aware of something. I feel eyes, burning into the back of my head. I slowly turn, and there………….

He’s watching me. Undaunted I carry on. There’ll be more ahead. They won’t see me. Onward, to a clearing. A Jay is wandering along the short grass. I crouch down, hopefully blending into the bushes behind, and prepare to edge closer for a better shot.

Too late! He spots me!

A look that says, ‘I know you’re there.’ And then he’s gone, mocking me with his loud grating call, and flashing his white rump, as he takes to the sky.
Up ahead, some longer grass, and I carefully pick my way through, desperately trying not to make any noise. Slowly inching forward like the best tracker I think I am, not daring to breath out too loud. But I'm not that good. These eyes have already spotted me.

Keen eyes that are expert at seeing the ‘stalker’. The woods lay up ahead. It should be easier now; moving from tree to tree, using them as cover. As I enter the wood, the silence is deafening. No sounds, except the beating in my chest. I stop, and wait.

Nothing to be seen or heard. My camera hangs uselessly from my neck, like an expensive ornament. My breath slowly escapes through tightly pursed lips. Eyes scanning the branches, for the slightest movement.

Face it; these birds have seen you coming a mile off. Maybe you’re not so good at this stalking lark after all.

I become aware of something close by. Slowly turning my head, eyes scrambling through the branches. Something is there. I silently raise my camera towards my eyes, still searching for………….

And there, just feet away. I fire off a shot.

He doesn’t move. He stares with those big eyes. Big eyes that have watched me, and allowed me to come close to him. And when he’s ready, and not before.

What the……………….Did he just wink at me?


  1. I know the feeling oh so well Keith. On most visits to the Baywatch site I walk through a wooded area of tall conifers and I have yet to see a bird. Coal Tits and Tree Creepers are definitely about but I have to rely on eyes only and as I said...have seen nothing.
    Yes we are being watched.

  2. Brilliant illustrated prose Keith. I'm sure I was holding my breath by the time I had reached the end. The look on the Jay is priceless and such a good low level shot.

  3. Oh yes I think the squirrel winked at you!! That was your award of the day. He probably realize the hard time you got to get nice bird shots, so he decided to be nice with you!!!
    Nice great tit shots too, and for the rest, I feel I'm facing the same, the bird I see see me miles away!

  4. Great account of your outing. It is just not possible to get close sometimes. The birds all seem mess with the photographer, they deliberatly let you get close enough and take flight when your about to press the shutter!

  5. Let's face it, nature's eyes and ears are far better than ours, but it's fun trying to compete in their world. FAB

  6. A wonderful post that made me smile :-)
    Cheers Keith.

  7. Good Trip!
    People tell me to add words
    to my blog, tell us what it
    felt like, what else you saw...
    I think I will just adapt your
    words to my images? Not really.
    Great post, thanks.

  8. It must have been that Father Christmas outfit you had on Keith.{:)
    Seriously you took some great images all the same.

  9. ha really enjoyed this post. very cute, best thing i've read all day!!

  10. Loved your morning walk. Thanks for taking us with you, especially to see that squirrel wink at you!


  11. Good set as usual Keith, that squirrel looks like I feel.

  12. Thanks Trevor. Some of the wildlife are masters of disguise at times. I often wonder what they make of us, as we creep through the undergrowth :)

    John, thank you. Jays and Green Woodpeckers always seem to spot me, long before I
    get close. My challenge next year, I think. Get closer. lol

    Thanks Chris. I think you’re right about the squirrel. He probably felt sorry for me. lol

    Thanks Bob. I try.

    Bobbster, thank you. I’m sure they secretly laugh at us at times.

    Cheers Frank. You’re dead right mate. It’d be no fun, or challenge, at all would it, if they just sat there.

    Thanks Nick. It can be enjoyably frustrating at times.

    IttL, thank you for your comment. Glad you enjoyed it.

    Roy, thank you. I think the beard scared them all. ;)

    Thank you Hillary, glad you enjoyed it. :)

    Wilma, thanks. Hadn’t noticed the wink till I put them on the computer. :)

    Cheers Adrian. I feel like that too. Off to work soon.

  13. A beautifully written piece Keith and great fun too. With the amount of birds I don't see I think they must see me coming a mile off :)

    The Great Tit photo is lovely. The Squirrel looked like it had been around a bit, is it the camera angle or is there something odd about its ears?

  14. Thanks for your comment ShySongbird.
    Not sure about the ears. One might be a bit 'chewed' from a few scrapes.

  15. Giggle..I think he did!! Wonderful shots..don't ya just love those days when they all hide on you?? Geesh! I adore the new header!! Beautiful!
    I was so excited this week..I actually got a bird shot I was happy with..I posted it in my Shootout this week!! It doesn't do your pics justice..but I was thrilled to catch a decent shot!! Hugs, Sarah

  16. fun post! and yes, I think he is winking and laughing!!

  17. Thanks for your comments Sarah. Somedays it feels like they are just stringing us along; watching us get close, then disappear. :)
    Had a look at your Waxwing shot; I'd be happy with that.

    Doreen, thank you. I'm sure they laugh at us all the time, as we creep around for the surprise shot, and they sit there watching. lol

  18. Enjoyed that little trip very much. I believe the squirrel was winking, it was either that or he was falling asleep. Had half a dozen long tailed tits in the garden at lunch time, right by the lounge window and, guess what, my camera was not in easy reach.

  19. What a great post. I wish I was as good a photographer as you, I was so excited to get a pic of a woodpecker up close!

  20. Valerie, thanks for your comment.
    I'm still waiting for the Long Tailed Tits to return to my garden. Great to see them visit. They always remind me of teddy bears on a stick. lol

    Sara, thank you for stopping by, following, and leaving such a kind comment. Appreciate it.
    I'm still trying to get a close shot of a Green Woodpecker. They always seem to spot me, just as I spot them, and take off laughing.

  21. Great post Keith with a lovely story line and yes - you're definitely being winked at :D

  22. Exceptional story, wonderful photos. Great work, a joy indeed.

  23. Keith,
    What a dramatic story of contest between you an those brave spied on creatures. They turned the tables on you so I just keep my fingers crossed for you to be the winner next time and get the photos you are looking for... :-))

  24. ...hahaha...classic! A very fun post. I've been there!

  25. Marius, thank you.

    Thank you Petra. Some days things don't always go to plan; but when they do, it makes it all the more enjoyable.

    Thanks Kelly. I'm sure they secretly laugh at us at times, in our attempts to get some shots.

  26. Lovely images, and beautiful post! I love the story...makes me want to go on my own walk through the woods

  27. What a fun look at your walk today Keith!! Those fur ball squirrels can perform some amazing feats and they are quite the entertainers here in our forests!! Sorry I havent been around, very busy time for me..but I plan to update my blog now. Have a great Wednesday!

  28. Thanks for your comment Ashley.

    Dixxe thank you.
    I know just what you mean about busy time. Having the same problem myself at the moment.