I’ve talked on the blog before about how living in the Pacific Northwest has not only allowed me to add new birds to my life lists, but also provided me with the opportunity for better photos of birds for which I previously only had crappy shots. Highlights include a Black-capped Chickadee, a Barred Owl, a Barred Owl again, and a Snowy Owl.

The latest in this series of Better Bird Photos is the Brown Creeper. I first shot this bird on a field trip in my college Ornithology class in October of 2012. It was my first trip to Kiptopeke State Park for fall migration, out of which came my tradition of an annual pilgrimage, a tradition that even lasted through my first year of homelessness. It wasn’t a great shot.

Brown Creeper, Virginia, October 2012

The little buggers are tiny, and skittish, and squirm around a tree quickly. And they seem to always be on the shady side of a tree, which makes things even more of a challenge. And although I’d seen a few over the years, I had never even gotten off a single attempt at a shot until this past January. I was in the cemetery a few blocks from here when I at least managed to get the camera pointed in the right direction and squeezed the shutter button.

Brown Creeper, Seattle, January 2021

Still not great shots. Identifiable as a bird and even the species, but mostly just a mushy brown bird with a white belly.

Brown Creeper, Seattle, January 2021

My spine, for those who don’t know, is trashed. I wrecked my neck in a fall in 2002, and a cascading disc failure from there has left me permanently disabled. I get out and do what I can when I can, but that often leaves me debilitated for several days afterwards. I had a pretty good run and did some birding in the first half of February, but lately I’ve been paying the price for that in spades. Yesterday I pushed my luck more than a little and took advantage of the pretty day to go to Discovery Park and see who was out and about. Lo and behold, not 3 meters from my face….

Brown Creeper, Seattle, February 2021

It’s still not a perfect shot, but I feel like “BOOM” might be an appropriate comparison to my previous shots.