Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Iceland Gull, Harlequin, waves (20160322) Another sunny morningtrip for the Harlies

While Sunday didn't provide the opportunity I was hoping for it was a great day. Tuesday was being forecast with  nice sunny morning once again so I was ready to try again. Flying solo today it wasn't quite a cold temperature wise and the wind was howling from the west. On the drive over I was considering that these ducks would soon be leaving, and they may not be there. As I started getting close to the shore I could see some beautiful wave action going on.
I can tell that this will be a type of photography that I will be investing some time in. I don't know if I have the right equipment right now, but it was wonderful shooting this action.
I had already thought the trip was worth the effort as this was a terrific find!
Well it was time to see if I could find my target species which didn't take too long.
This is the first time that I have found them frolicking in the "foam".
These conditions, I soon discovered, were very difficult! No only are the ducks swimming, but the waves are making them bob and weave. Add to that their tendency to dive in a flash, and the wind blowing at 40-60 kph, it was tough shooting. I did manage a couple of images though.
Then the Purple Sandpipers put in an appearance. 
Next up was this beautiful Iceland Gull that did a fly-by. A pretty nice looking bird for a gull.
Here is a final look at the trio of Harlies that kept teasing me for more than 90 minutes.
What a wonderful morning! Here is another Wave shot, you can expect to find more of those coming in future posts. 
Other sightings were Long-tails, R-B Mergansers, a Canada Goose, and what I believe is a Black Scoter. How is that for putting a little "wild" in my life?

Harlequin, red-breasted Merganser, Seal (20160320) I can't believe it has been a week!

Well after the success Len and I had last week with the Harlequins I have been waiting for a sunny morning to go back and see if I can't get some better images. Laurie Ann has decided to come along to Prospect as she has never seen the Harlies before. It was to be a chilly morning with -7C temperature but breezey with a wind gusting to 40 kph. We were greeted as we unloaded by this Song Sparrow.
We were able to find two pair of Harlies but they wer quite a distance away. While we waited to see if they would work their way over to us I was able to grab a new bird for the blog. This is a Red-breasted Merganser female.
As is the custom here, a new critter deserves a second look, so here she is following her mate.
I have shot these birds on other occasions but the images were not worth posting. I am looking forward to getting more images of these skitish birds in the future.
I was also able to spot a Seal in the area while we were keeping an eye on our main target. I only saw it surface twice, so I was lucky to get any image at all.
Laurie Ann spotted this pair of Harlies just sitting not too far from where were set up. I worked my way over to see if I could get a decent image, but as with last week the sun location just worked against me.
The pair swam of after a little while, so we headed home. The weather was fabulous and the company was super. When I got home I found a couple of the locals willing to pose for an image or two. I haven't posted this guy too many times yet, the Red-breasted Nuthatch.
Of course a BCCH was present and willing.
After a brief chat with Laurie Ann she was willing to provide me with a couple of images. This first one is of a Black Duck coming in for a landing. 
She also shot the Harlies and had better results than I was able to manage. 
It is easy to see why we invest a little time in trying to capture images of these gorgeous little ducks. 
That is how we put a little "wild" in our life on a Sunday morning! Do the same soon and you will feel better for it!

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Eagle, Goldfinch, Leucistic Robin (20160313) A trip up the valley for some new spots.

Saturday night I decided to head out on a NSBS field trip with some of my new shutterbugs (Clarence, Alistair, and Laurie Ann). LA was driving and we arrived a little early so we had the chance to visit a SEO area, no birds present, but I now know where to look when I'm in the area. The field trip was pretty crowded so we headed out on our own to see what we could find. We swung over to Blominton and on one of the deadend roads we were treated to this Eagle.
Some feeders near the road netted us an early Grackle that didn't wouldn't hang around for an image but a few of the American Goldfinches provided opps.
Whenever you are near the shoreline and you get an opportunity to grab images of one of the archways present take the shot! You will go back one day and they will have disappeared thanks to time and tide.
Just up the road we were treated to a view of three arches so in this case I listened to my own advice and grabbed this shot.
Then we had a terrific spot of this Leucistic American Robin,  a first for me.
I managed a second image which provides a peek at some of the breast.
Laurie Ann got the best image of that unit by far. We then took a walk to a waterfall location and were disappointed with the lack of water. Clarence spotted this Kinglet which everyone enjoyed trying to capture an image of.
We finished the day up at Miner's Marsh which will become a familar location here in time to come. One of the local mallards was nice enought to allow a portrait.
It was a super day with some super company! Take sone time to put a little "wild" in your life, it will do you a world of good!

Monday, 14 March 2016

Whitetail, Purple Sandpipers, Harlequins (20160312) Around the house, and a road trip pays off.

