Sunday, 16 April 2017

Blue-winged Teal - Drakes

I took these shots on the same day as the Green-winged teal photo in the previous post. It was great to be able to get both species on the same day. I had seen these same two birds earlier in the day but they didn't come close. Later on after I had moved from another location they flew in but still didn't get close enough for a decent photo. As luck would have it a balloon blew up from the beach and drifted across the far end of the pond. They didn't know what to make of it and decided to swim in the opposite direction, fortunately towards me.

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Green-winged Teal - Drake

I hadn't noticed any Green-winged Teal in the area when this guy happened to land in front of me while I was photographing Mergansers. I was happy to have  him do that.  March 26, near Matthew's Lake.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Downy Woodpeckers

The female (bottom) was the first to show up at the feeders this winter, the male was a late arrival. There was something a little different about the male, his white feathers weren't as white as they should be. I thought he might have gotten into something that stained his feathers but as time has gone on I think he has some melanism that is causing him to look darker than normal. They are beginning to act like a pair in recent days, following each other when they're not interested in food.

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Snowy Day in March

Black-capped Chickadees and American Goldfinches photographed during a snow storm on March 19. It feels a little ironic posting these today on what is the warmest day of the year to date. Seems like the snow is a distant memory although I know better than to assume we've seen the end of it this spring.  It's Nova Scotia after all. 

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Great Horned Owl

This may be the same bird from an earlier photo. Again, this was one of a pair photographed at a location where I had seen them previously.

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Harlequin Ducks

There has been a sizeable flock of Harlequin Ducks at Hemeon's Head all winter this year. Most of the days I've been there they have been too far offshore to get good photos. On this day there were four feeding close to shore at low tide with little surf happening so I took the opportunity to get close enough for a few shots. February 28.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Common Merganser

I began the day photographing three females of this species in another pond in the same area. Later I was lucky enough to have a single female land nearby at another location. It was soon followed by a male and three more females. I was able to watch at fairly close range as they fed and preened. I knew they would take off when I got up to leave and was able to capture part of that moment. Last day of February, near Matthew's Lake.

Friday, 17 March 2017


The Barred Owl in the top three photos was hanging out near my bird feeders one day after the second big snow storm we had here this Winter. It seemed to be interested in the squirrels that had been hanging out under the feeders. The smaller mammals that make up their usual diet would have been buried under about 2 feet of snow. I watched it go after something on one occasion but without success. February 18, East Jordan, NS.

The Great Horned Owl was one of a pair I stumbled on one day. Late Winter is typically breeding season for these birds so I assume they were male and female. I can't say with certainty which sex this bird might be although from past experience the males seem a little bolder and so more approachable.  February 5, near Little Harbour, NS.

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Long-billed Dowitcher

 I found this bird feeding on the edge of Matthew`s Lake on January 23. I wasn`t expecting to find any shorebirds at that late date although some species do attempt to overwinter in small numbers. This species would have been low on my list of what I might expect since they are rare in any season in this province.

A Winter's Day - A Long Time Ago

Well I had to give this post a title, seems appropriate given it's been awhile since I've posted anything.
These were all taken the day of the local Christmas bird count (Jan 2) in the Matthew's Lake area, except the Nuthatch which was here in the yard back in late December.

I probably don't need to label these but from top to bottom they are Black-capped Chickadee, American Tree Sparrow, Yellow-rumped Warbler and Red-breasted Nuthatch. The most interesting birds on count day were a Nashville Warbler which I failed to get a picture of  (not for lack of trying) and an American Kestrel which was hunting along the beach wall but stayed out of range for a decent photo.