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Sunday, 19 May 2019

Great Blue Heron - Portrait and Fishing Images

Before I found this bird or should I say it found me,  I had only seen one migrant Great Blue this Spring. I was at a location I had had luck photographing them in the past but was only hoping and not really expecting to have any success on this day. After it flew in, which I failed to witness, it took awhile for the bird to settle in and start feeding but it stayed the better part of an hour while I watched and took many pictures. April 14, 2019.









Sunday, 12 May 2019

Last of the Snow Day Images

I need to post these before it's full on Summer. It still feels a bit like Winter at times, there have been some frosty mornings lately. April 8, 2019.




Monday, 29 April 2019

Killdeer Pair

I don't know whether this was a breeding pair of killdeer or not. They were travelling together and one looked to be developing a brood patch but the area they were in was not their typical nesting location. It is presumed they don't nest near water and this was not far from the ocean and on the edge of Matthew's Lake. A week or so later and they were not to be found so I assumed they moved on. April 7.




Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Spring Robins

Here area few images taken over two days at the same location. It was shortly after the snow had melted and the ground had warmed up enough for the worms to be active. They seemed plentiful and attractive for a small flock of seven or so hungry American Robins.

I ended up with a lot more photos than I can show here. What really surprised me was how much variability there is in the colour of the individual birds. I may show a few more in a future post since that isn't really evident in these shots.









Monday, 22 April 2019

Raptors

A few random images taken this past March including my only sighting of a Snowy Owl this year. The eagle shot was of a bird that made a close flyover while I was photographing waterfowl, while the harrier I flushed from the grass late in the evening. The light was poor but I thought the setting sun made a nice back drop for some silhouettes which was about all I was going to get at that time of the day








Thursday, 18 April 2019

Northern Saw-whet Owl

I have spent a fair amount of time over the last few years either listening for, or looking for Saw-whets with little success. Although I may have heard them once or twice I was never lucky enough to see one. That changed on March 10 this year on a day when it was probably one of the last things on my mind.  A day not long after the biggest snowfall of the year when I was really only interested in getting out of the house and going for a walk.

The bird was basically sleeping when I found it and while I took many images I wasn't completely happy with any of them. I returned a few hours later to discover the owl had moved and after locating it again was able to capture a few more photos of a little more active bird as the sun went down.

In hindsight it was a location that made sense for it to be in. On the south facing side of the old rail bed it was one of the only places where the snow had melted away enough to provide an area where mice would be visible for a hunting owl.




Friday, 12 April 2019

Common Mergansers

I managed to get out a few times this Winter to take pictures of waterfowl. While I didn't always have the best luck, on this day in mid February I was fortunate enough to get a few shots at relatively close distances. It's not always easy in an area that is hunted religiously earlier in the year but if you manage to find an area free of ice in an otherwise frozen location you stand a better chance. The birds will be congregated in a much smaller area and if you're patient enough they will return to the same spot.









Wednesday, 10 April 2019

Ring-billed Gull

Here are a few shots to prove that I do actually leave the yard sometimes to go take pictures. Ring-billed Gulls are a little smaller and more agile than our other common gull species like the Herring and Great Black-backed. They are actually quite good fishers and less dependent on scavenging as the others mentioned.  In the following images the bird is searching and diving for small fish swimming below the surface.









Monday, 8 April 2019

Palm Warbler on another Snow Day

I need to be more careful when attempting to predict the weather. April is obviously no guarantee that it's not going to snow again as this day proves, so here I am again posting pictures on another snowy day after proclaiming the previous post would be the last of my snow themed photos. 

  It's unusual for me to post images on the day I took them but I couldn't resist the urge this time. Although I've photographed Palm Warblers more times than I care to remember,  I believe this may be the most excited I've been to see one. On a day when I thought I'd take a few shots of the regulars at the feeder this guy flew in the yard, attracted likely by the other birds. An early migrant, I'm hoping it survives this (hopefully) last blast of Winter. I'm a little more concerned about the Tree Swallows I saw yesterday, I think the Palm Warblers are fairly hardy.





Monday, 1 April 2019

Snow Day - White-throated Sparrows

This should be the last snow day post for this Winter. It's April after all. These were taken in late February and early March.





Sunday, 24 March 2019

Snow Day - Fox Sparrow

It is a bit unusual to have a Fox Sparrow here all Winter.  Typically they show up in the Fall and leave after a few days or arrive in early Spring and stay awhile before moving on. This bird has been here since late Fall and was still around today - March 24. I think there may have been more than a few that overwintered this year.  I did see two others on an outing today, I'm not sure if they were early migrants or just more of those that spent the Winter.