Sunday, 13 November 2016


I spent less time this year photographing shorebirds than in the past and I might have neglected these had there been anything more interesting around to shoot. These birds seem to be a little more approachable than some other species so I was happy to find them on a day that didn't have much else to offer. October 16, Black Rock Beach.

Wood Duck - Beginning to get his full breeding plumage.

There were two males in the flock that were not in full breeding plumage. One was clearly a juvenile. This bird I would assume to be a juvenile as well although it looked considerably more like an adult than the other. Possibly from an earlier brood.  October 11, East Jordan.

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Wood Ducks, the Golden Hour and Fall Scenery

I took the shots of the Wood Ducks during the last hour of daylight on two nights in October, two days apart. The drake and hen on October 11 and the two drakes on October 13. The landscape shot was taken the day in between and all were taken at the same location. It seems quite obvious from the top three photos why they refer to this time of the day as the golden hour.

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Longspur (possible Smith's) -updated Nov. 16

This may be the first of this species I've seen this year, certainly the only bird I've seen this close. I'm always happy when I can find a lone bird since whenever there's a flock of several, the first to take flight will generally take the rest of the flock with it. This one sat still long enough to get a few, although similar pictures. October 11, West Head NS.
Update  It was brought to my attention that this bird is likely a Smith's Longspur which would mean it's quite a rarity for this area. It's not a species that I've seen in the past but the description seems to fit. I wasn't that comfortable in the beginning calling it a Lapland Longspur since it lacked the strong facial markings that I'm familiar with from other sightings of that species and the reddish wing coverts seem to be lacking. What initially drew my attention to this bird was the large amount of white visible on the outside of the tail when it flew to the location where this shot was taken. That would be another reason to suspect this bird was a Smith's. I'll be paying closer attention on future Longspur sightings.  Thanks to those who helped ID this bird.

Friday, 21 October 2016

Plover and Shadows

I happened on a small flock of Semipalmated Plovers feeding on bugs on a rocky beach one day in early October. It seemed like they didn't want to share the particular rock they were standing on and it was rare to see two birds sharing the same space. I guess maybe there weren't enough bugs to go around. October 11, West Head, NS.

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Teal and other Fall Colours

I just like the colours reflected in the water on this shot. No other reason - well there are birds in the shot too - Green-winged Teal in this case.  Looks like we'll be losing the last of the colourful Fall foliage during the wind and rain of the next couple of days. October 8, East Jordan NS.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Drakes - Wood Ducks

There is a local pond where you can generally find Wood Ducks during late Summer and into early Autumn. This year was no exception. During the first part of the season they are molting from eclipse plumage into breeding plumage. Usually by early Autumn most are in full breeding plumage.

Of the nine or ten birds that frequented the pond I only found one female, there was one juvenile male and another drake that was still in partial eclipse plumage. Unlucky for me since that was the one bird I actually got closest to. I'll post those shots later. These are from October 8.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Hunter - Juvenile Northern Harrier

Yes, more Harrier shots. I do like photographing these birds, I'm still trying to get decent shots of the adult birds but again I'll have to settle for a juvenile. These were all shot on September 24 over a time span of a few minutes as it hunted nearby. Matthews lake, NS.

Monday, 17 October 2016

Merlin - Adult and Juvenile

The first bird was photographed on September 25 at Matthew's Lake and is, I believe, an adult male with its slate gray back. The second bird was photographed on October 8 in East Jordan and is likely a juvenile given its colouring and how close it let me approach before flying.

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Northern Harrier - From Perch to Perch

 I was almost ready to give up waiting for something interesting to show up. I had been looking for raptors of some sort since I knew there were a few species in the area in which I was taking photos. Luckily enough I had two birds fly in a once.  One, a Merlin, landed in a tree about six feet over my head while this bird landed in a tree in which I could actually focus on to get a few shots.

The Harrier seemed to be having a hard time finding a perch that suited it and eventually flew to another small tree about an equal distance away. I managed to take a few shots as it flew from one tree to the next and then a few more as it finally left. All I ever saw was the belly of the Merlin but was able to get a few photos on another day at the same location. September 17,  Little Harbour NS.

Friday, 7 October 2016

Some Random Flight Shots

Just a few images I thought were interesting but not necessarily the best image quality. The exception being the first shot of a Great Blue Heron coming in for a landing. The next image is of an American Kestrel with a shrew followed by a kingfisher with a fish and then two shots in succession of a kingfisher tossing a fish and then attempting to catch it, presumably to get a better grip. All images are from August and September 2016.

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Northern Harrier - Close Flyby

 This juvenile Northern Harrier turned as it got close to me and flew directly over where I was sitting. There had been more than one bird in the area including an adult female but I always have better luck with the younger birds. I guess they haven't learned to be as wary and they may be a little more curious in general. There are also just more of them around in the fall and into the winter months. September 14, near Matthews Lake.

Common Raven

I was hoping to find something a little less common than this bird but sometimes you take what you can get. At least the pose is interesting. September 14.

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Great Blue Herons - 5th of September

A few more shots from the same location as the previous day. Three shots in a series of one bird catching and attempting to eat an eel and some other random shots of different individuals. There were roughly the same number of birds on both days. A few days later the pond had even less water and apparently not enough potential food to interest more than one bird.

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Great Blue Herons - 4th of September

There was a group of eight or more birds feeding in the same shrinking pond trying to glean the last few remaining fish before it dried up. There were a few squabbles happening, usually when the juvenile birds got in the way of the adults meal. In the second picture from the bottom the bird is eying a Bald Eagle sitting in a tree over my head although I wasn't aware of it at the time. When the birds flew off a couple circled back to avoid being eaten so I guess I was the less threatening intruder at that time. Near Matthew's Lake NS.