I was shooting in the back roads near my house the other day when a Northern Bobwhite hopped out onto a fencepost and started singing for me. I was flabbergasted. I’ve gone out there for years, and while I’ve heard the calls of the bobwhites, I’ve never seen one. They are small birds that stay on the ground, well hidden in the grasses. The bird was perched on the fence some distance behind me. So I took some pictures, backed up, took more pictures, backed up, slowly working my way to him. At the Circle B Bar Reserve, the Northern Bobwhites tend to be pretty skittish, so I expected this guy to fly as soon as I got close. But he didn’t seem to mind me! Cars do work well as blinds for patient photographers. I backed up all the way to where he was, and I was able to get full-frame images of him…
After I got a few shots with good head angles, I started trying to get him while he was calling. He gave me ample opportunities, calling every thirty seconds or so, as he communicated with another bobwhite off in the distant grass. I couldn’t believe my luck. This has been my dad’s nemesis bird for years. How I wished that he was with me!!
After a while the Northern Bobwhite hopped down to the grass. He ran a short distance and disappeared into the fields. After I stopped chuckling at his little chicken-run, I lost sight of him, figuring my brief encounter was over and I was so lucky to have seen him. But then he surprised me once again, hopping out onto a closer fencepost! This time I put my camera into movie mode. Listen to his calls – Bob, Bob White!!
Want to learn more about nature photography at Lake County Backroads?
Check out my Lake County Backroads page with more information about the location, map, website, photography tips, etc. It is archived by date so you can see my images from previous visits. Maybe you'll be inspired for your own trip!
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