That dorky birder look, now with added eyepatch!

Birders are not exactly fashion plates at the best of times: zip-leg pants, faded tshirts advertising festivals past, floppy hats and those vests with big pockets. Leave it to me to find a way to make birding look even dorkier!

Look fast, these are the only selfies I’m ever going to post:

Now, before you start laughing, (OK, before you fall off your chair, at least) there is a logic behind this. I’ve noticed that when using a scope for long periods, like trying to ID shorebirds, keeping one eye squinched shut got tiring after a while, and that  eye took time to focus right again. So by having it covered, I can keep the eye open. It’s much more relaxing that way.

There are drawbacks, of course — on a day like today, the covered eye is melting in the heat, and it can be hard to focus right away in the bright afternoon light. I have to remove my glasses to put the patch on so when I want to switch to binocs there’s some fumbling around. And of course there’s the snicker factor.

But we’re birders! We wear our khaki with pride! Why not add that ever-so-stylish buccaneer touch to our outdoor wardrobe?

I refound the Little Blue Heron today, but it wasn’t being cooperative for photography. It wandered in and out of cattails and loosestrife, preening and fishing. When it sighted a fish, its whole body became nearly horizontal, and the head and neck swayed like a charmed serpent while the eyes and beak remained locked on target. A few moments of this dance, then pow! and swallow.

Here’s one of the many Great Blue Herons at Vischer Ferry today.


I think this feather is from a Great Egret. What you can’t see in the photo is the delicate motion of the afterfeather, the soft tendrils that tremble at a breath. No wonder they were de rigueur for decades in a lady’s trousseau.


ETA 9/19: I’m not dorky, I’m channeling David Bowie!

Not a birder, AFAIK.

Not a birder, AFAIK.

Categories: bird behavior, Bird photos, Field trip, Tools of the trade | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “That dorky birder look, now with added eyepatch!

  1. This is Pirate-Approved. 🙂

  2. Betty Mulligan Frezon

    Love the picture of the blue heron. One thing for sure. I am glad I never took seeing the blue herons at the lake for granted. Or the American Bittern both right on the flat in front of camp. Those were wonderful sights. Saw the blue heron more often. But when the American bittern came it would stay a long time. Perfect spot to hide and catch fish.

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