Sunday, 19 July 2015

Eared Grebe, Ruddy, Mountain Chickadee (20150429) A trip with Len before we head out east

With our impending departure from Calgary schedule for May 1, Len and I had to get out for one last "western" run. The area we selected was the "ranch", perhaps my all time favourite tracks. Over the past couple of years I have had many highly successful trips out to that area, with many different people.
In a spot where I have shot old Grey for 4.5 years we spotted this pair of moose, unfortunately I haven't seen old Grey for about 18 months.
I was hoping to get Len a drumming grouse. When we got into Jackson's area we took a little walk and heard one bird drumming. I took a peak and found this bird on the same tree root I had found him a little earlier in the year. Usually these birds drum on a dead fallen log, so to find one drumming on a living root was a unique experience.
The lowlight due to clouds and threatening rain some times allows us better images thatreally bright sunlight. I find the glossy nature of tree swallows to be difficult in bright sun, but in this dimmer light I think this is an acceptable shot.
Next up for us was a little time with this Mountain Chickadee.
When we did get a little sun there were few subjects around, but we did find this red squirrel, always a treat in some light.
This Golden-crowned Kinglet would rarely pop out into the sun, so we had to settle for a half lit shot.
My last post included a male Mountain Bluebird, and I have always liked the looks of the female just as much. Here is one from the day.
On the way home we found a couple of beautiful birds like this Ruddy duck. The blue bill on these drakes are always pleasing to see.
I'll wrap up this post with an bird that is always tough to get a good image of; the Eared grebe.
Another highly successful trip out to the Ranch. Len and I both had a great time.
What a great final track, I look forward to the time that I can return and visit many of these haunts once again.  Turbo

Thursday, 16 July 2015

20150426 Great greys(5), Kinglets. Solitaires

With my departure date confirmed as May 1, Tim was determined that we would get one last run out together, and I was happy to oblige as usual:) We headed out to GVR for a last trip hoping to find a pine marten once again.Our first owl was spotted @ 6:10 a.m. a little too early in April to get good images, but it was a super start to the day. A half hour later we found a small herd of 12-15 elk. Next was a late season Rough-legged, then a couple of moose made an appearance on my favourite: the L road. A quarter to 8:00 we found another moose, then came our encounter with a Ruby-crowned Kinglet, a bird I haven't shown here for some time.
Next up is a Red-tailed Hawk that looked just super in the bright morning sun.
Our next owl was just a fabulous subject. Here is an image that I grabbed early in the session.
We probably spent more than 40 minutes with this fine bird. As Tim had recently purchased a Nikon, I lent him my big Sigma, and I tried out his new Tamron 150-600. I was very happy to be able to find some colour for background for this next shot.
Here it is banking hard to atach something on the ground.
Last yeatr Tim, Jamie and I were treated to a swimming Green-winged Teal not too far from where we found this georgeous bird on this day.
Next up we spent some time shooting this pair of Townsend's Soitaires, this is a bird I will be definitely miss living on the east coast.
A little later in the day we found the "other" Kinglet, the Golden-crowned, and managed to grab a few images.
Next up was another GGO, and this unit was also VERY cooperative as Tim and I were able to switch Camera's, lenses and moved into several different positions as this bird just sat and rested.
Here is a little more of a close-up of this fine specimen!
About 2 miles up the road we found yet another owl, the fifth of the day sitting in a field. It popped up into a tree at the backend of the opening. We were able to get some shots but this post is getting long enough. Along with the Solitaires and Great greys, I will end this post with yet another beautiful bird I will dearly miss on the east coast, the Mountain Bluebird.
So we had a phenominal day for our last outing. Tim was once again fabulous to spend time with, it was tough to say "good-bye". Sorry for the delay in getting these posts out on the blog.  Turbo

Monday, 13 July 2015

20150419 Mountain Chickadee, Jackson?, water birds, frogs.

Well another fabulous day in Alberta, and Tim and I are off to enjoy it fully! As the discussion arose surrounding where to go; the Ranch was the answer. The Sharptails have been avoiding us this year to some extent, and were disappointed again this morning. A nice surprise was this Coopers Hawk as a consolation.
This is likley the last time we will get to spend any more time with this cow moose, we have seen her several times in this area, she will be missed.
Up around the corner we spent a little time with this Montain Chicky.
Then to our surprise we spotted what may be Action Jackson, right back on his same log. If it is, he has lost a toe on his leftt foot.
Our ride out netted us a Boreal to add to the day. The Ranch was producing for us yet again.
With a fair bit of good daylight left we decided to head over to the Frank Lake area and see what else might be floating around, our first spot were some Avocets.
 Next up we grabbed some images of the Coot, a nice male with his forehead marking.
Tim has always had a soft spot for the Northern Pintails, so we stopped and grabbed a few images.
It is always great to catch a Bald Eagle flyby, this juvenile looks like is one year, maybe two from sporting its white head.
We came up on these Cinnamons pretty quickly and almost missed them all together. But we amanged to get stopped and grab a couple of images.
While we were shooting these colourful ducks, the local group of frogs made their presence known. So we set about to try and find the singers.
Here is a female guarding two cluthes of eggs.
And like any good star, this subject was ready for a close-up.
We had a terrific day with some fine Alberta sunshine. I will miss some of these places when I get out east! Turbo

20150415 Varied, moose, Boreal

Back at Christmas my wife and I decided that we were going to move to Nova Scotia. Our house had been for sale for a bit and it finally sold. I have been busy doing things that have landed us in a new house in a new province. There will be quite a few updates coming over the next little while as I have not done one in 90 days.
Here is one of my last tracks with my good Buddy Jamie, as we headed out to Spray lakes in search of what might be an early bear or two. Our first sighting of note was this singing Varied Thrush a bird you might be tired of seeing this year.
Here is a second shot showing a little more of the profile. These boys like to hang out on the tallest branches they can find it would seem.
We also found tyhis "Oregon" colouration of a Dark-eyed Junco.
This pair of moose looked very relaxed in the morning frost.
Closer to Canmore we found a gathering of Merganzers, here are a trio of the ladies.
We finished up the day quite a bit earlier than usual with some Boreal Chickadees. This is my favourite shot of the day.
Yet another great outing with Jamie, and I am hoping that there will be one or two more before I have to leave Alberta.  Turbo