An adventure of my life time!


There are several lakes in Watson Lake area. I was told that they are good for bird watching. Although I can’t call myself a bird-watcher yet, if you read my previous posts about my experience in Idaho, you know I started to pay more attention to birds. They are cute and can be very photogenic, if you are lucky to capture them at the right moment.

My problem, besides it is not so easy to catch a good shot, I don’t know much about bird. I can only tell handful names of bird.

Well, today was my lucky day – I met a scientist who studies bird!

The day started cloudy and cold. When I walked around Wye Lake, it even snowed a bit. I felt so cold that I had to walk back to the car to warm up a little before I went out again, three times. There were so many birds that I didn’t want to leave, despite the fact that it was cold and probably too dark to catch any good shot.

Well, I wasn’t the only one taking pictures in this bitter cold and gloomy day. I noticed a man was lying on the ground holding a camera with a huge lens. It was cold enough even walking around. Just imagine lying on the semi-freezing ground and being still. I was so impressed with his patience and dedication that I just had to take a picture of him.

Whenever I see people holding a camera with a huge lens, I wonder why I still bother to take pictures with my little camera. “Size doesn’t matter.” The man with the huge lens commented when we met later on. “It is just fun.”

He is certainly right about that. It is a lot of fun – finding the bird and trying to capture it with your camera before it flies away. It is a “pursue”. It is a “hunt”. It is a “catch”. And the reward is a good picture that you and your friends like. 🙂

To him, though, it is more than just fun. It turns out that he is a scientist who studies bird. No wonder he knows all the names! I had to ask him to write down the names of the bird we saw. It is so great that when I post this blog, I don’t have to worry about finding their names any more (except one which I took when he wasn’t around).

After we talked for awhile, I had to say goodbye to him. It was too cold for me to stay still.

In the late afternoon, when the sun finally started to shine, I went to the lake again. It was so much easier to get good pictures with proper sun light.

An hour later, right before I felt too cold and ready to quit for the day, a familiar car pulled in the parking lot. We smiled to each other even before he got out of the car. “It is hard to pass such beautiful late afternoon sun light.” He greeted me with bright grin. “That is why I am here.” I agreed with him with the same big smile.

It is wonderful to meet him again, unexpectedly. I guess like-minded people think and act in similar ways.

“Uh la la, perhaps he was following you.” The motel owner teased me when I told him I met the bird scientist twice in a day. “Well if anything, it is me who followed him.” I answered cheerfully. I am the one who needs something from the bird biologist – the names of the birds. J:)



(Yellow Legged Seagull)


(Male Northern Pintail Duck)


(Female Northern Pintail Duck)


(Female and Male Shovel Duck)



(Yellow Legged Sandpiper)


(Semipalmated Plover)


(Red-Necked Phalarope)


(This is the one I took when the bird scientist wasn’t around. Please let me know if you know the name of the bird!)

PS. my photo website:


Comments on: "39. Meeting a Bird Scientist" (4)

  1. Hi Ching! Your photos are wonderful! And I admire how you are making an effort to meet and talk with people, and learn from them and share your excitement. Keep sharing your thoughts with us; it’s great. Be safe-Leslie

  2. It’s great that you met a _real_ bird expert—and that lens really is huge! What was he taking a picture of in the water?

    I’m hoping he’ll follow your blog and identify birds for you as you continue your travels.

    I love the way your capture and frame your bird photos…the male pintail looking at us while he show us where he gets his name, the, the perfect pairing of the shovel ducks, the gulls dressed in the colors of their backgrounds…

    • He was taking the pictures of a Red-Necked Phalarope which stayed in that tiny pond for sometime. I took a couple of hundreds of pictures in order to get a few good ones. 🙂 The bird expert said he took about 800 of them! I did give my card to him. Like you said, hopefully he will follow me blog so we can have all the names of the birds. 🙂

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