Friday, 25 September 2015

Pheasants finally (201509) Finally found pheasants in the yard.

While I have been seeing pheasants around the neighbourhood, I had been hoping to find them visiting in the yard. Well over the past week I have been able to spend some time with my new neighbours in my own yard! The other morning I spied this young rooster across the street from the house. Thank god for the 600mm.
The next morning Deb and I watch as one walked across the front yard. I tried to get into position for a shot, but he was too quick and got away from me. Then on the following morning I was out in the yard and was able to grab a couple of images of this fellow.
I had spotted him in the back yard and tried to stay in front of him so I could get some more images. I went around the shed and got him again. I am amazed at how easily these large birds are able to "disappear" in the grass.
Here he is down in the ditch grabbing a drink in front of the house.
He "allowed" me to get fairly close. He crossed the bottom of the driveway.
Here he is walking up the hill on the east side of the house, carefree as could be!
A couple of days later I was out back with a visitor from Colorado. I had lent him my big lens to see if we could get a little action on his road trip. We were happy to see 5 pheasants come to visit, 3 roosters and 2 hens. Hopefully he has something that he will be proud of. After he left, I was fortunate enough to have them return. I love the "purple" that is showing on this fellows back.
Here are the two ladies resting comfortably and keeping an eye on what the "boys" were up to.
This is the oldest of the juveniles that were in the group. His colouring is significantly more developed.
Here you can see his green "head" coming in, and you can see his little "horns" are developing nicely.
I will wrap this post up here with the warning that you should be seeing more images of these beautiful birds in future posts. Oh, yeah and by the way this week, put some wild in your life!

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Sandhill Cranes, Mallard, Kestrel, Porcupine (20150503-04) Crossing the country with Len

Well we diced to pull up stakes and leave Alberta. The reasons are all personal and there are many of them, so we are off to Nova Scotia. Our first two days on the road we were all about "production", eating up pavement is what I call it. So there was no time to stop and shoot wildlife when we found it, and we did find it. Some were species that Len had never seen before like the Pronghorn antelope and American White Pelican. He had neverseen a Least Weasel before either, and I am pretty certain we spotted one in the prre-dawn dark of Day 2. Day three we were taking a little different approach as we were well within striking distance of our targetted Sudbury Ontario. Before we made that decision Len was able to find this Rock "face" while we traveling along at 100kph. It amazes me that he was able to "spot" the face, grab his camera and "get the shot" all while zooming right along!!!
I had just spotted two Sandhill Cranes on the side of the road and stated that "if we didn't have the trailer on, I would swing around and grab those birds!". That is when we decided that we had time to stop for the shots. We found a spot to swing around and parked in an area where we would again be able to get the rig spun around when we were ready to get back on the road. I should note here that in Northern Ontario a lot of the Trans-Canada Highway is only two lanes and a great deal of the road is twisty and turny. We walked along the road searching for the birds with no luck. Then Len suggested that I walk back and get the truck as we had covered quite a distance. I agreed and spun around to head back to the truck. After about 10 steps I spotted the birds on the opposite side of the road. They had let us walk right by them! I swung around and had to yell at Len due to the wind. I did manage to grab a couple of images as they flew off.
A second as they disappeared around the trees.
Here is a shot of Len walking back to the truck, checking out his results!
Here is a shot that Len captured of both me and the birds:
It was welcome break in three straight days of driving:) They were a real treat. That was our only real stop of that day. We made Sudbury in the early evening and spent the night with a few beverages and catching up with family and friends. We had planned to spend a full day with Bill to get rested up. So on the fourth we took a little side trip to see if we could find the flock of Sandhills that had taken up residence for the past couple of years in the area. On the way over we found this nice Mallard drake in a ditch.
We also found an American Kestrel. This bird was very skittish, so the shots are looong distance.
We did find the "residents" we were looking for. They too were a long way off, but it was what we came to see.
Then, on the way home we found this little Porcupine, working hard to get bigger:)
It was nice to finally be able to put some "wild" into our lives!  More delayed posts coming, I hope you enjoy.