Friday, 21 August 2015

Pileated's, Blackburnian, Black-throated Green Warbler.(20150820) More backyard birding!

Well it all started with a really close "laugh from Woody the woodpecker", so I knew there was Pileated close by. I saw it fly off a short time later with no images. I was out on the backdeck (observation platform)speaking with my brother Len when it re-appeared. We hung up and I went looking for some "evidence".
Then I discovered that there were actually two.
I followed them around for a bit, but the light was pretty brutal. So I only have a limited number of "keepers" from the encounter. Here is a shot of the female (looking very skinny in my opinion) doing a little "wing work".
Normally these two birds would not have instigated a "post", but then the canopy kind of came to life and I spent the next hour or so shooting much smaller birds. Like this Blackburnian, just about to land on the branch in front of him. There were two of them chasing each other through the boughs.
Other "guests" included Black-throated Green warblers. 
And, what would be a brand new bird for the blog, and the yard, a Northern Parula. 
Here is another image (much improved over my first two) of the Blackburnian. I am anxious to see these little fella's in the spring when their colours will be even more vibrant. 
Here is a shot that I have never taken before. There are four warblers in the top of this one tree. I believe that there are two BTGW's on the left, then A Blackburnian the the far right bird is a Northern Parula! 
Next up the Red-eyed Vireo put in an appearance.
So, what started with the laugh of Woody turned into a productive 90 minutes on the deck. So, whether it is; on a drive, sitting in a blind, or just sitting in your backyard, be certain to put some "wild" in your life as soon as you can!

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Magnolia, Blackburnian, Green-throated, Yellow- Warblers all (20150816) A walk with Sharon and some yard birds.

The Bride's sister came to visit, and it was a rainy deary day. Before her arrival I was able to "catch" two "new to the Blog" and "new to the yard" birds. I was watching a small yellow bird "chasing" the humming birds in the tree tops, so I grabbed my camera and headed out into the rain. This first bird is a Magnolia Warbler, a bird I was unable to capture this spring.
This second bird was a real "find" as I thought I wa still shooting the Magnolia. While reviewing the images I found that I had actually finally captured a Blackburnian. Sorry for the poor quality, it is definitely an evidence shot.
On Sunday, Sharon and I did a little trek around the neighbourhood and found this little Black-throated Green Warbler. we were in some pretty dense forest.
We also managed to find this little/young White-breasted Nuthatch. The shorter bill to me indicates a juvenile bird.
We also had a wood thrush, but I couldn't grab any successful images. We did however find this small toad.
We also managed to find several bull frogs in a small pond. These amphibians had me thinking of Kerri, she would have loved to spend some time at the pond.
We finished the walk up with this little red-legged grasshopper, that posed on the road for us.
Before Sharon left on Monday I was able to get two more yard shots. This first one is another Black-throated Green Warbler.
Yet another "new yard bird" this week was this little Yellow Warbler.
So I am learning the birds in the area, and really looking forward to seeing more of the fall migrants as they appear. Of course a favourite yard bird is the Hummber. I include a shot here as I am doing some experiementation with my 18-105mm lens.
Put some "wild" in your life this week, it will do you a world of good!

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Brown Creeper, Hares, Bees (20150810) A little time in the yard.

Well, it was a lovely day here today so I thought I would just spend a little time in the yard again just to see who would appear. I have always had a soft spot for Chipmunks, so I am pleased to have a couple in the yard.
Then I spotted a Brown Creeper, for the second time, in the yard. I find these birds very tough to shoot. They are always moving and never seem to be in the light.
Another "creeper" of sorts, here is one of at least three Red Squirrels in the immediate area.
Another new "yard" critter that we have been seeing, but I haven't been able to capture has been the Varying Hare.
The suet feeder has been very active with all our woodpeckers. Here is a shot of a youngster Hairy. His red markings are slowly making thier way to the back of his head where they belong.
Of course the Hummers are still warring, but occassionaly two of the ladies get along well enough to share a feeder.
Our surprize flowers are now in bloom, and both the Hummers and bumble bees love the tiny flowers. I was fortunate to grab two bees together in a single shot.
Later in the evening I looked out and spotted a second "Bunny" for the day. This time I made an effort to get some shots and it was quite accommodating.
I finished up the evening with this White-breated Nuthatch. It took about three weeks before I spied one around the feeders.
That will do for this post, so I will sign off here. Be certain to put a little "wild" in your life this week!
Oh, I meant to include this shot of a pheasant that I spotted in the neighbourhood. None in my yard yet, but they will come :)

Monday, 10 August 2015

Bald Eagles, Juvenile Junco (20150807) A fishing trip in the neighbourhood.

