Care to go for a walk? p4


Alkmaar, Netherlands

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Nothing else worthy of a photo catches our attention for quite some time. We walk along more of those precarious water’s-edge places where the bushes threaten to push us into the weeds, but find no birds and no nests. We pass Piet’s Mill, the big windmill that perches on the little hill at the south-east corner of Alkmaar. We come to another bridge across the canal and decide that, rather than backtracking to where the last lawn was, we have to push our way through some bushes and thorns to get up to the road. Past the bridge there are long stretches of lawn where I know that we can count on finding several ducks; it’s also a good chance of finding a heron. Seems maybe all the ducks are gone to the market for their weekly shopping, or Saturday morning is when they do their laundry,perhaps… there are NONE! :(

We notice more magpie activity in the trees along the pathway, however, so we move away from the water to see if those skittish birds will offer a picture. No luck. They fly before we get within photo range, and whatever had their attention on the ground wasn’t important enough to lure them back as we crouch there quietly hoping for them to return.

As we get close to the next bridge we see a pair of the robin-ish birds that I’ve wanted to get some photos of. They are the size of robins, run long the ground like robins, fly like robins, sound like robins… but they are black. Obviously imposters, but I want some photos to send to people backhome so they can see these pseudo-robins. The pair is focused on a patch of ground that had been kept clear of grass by the park gardeners, likely a place for flowers later in the summer. As we get close, both birds move off into the bushes but are not far away. We set up the camera on the grass across the path from their chosen feeding area. The wait is not long at all. They are quite familiar with having people around. The camera tells me that the light here in this shady area is not great, so I’m worried that the photos will similarly be “not great”, but I go ahead and take several shots. Being robin impersonators, they nicely hold perfectly still quite frequently. I notice that an elderly man has stopped to our right on the pathway. I assume that he is being nice enough to not walk in front of the camera, so I wave him through. He acknowleges me, but chooses to stay there and watch the birds with us.

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