Thursday, 31 December 2015

Snow Geese at Christmas

I had heard from friends there were Snow Geese in the area and having some free time Christmas Day I went to check the area they were last seen in Rockland. I managed to find two birds, an adult and juvenile but they weren't very approachable. I wasn't able to find them the following day so all I have is a couple of flight shots, the last post for 2015.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

This was the only bird I managed to get a reasonable photograph of during the annual Christmas Bird Count. It was a particularly cold and windy day. December 20, Hemeon's Head.

Sunday, 27 December 2015


This was the best opportunity I've had to photograph a Dickcissel. The bird was quite co-operative although the grass made it a bit of a challenge. I'm not sure if this is a female or immature male. December 13, Hemeon's Head.

Great Egret

Another shot from November, this one on the 15th at Matthew's Lake. On this day there were two Great Egrets there which might be a first for me in NS. I have seen a single bird as recently as December 13.

American Robins and Holly Berries

I haven't posted for a while partly because I've been busy with other things and the few times I've been out to take pictures I haven't come home with anything worthwhile. These shots go back to November 7 when I found a flock of Robins feeding on this holly tree near the shore in East Jordan. They seemed particularly attracted to these berries even though there were others in the vicinity.
I included the last shot because of its uncluttered background.

Monday, 19 October 2015

A Few More Wood Ducks.

These shots were taken on October 9 at East Jordan. I like these partly because the water has the colour of the changing leaves on the maple trees in the background on some of the shots.

Northern Parula

There was one lone Northern Parula flitting around between the rocks at the end of West Head on October 8. There was a Common Yellowthroat in the same area on the same day which as it turned out was the first day of the outside duck hunting season.

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Northern Harrier

The first two shots were taken on September 27, the bottom one on October 4 at the same location near Matthew's Lake. Although there were at least two individuals in the area it may be the same bird in all the shots. The eye colour would seem to indicate a juvenile male. I watched the pair dive-bomb what turned out to be a Peregrine Falcon although I wasn't aware of it while it was happening. Later as I was photographing the Falcon in a tree one dive-bombed it although I failed to capture the moment adequately. Later one dive-bombed a pair of juvenile Great Blue Herons in a tree but too far away for a decent picture.

Stilt and Pectoral Sandpipers

Two Stilt and one lone Pectoral Sandpiper were sharing the same pond with a few Yellowlegs and peep on September 27 near Matthew's Lake. They were oddly the most approachable I've seen them this year especially given the fact that there were two Harriers, a Merlin and a Peregrine Falcon in the area at the same time. Maybe they realized their biggest threats were in the air,

Friday, 9 October 2015

Wood Ducks

It's interesting to see the various stages of moult these birds go through. The bird in the top photograph is still lacking the white and black feather edges on it's sides that are evident in the bird in the third photo. I'm still seeing some juvenile males that lack most of the colouring of the adults but the throat patch is still apparent. September 25, East Jordan.


I don't often find this species in East Jordan, there are not many sandy beaches here which is their preferred habitat. The rocky shore makes for an interesting back drop. This was one of two birds mixed in with a flock of Semipalmated Plovers. September 25.

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Solitary Sandpipers

 There are still some Solitary Sandpipers arriving at the pond in East Jordan. Although these shots were taken on September 25, the water has receded enough since the rains of last week to provide some feeding areas around the edges. I saw my first in a few days the day of this blog post.

Common Merganser

One or two individuals in a flock of several mergansers at the Breakwater Road in East Jordan on September 20.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Northern Gannet

On September 20th when I took these shots there were dozens of Gannets passing by West Head and feeding fairly close to shore. I was hoping to get a photo of one diving at close range but didn't have any luck. There still seem to be many migrating past and I suspect that will continue through the Fall.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Sharp-shinned Hawk

This was another raptor with an eye for the Solitary Sandpipers in our pond. I was actually photographing a sandpiper when this bird tried to take it. Unfortunately I didn't capture that moment but fortunately for the sandpiper it escaped unharmed. September 5, East Jordan.

Monday, 5 October 2015

Palm Warbler

For a few days in early September there were large numbers of Palm Warblers passing through our area. I haven't been out enough in recent days to know whether there are still many around. September 5, East Jordan.

Solitary Sandpiper

One of the sandpipers being stalked by the Northern Harrier in the previous photos. September 2, East Jordan.

Northern Harrier

This bird was sitting on the edge of the pond eyeing two Solitary Sandpipers feeding not more than about twenty feet away. I don't usually take bird photos with back lighting but in some cases it works, particularly with flight shots where the wing and tail edges are lit from behind and also in the top photo from below. September 2, East Jordan.

Friday, 25 September 2015

Semipalmated Plover

Another shot from August. This was shot on the 30th of the month as well near Matthew's Lake. I've been noticing a few on the beaches here in East Jordan in recent days. For those who are wondering, the name refers to the partial web between the toes on these birds - not visible in this shot. I would assume it helps while walking in soft sand where they generally are found feeding.

Pectoral Sandpiper

This was one of three birds of this species I photographed on this day. August 30, Matthew's Lake.

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Wilson's Phalarope

This is a species I haven't seen for about three years. They're quite fun to observe the way they dart about chasing prey, more actively than most other shorebirds. August 29 near Matthew's Lake except the bottom photo taken on the 27th.