Sunday, 28 February 2016

Bald Eagles, Redtail Hawks (20160223) Can we find an Eagle today?

An emergency run to the valley (sort of) to check in on a small leak and the promise of good weather. Dave joined Len and I this morning and I was relegated to the the back seat. On the run out the 101 Hawkeye Len spotted 15 or 16 different redtails. With our pit stop compete (we couldn't do anything about the leak) we headed out for a few birds. On our way over to Sheffield mills this bird was spotted.
We continued to spot Red-taileds and now we were willing to take some time and try to capture an image.
It is always nice to get to see why these birds have "earned" their names. This is a pretty heavy crop of the image.
On one of our favourite side roads we found this pair of RTH's watching over a very large field.
After a little road time when we were checking out a potential accipitor, Len spotted this beauty!
Here is a heavier crop of the same bird. While I had a great seat to shoot this bird, I didn't take advantage of the situation to grab a head only shot!
And as seems to be the case these days we were also able to find the odd Chickadee.
What a terrific day for light as well. We had a great time putting a little "wild" in our lives on a super day. Do the same sometime, you will love it!

Friday, 26 February 2016

Dunlin, Turnstone, Seal (20160220) A trip to the salt water.

I reached out to Angela Granchelli one of the ladies that I did the Cape Sable Island trip with. I was curious to see if she had any plans for the day. It was good mid-day low tide and Angela thought that a trip to Wedge Island in Three Fathoms Harbour would be a good target for subjects.  We can only get to the island duing low tide so timing is important. we made out travel arrangements and established our meeting place. We concentrated on getting to the island while we still had open passage. So we did not stop to shoot any thing until we were on our walk to the island. we were pleased to see several seals in the area.
We spent a little time with this particular seal, It seemed to be trying to climb on this rock to rest.
You can probably tell from the colours of the water, we had a very overcast day. Angela had headed out with the hope of finding a Red-throated Loon, Our seach was interupted by this crew.
There were two Dunlin and three Ruddy Turnstones. Here are the Dunnie's.
Two fo the three Turnstones.
The air shots wre not the only images I was able to get. After they came in for a landing they started working the shoreline.  Here are the two Dunlins.
And this is probably the best image of a Turnstone I have.
Here is a shot of two of the Stoneturners with some rocks too big to roll over.
In a while we bumped into some folks that Angela knew. They had a scope so she was able to see her Loon and some Alcids: a Thick-billed Murre, and a Razorbill.We also found a number of fresh owl pellets indicating that there might be a Snowy in the area. Angela has provide this image of me getting shots of the shorebirds.
That takes care of this outing! Get out into the woods, or even your yard, or a local park and put a little "wild" in your life!

Monday, 22 February 2016

Yellow Breasted Chat, Song Sparrow (20160215) The last time I saw the Chat

Well for several weeks now the way-laid Yellow Breasted Chat has been surviving do to the assistance of many people to keep it fed and watching its progress. It is a great cooperative bird to photograph with terrific colour.
While it has lost all of its tail feathers it is still able to fly quite effectively. Having it locatred in these rose brambles adds a lot to the environment of the shots. 
In this shot you can see where the little bird has actually lost the outside toe on the right foot. It seems that it has actually helped the bird as it is willing to use that foot more often. 
Here you can see a little of the bounty that folks are leaving out for the bird. It certainly enjoys the blueberries. In this shot you can see that it actually is standing on the right foot, something it has not done a lot of lately.
It was a very beautiful day out at the cementery. Andthis is actually the last day this bird has been seen in the area. With a bit of a warm spell the bird may have decided to try and get down south where it belongs.
Of course the Chat was not alone, the Chickadees were always drifting in and out keeping us cheered with their song.
There is also quite the concentration of Song Sparrows. They make for great subjecs as well.
The Cardinals didn't come in present for any shots. I believe it was due in part to the how busy the area was with a lot of out-of-towners looking for both the Chat and the Redwing that had been spotted in the area. Here is my wrap up image, another Chickadee, it terrific surroundings.
So hopefully the Chat will make its way down to Mexico where it belongs. That would be quite an adventure at this time of year. Take your own little adventure and put a little wild in your life!

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Chickadees, Junco, Buntings (20160212) A quick trip up the valley.

