I photographed this Cedar Waxwing yesterday evening at my favorite “Sit Spot,” in a swamp deep in a state forest near my home. A century ago, Ernest Thompson Seton, wildlife artist, writer, and Boy Scouts founder, came up with the idea of the “Seton Spot,” now called the “Sit Spot” and still used by nature programs. It's based on the principle that when you first enter wildlife habitat, animals flee, to hide or distance themselves from your perceived threat. However, if you remain quiet and still, in one spot, things return to normal in roughly 20-30 minutes. The longer you sit, the more you are likely to see. This can be a really powerful and fruitful strategy for wildlife photography, and it's something I often recommend to nature photographers who seek an authentic, immersive experience in nature.
Try to choose a place not far from home, even if it's in a quiet section of an urban park. You'll be more likely to spend more time there than if you have to drive a distance. Visit it during different seasons and track the changes in the landscape as well as in the kinds of animals present, as well as their changing plumage and behavior.
For me this swamp has become almost a meditative spot, and is where I flee to when I want to quickly connect to nature and feel like I’ve “come home.” I wish I could tell you I was sitting half immersed in the swampy water, wearing my Kwik Camo, cause that would be way more romantic and hardcore, but I was in my car. Partly cause the birds are more used to that, but also because lots of Lyme-ridden ticks have Sit Spots around there too, and I don’t feel like hosting them. 😟