Speaking of birds, I recently tried a little camera trapping creativity over in the Mono Lake Basin to see if I could catch a few.
You see, I like birds, but I'm not much of a birder. They hide in bushes and don't stay still (birds and birders). And standing around with a monster zoom lens waiting for them doesn't interest me at all. Plus, people that call themselves "birders" kinda frighten me. They standardize common names, and use words like "jizz" somewhat casually. And, I've heard that some have the savant-like ability to estimate flocks of thousands of birds to single digits of precision.
eBird record: "saw 8,412.5 Euro Starlings. An Accipiter took the other half."
Oh, and most good ones can stand with hands cupped to ears at 5am listening to the cacophony of sunrise calls in an oak canopy and tell you the 28 species concurrently communicating.
And, while I'm seriously envious of that last skill, I don't much care for 5am.
But, the wetland on the Mono survey property is chockers with great birds that I've wistfully watched come and go through my binocs.
Thus, I've often wished there was an obvious perch that I could point a camera trap at.
Wetland in Mono Lake Basin at 6,700 feet
So, on my recent visit, I decided to put one up:
Homemade perch and cam trap (the brush is to keep birds from landing on the cam)
Perch and camera in place on edge of wetland
And pretty much immediately started getting results:
Swallow - maybe a Northern Rough-winged Swallow?
Not bad for a first try, and only 2 days.
I'm definitely going to put it out again, and during various seasons - there's a whole lot of cool birds I've seen around the place: Harriers, Prairie Falcons, Dusky Flycatchers, Say's Phoebes, Pinyon Jays, Clark's Nutcrackers, Juniper Titmice, Sage Thrashers, Green-tailed Towhees...
In fact, the pro birders that survey there have documented 150 species.
Here's several more I've been able to catch on my handheld camera while out and about:
So, maybe I am a bit of a birder. A lazy one.