Mom had a little mishap with some of her bathroom equipment. So she called "her boys" to see if we would help out. We headed out in the morning and Len did the majority of the work and got the job done. While they were out shopping I watched the Goldfinches, Nuthatches, and even a Golden-crowned Kinglet. I had left y camera in the truck so I didn't have the tools at hand to capture any images. After the little "job" was done I did manage to grab this Chickadee shot.
 We headed over to Sheffield Mills to see if there were any Eagles around. We found 7 or 8 but this was the only good image worth posting. This bird looks like it is molting its breast feathers.
Our next target area was a trip to Grand Pre to see if we could find the reported Towhee. While our target wasn't found, We did find some Chickadees, it seems to be the day for them.
We did find a small group of Buntings in the area, he is a "back" shot of one of these beautiful birds.
And, it took a little convincing but I got it to turn around for a front side view.
Another Chickadee here, I have no idea why it would be sticking its tongue out at us.
We also found this long distance Junco, which was bobbing around.
I'll finish this post up with the way that I usually find Buntings as we drive the back roads.
We also watched three roosters in this same area runn around a bit. Take some time this week and put a little "wild" in your life. You will feel better for it!

Monday, 15 February 2016

Woodpeckers, Pheasants, Doves (201602-early) Some work from around the yard.

After feeding the Chat this morning and spending a little time in the cemetery I came home and spent a little time in the yard. I spotted  6 or 7 woodpeckers flitting around. Hairy here is always around and very approachable.
Along with two or three Hairy's there were several Downy's buzzing around. The females were also being quite willing to pose.
After a while I noticed this guy working over one of my Maple trees pretty hard. I was able to shoot a couple of videos, like this one where he's grabbing some ants: Mining Hairy Woodpecker.
I was glad that I had picked up the tripod and it was handy for this opportunity. Shot at 600mm and just 1/15 of a second shutter speed.
I also captured him just chilling after some hard working. I call this video Breathing.
The next day I grabbed on opportunity I have been waiting to capture. I had been watching two rooster pheasants in the back yard when they "popped" up into one of our Hemlock trees. I have captured them in a hardwood before but this is my first in a conifer.
The next morning we were getting some snow and sunshine. I was able to hang out the bedroom window and capture this beautiful Mourning Dove.
A little further in the tree there were a group of Doves taking in the sun. I hope I have done them justice here.
I have been seeing some Juncos around but they have not been sitting still at all for shots.  I'll post this one, just for the heck of it.
On the next morning I grabbed a few photos of "8:00 Charlie". This, I believe, is Feathers younger brother, and likely the same bird I posted above in the conifer.
On the 11th, I was watching out the window and spotted the Pileated back at the Maple so I grabbed the camera and the tripod. 
I shot some images and video without my glasses. Unfortunately the video didn't turn out very well. But I caught a great break when I spotted him back an hour later. Here is one of the video's that I am happy with: Male Pileated #1
Here is a low light shot taken at 1/30 of a second. 
This is a second video: Pilly2 . I hope you enjoy. These are just some examples of how easy it is to put a little "wild" in your life. 

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Crows, Eagles, Black-backed Gull (20160202) A beautiful Ground Hog day out at Eagle Watch

With  the promise of blue skies Len and I scheduled Ground Hog day to go see the Eagles perform at Sheffield Mills. We arrived right at prime time and got set up to watch the action. The Crows were around and providing a little entertainment.
They make for wonderful birds to use for practice. Their lack of contrasting colour make them difficult to get great images of, all the more reason to keep trying.
The large slow moving Black-backed Gulls make great targets as well.
That was a pretty good underside look, and now for the Black-back!
We spent about 5 and half hours and the stars of the show were woefully inactive. We did manage grab some images as they did a few token fly-bys.
It was pretty disappointing as the conditions were super and the birds were present, just lethagic and unwilling to feed. 
 I missed probably the best fly-by of one of the Redtails, but the crows kept harassing them so they were in the air quite a bit.
With that bit of "wild" installed in our day, we headed over and had a cup of tea with Mom. Take the chance to put some "wild" in your life, it will do you good. 

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Nuthatch, Back Yard (20160130) A heavy snow fall

Well it turns out we had a decent amount of snow yesterday and over night. While I don't usually do Landscapes here are a couple of shots out the bedroom window of the house. As you can see the deck has quite a bit of snow.
It was wet sticky snow and so the snow stuck to all the trees.
Now to the area where a lot of action occurs: where the feeders are :)
The snow meant that the Chat would need some fresh Jelly as everything that had been put out previously would be burried So I made a quick trip over to see how she was doing. I found her, and she found the new jelly supply.
Upon returning home I was able to grab a couple of images of this Red-breasted Nuthatch.
One of the Hairy males was present as well. The heavy cloud cover made for difficult lighting, but C'est la vie!
And that's all it took for me to get a little "wild" in my life!