Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Varied Thrush, Ruffed Grouse, Trumpeter Swan (20150329) The Ranch always has lots to shoot.

While out with Kerri yesterday on 1A we were able to hear but not find one of my target birds for the year. Last year, quite by accident, Jamie, Tim and I found a Varied Thrush and I managed a quick photo. I have been searching for them ever since. This morning Jamie and I had a couple of great encounters and were able to capture a couple of shots. These are birds that typically hide out in the heavy spruce forest and this is about all you might get to see.
But these birds are really quite striking (in my humble opinion) and worth the work and effort to finding them in a little better light.
After out great Thrush encounter we stopped up the road, as Jamie had heard another calling. While we were standing around he also announced that he heard a grouse drumming, so we went on the hunt.
It took us about 45 minutes to find this fine fellow out in the sun drumming up a storm. I only had my monopod so the video is quite shakey but take a look at him in action here. I thought that this gentleman deserved a proper portrait!
We heard another bird drumming and I managed to get a quick view of him, but hea walked off his log and we were not treated to another photo op. On our way out we managed to locate another Varied Thrush and grabbed our best images of the day.
These shots are at pretty high ISO ranges and very short shutter speeds. But every now and then you can get lucky and get a decent capture.

But usually you get a lot of motion blur and very unclear photos. Here is one though that I actually like. You can see the orange blur from the eye brow and the throat as this bird exits, stage right!
Jamie with his full frame camera has much better images and they can be found on his Flickr link. We missed out on a couple of Northern Shrikes but did find this Rough-legged that didn't do the customary "void" prior to take off.
We had made a swing by the "swan pond" in the morning and noted some 40-50 swans present, but they were all far off. On our "bear road" we did get pretty close to a trio of Trumpeters and watched them for a bit.
Just as we were leaving Jamie spied another first of the year for us two Killdeer on the pond's edge. Yet another remider that we need to slow down a little at this time of year to see everything that is around!
When you get out this week to put a little wild in your life make certain to take a little extra time and look around closely!

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