Step out of your passion zone

When it becomes clear that no one else shares your level of passion, you are where you belong.

– Placido Domingo

As you know, my passion is bird photography. Specifically, bird of prey photography. Whenever I have spare time, I head to open country and wait for birds of prey to fly over me. Nowadays, I don’t even think of going to a pond to look for water birds or to woodlands to look for bush birds. Birds of prey it must be. They are my first (bird!) love, and my attention stays firmly fixed on them.

Last week I went to my No1. bird of prey place. I saw whistling kites, mostly at a distance, and took a few ordinary photos of them. After a while, I decided to visit a place I used to visit last year. At this place, I often saw a brown falcon on the power line. Once I was able to park quite close to it, and I took my closest and sharpest brown falcon photos that day.

When I arrived at this place, I was thrilled to see a brown falcon on the very same power line. I approached it very slowly in the car but it flew off. It circled a couple of times, hovered briefly then flew to a distant tree.

I felt somewhat deflated. Two bird of prey places, and no good photos! Then I remembered that I had seen a seldom-used building with a row of bottle-shaped fairy martin nests under each eave in a nearby paddock. As I approached this building, I saw dozens of little birds flying around it.

I parked a few metres away and huddled in the car with my camera. The little birds flew into their nests, their beaks crammed with mud. They turned around inside their nests, peeped out and carefully added the mud. Then they flew out to gather more mud and the process began again.

I was captivated, and was reluctant to leave such a magical scene.  As I drove away, I realised that my passion zone was becoming my comfort zone. When I stepped out of it, I discovered new joys and adventures.

Australian daytime birds of prey

birds of prey

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