Ever since we have moved in I have been itching to get fishing in the lake that you can see from our road. Thursday night was a Stewardship meeting held by the landowner of the gated road with access to the lake. I attended, made my purchase of Key and maps and donation to the NCC. So Friday morning Len brought the boat around so we could do a little liquid exploring this time. We were enjoying sun and catching a few fish when we spotted this fine figure of a feathered friend.
We were ready for his departure as we trolled on by. This bird is only about one year away from being fully mature.
Len commented, "this is great, almost all of my eagle shots are in the winter!".
Next up was trio of nice Black Duck hens. This isn't a first for them on the blog, I shot them in Toronto last winter.
As we made out way around the lake a second time I was able to grab a quick image of this Juvenile Dark-eyed Junco. I was pretty happy with the results from a motorized moving boat.
Our final good opportunity for the day was this mature Bald Eagle on the far end of the lake. We had observed it "fishing" and it had moved off with our approach. It must have been a favourite haunt as I captured this about 15-20 minutes later as it returned to the same tree.
All in all a very successful day. We learned a  lot about the lake, and grabbed a few images to boot. We are both looking forward to seeing what the fall brings as far as colours go. It should be a super spot to shoot on a calm day with the foilage in full autumn colour. Till next time, be certain to put a little "wild" in your life!

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Black-throated Green Warbler, Red-eyed Vireo, Whitetail (20150724) An outing with Len

Well this is one of those "catch-up" posts.
Len and I had planned to get out for a bit of an exploration run on Friday. While I was waiting for him to appear I was standing on the back deck and having an excellent morning.  With the usual suspects around I wa very happy to spot my very first Black-throated Green Warbler. This looks like a young bird.
One of the usual suspects are the Blue Jays that hang around. These corvids are welcome as they were tough birds to get close to in Alberta.
Another set of regulars is this family of Northern Flickers. There appears to be 4 youngsters and both parents hanging out here steady. Here is a shot of three of them.
Then I received another "new" yard bird. This beautiful Red-eyed Vireo put in a brief appreance.
About this time I got a call from Len. He was close by and shooting the local "white deer" that I have yet to see. So I jumped in the truck and headed over to see if the deer would "hold" until I got there. No such luck. But I did find this beautiful Common Yellowthroat.
I also did find this Whitetail doe that was traveling with "Whitey". So the trip over was not a total loss :)
I gathered up Len and took him down to where I found the Yellowthroat, and he managed to get some great images of that bird as well. We headed out on the road and found the rare "pygmy" bear of the Maritimes.
We wrapped the day of exploration up wih this beautiful butterfly.
We had a super day, both individually and when we finally did get hooked up for some exploring. Len has sent me a couple of the piebald deer images to share with you.
And a second.
Hey, this week-- put a little wild in your life!

Sunday, 2 August 2015

Ruby-throated Hummingbirds (20150802) Some shots at the house

Well I have been procrastinating way too long, and my backlog just continues to grow so I decided that I would take a different approach to getting caught up on all my recent trips. In order to not fall even further behind I have to decided to start posting up to date material, and add in the historical stuff as I get some time.
I hope that no one will mind the disruption in the chronological time continuum:)
So here goes. Last weekend up I finally purchased a small hummingbird feeder for the house. I had seen a male perched out front from time to time and thought that I may be able to get him ready for the migration south. Well after about a 3 or 4 days of watching his behaviour I decided to get a second feeder so the girls could feed as well. In just 2 days they emptied the feeder. So I moved it out back yesterday with the hopes of watching them feed from the porch. I think the results have been pretty good so far.
The girls went just crazy over the new location.
I have found that it is a real challenge to try and capture these tiny delights even in good light.
As is always the case, depth of field is really tough on these VERY small subjects. Yes you can get close, but even with a 300mm lense they still take up very little real estate on a full image.
Add to that the challenge of grabbing them in flight, this is a TOUGH assignment.
I can tell that these little subjects will become an obsession for me, if they haven't all ready!
It haa been about 17 years since we had a great crop of hummingbirds around the house. That was well before I  picked up my camera again and started shooting.
Well I am certain you are getting tired of the same subject matter, so I will offer up just one more shot,
I hope you enjoyed the post. This week be certain to put a little wild in your life! Turbo