As I was lazing in bed this morning thinking about the upcoming day Deb yelled that there was a deer out in front of the house. So I had to grab the camera and take a look. It disappeared for a few minutes then popped out and stood still for me to capture this, my first image from the home yard.
Later in the day Laurie and Alistair dropped by to try out their new "better beamers". We had a woodpecker and some Chickadees around but the star of this day was this little Golden-crowned Kinglet.
It was a first ever for my visitors so they were pretty pleased. So another image is in order.
A couple of days later Len and I hit up the Halifax Outdoor and RV show and thought since we were in the area we would take a little trip to look for the Harlies one more time this year. We were fortunate enoug to spot them and moved into position to get some shots. While we were setting up this group of shorebirds dropped in.
I believe that they are Purple Sandpipers. If they are, this will be a first for the
blog and dedicated visitors will know that a newbie always gets a second image.
Well back to our whole purpose for this trip and the end of a five or six trip quest. Here is a group of six resting out on the nearby island. You can tell from the sky in these shots the light was pretty shabby.

We spent about 75 minutes with these beauties. Here is one of early images. 
The second tough challenge of the light was that it was behind the birds so another trip is order soon to see if I can get them with sun behind me to give a better quality image. 
So these newcomers to the blog have been a long time coming. I really enjoy the colouration of these gorgeous birds so you will be seeing more soon.
Take some out of your day and put a little "wild" in your life, you won't regret it.

Friday, 11 March 2016

Chipmunk, Landscapes, Kinglet (201603-early) Some shots from around the house

Well I am finding it hard at this time of year to get a lot of targets in a single day so you will likely see several composite posts that cover several days. So we shall see how this goes for total content. Here is a image of a terrific little visitor the other day.
We were fortunate enough to have Eric Boultier-Brown present at the Dartmouth Photo Society at our latest meeting. He did a presentation on macro photography and shooting flowers in ice. I think it might have inspired these next shots, although they are not Macros.I'd call this first image Water and Ice
Down at the lake we had some pretty windy conditions the day before with dropping temperatures. Here is Ice Weeping Willows.
At the west end of the lake I was able to find a couple of Chickadees. They had a little company in there "band" as I was also able to find this Golden Crowned Kinglet.
I was able to convince him to show me his red patch on the top of his head.
A couple of days later I headed out to the Pipit place again, hoping to find the Harlies. This time I took along Laurie Ann and Alistair.
They weren't the only ones capturing images of the Pipits I grabbed a few of my own.
We swung out passed the third beach to find very little birdlife. We did see some mink tracks but not much else. On our way back to the truck we popped in to see the Pipits again. Here is a shot of one hanging around in the seaweed.
A shot here of two birds, showing just how well they can hide in this environment.
The next day I took a stroll out to the east side of the tracks to see what I could find on the now semi-fresh snow. Here is a shot looking west; the tracks to nowhere.
Down the tracks a little way, I found these tracks and with the deteroation of a day or two they were tough to ID. They imprints were 6 to 8 feet apart, then a little further out I found out that they were actually Showshoe rabbit tracks.
I flushed a couple of Ruffed Grouse but didn't get to actually see them. I'll wrap this post here and see how long it takes me to get enough images to put another together. It shouldn't be too long as I try and put a little "wild" in my life every day! Turbo

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Red Phalarope, American Pipits (20160229) Yet another search for a Harlequin fails.

With continuing beautiful February weather I was hoping to get out and find a Harlequin or two. I met Angela and we headed over to meet with Diane and Shawn, who were going to be our guides for the morning. We started out with a walk up to Chebucto Head. The overlooking bluff is a great spot to search the ocean to see what is around. Black Guilimon's were around, with some gulls and here is a group of Eiders.
We headed over to Crystal Crescent beach to see if we could find a Harley to photograph. We arrived uneventfully and began our walk. As we were passng through "beach 3" we found these American Pipits.
I am used to trying to find these birds during migration in the spring. But apparently they have spent the winter here eating kelp flies.
The group allowed me to move forward on my own, the result are my personal best Pipit images. I was very grateful with their willingness to hold back for a few minutes.
After posing for me these birds flew back in front of the rest of the group and provided them with a photo opp.
This Greater Black-backed Gull seemed right at home on this large boulder. The lighthouse in the background is a sight I will be getting used to here in NS.
There were no Harleys to be found and we headed back to the truck. As we were leaving the last beach the ladies found this little beauty.
A Red Phalarope, apparently the first time in Nova Scotia that one has been entered on the "dead of winter list". Luckily today was leap day and the list goes on until the end of February.
As I believe this is a Blog first I will add a couple of other images. While not the best they are decent ID photos.
It was a glorious suny day here in February. Apparently a highly unusual month for this part of the country. I don't really care, the fine weather made it more comfortable to put a little "wild" in my life!  Try it, you'll like it,