When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!

American Kestrel

We have all been there. Despite our best intentions nothing seems to go right.


Last week I was trying to photograph a rare sparrow in near Lake Mead. I was the first person to find the bird, a Lark Bunting, about a month ago. I returned to see if the bird was still around and hopefully get a better image of the rarity.


I found the bird in amongst a flock of White-crowned Sparrows and House Finches. Unfortunately, despite being cautious and patient, the birds would not stay still. The sun was sinking closer to the horizon, when I realized why the birds where being so skittish. An American Kestrel was perched on a dead shrub nearby.


The falcon was next to the road and I inched my car closer and closer to the bird. Birds are less threaten by vehicles as they know cars rarely leave the road. The awkward, two legged mammals inside are much less predictable and if I had gotten out of my car the Kestrel would have flushed.


I got within a hundred feet of the bird and sun poked through the clouds illuminating the bird in the soft afternoon light. With a small aperture setting the distant hills blurred grey with just a hint of the lake in the bottom of the frame. The flacon seemed relaxed twitching it’s head looking for sparrows as my camera clicked away.


A speeding truck approached kicking up dust and rocks and the Kestrel took flight. I was disappointed the bird had been disturbed, but I was content sipping my “lemonade” as I scrolled through the images I had captured.

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