Thursday, 31 August 2017

Ruby-throated Hummingbird - Juvenile

 I had a couple of regular female hummingbirds frequenting my feeder this year and the occasional male. The male was a little too elusive for me to manage a decent photo. I had the best luck with this juvenile (male?) who didn't seem as bothered by the sound of my camera shutter as the adults. I can't say that I minded since the young birds look more pristine in their fresh new plumage. August 6.

Semipalmated Plover

I didn't find much to shoot on this day but this Semipalmated Plover was posing in good light as I was returning on the beach to head home. The other shorebirds it was keeping company with didn't stick around to have their picture taken. July 30.

Monday, 21 August 2017

Common Tern - Protective Parent

I was a little mystified why this bird was so agitated by my presence. As far as I knew at the time there weren't any nesting terns in the area. Then I noticed a juvenile, not in the immediate area but close enough that I guess its parent saw me as a potential threat. In recent days I've been in the same area among adults and juvies and they've been very passive. I suppose they become less protective as the young ones age and learn to fend for themselves.

Saturday, 19 August 2017


This was my first day this summer taking pictures of shorebirds. I found a good variety, the most interesting of which was this lone Pectoral Sandpiper.

 There are always numerous Short-billed Dowitchers in the area. This species along with Semipalmated and Least Sandpipers and Semipalmated Plovers are probably the most common. The Least is not pictured here.

 I can't forget to mention Yellowlegs which are also very common. The bird pictured here is a Lesser Yellowlegs.

 I was treated to a spectacular sunset the best of which occurred after I made my way back to my car. I regretted not sticking around longer to capture that. July 22, Mattthew's Lake.

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrow and Habitat

I went out specifically looking for this species on this day. They are not particularly hard to find if you know the type of habitat they prefer. Typically this bird prefers salt marshes of which there are no shortage of in the Matthew's Lake area. During the breeding season they can be seen and heard singing from the highest point around which in a lot of areas is just the top of the highest stalk of marsh grass. In this case it was from the top of a stack of driftwood piled up as a makeshift blind by duck hunters. 

To be fair to other sparrows, the song - if you can call it that,  is more of a buzz than an actual melody. When they are not singing (or buzzing) you can often find them at the edges of the many little ponds similar to the ones pictured below looking for bugs. I was treated to an interesting sky at the end of the day which I hope was part of the reward for putting up with the hordes of mosquitoes that also prefer the same habitat. July 6, Matthew's Lake.