Thursday, 9 April 2015

Northern Harrier, Kestrel, Northern Shrike (20150408) A trip to the North-east with Dan

Dan and I usually get out for a run to Frank Lake around the equinox, but our schedules didn't click this year. With all the brown around due to the earlier (than last year) spring, I was hoping we might be able to find one of our many Snowy's from earlier in the year. Our first subject was this very dark morph bird which had us puzzled at first.
When he spun around he removed all doubt. We must have snuck up on it as we got pretty close. Redtails don't generally allows us this far into their "zone". Just a beautiful bird.
I know that Tim (who is away visiting South Africa for a month!) would be disappointed if I didn't post a Northern Pintail, especially a pair, if I had the chance.
Our next subject allowed us very close as well. Normally Bald eagles keep their distance, but this cooperative bird provided me with a few "pose" shots.
I am quite happy with this next shot, just off the branch and not moving too fast.
Next up were this regal looking pair of Canvasbacks. I need to spend some time working on letting these birds getting closer to me!
With everything starting to migrate north, it is always great when you can grab an image or 10 of Tundra Swans. These are pretty big birds.
Thius next bird was a pleasure to see even if it was somewhat less than cooperative. The american Kestrel is another very beautiful bird with beautiful patterening. I love shooting them any time I get the chance.
Dan spotted this next favourite of mine; a Northern Shrike. I am now realizing how fortunate I was to be able to get close to a couple of these birds a few years ago. Like most predators, they don't like the feeling of being "crowded".
We had been spotting Muskrats at various times through the day, waiting for a closer opportunity. This next subject was our selection for today. It looks like it has something in its right ear.
We had been spotting Northern Harriers quite often and I find them a very tough bird to shoot successfull. This is by far and away my best of a male. What a treat to be able to watch him soar!

Another common target that we had a tough time getting a position opportunity were the Western Meadowlarks. We had been seeing them and heareing them all day, but they just wouldn't give us a presentation that was ideal. So for a "first of the year shot" I'll have to settle for this.
We had a terrific day with just a ton of predator birds and some others to keep us entertained. We had 3 Merlins and a White-tailed Jackrabbit, Grey partridge and many, many others that I did not get great images of. Hopefully Dan might be able to add a couple of shots to the post.
Spring is so great to see all the colours of the mating ready birds and some green grass, and leaves. Be certain to put some "wild" in our life this week!

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