Hawk / Northern Harrier? Neither, it's an Osprey

With the wings spread open, it is easy to see the beautiful stripes in the feathers. 1/640sec, f5.6, ISO800
With the wings spread open, it is easy to see the beautiful stripes in the feathers.
1/640sec, f5.6, ISO800
The lines of the wings and the neck are just beautiful. 1/800sec, f5.6, ISO800
The lines of the wings and the neck are just beautiful.
1/800sec, f5.6, ISO800

I had some lovely photo opportunities yesterday while out walking with the dog, both of the heron that I posted earlier, and of this beautiful bird.  I have tried to determine what type it is, and think that it could be one of several different types of hawks.  But while looking through birding websites and photos, I realized that photos I posted earlier, of what I thought to be a cooper’s hawk, may in fact have been a juvenile northern harrier.  Regardless of what we call them, they are wonderful to watch.  Maybe one of these days, I will see them under blue skies rather than the stark grey we had yesterday.  At least it waited to rain until after I got in the car!

Update: I ran into a lovely couple from the Alouette Field Naturalists group, and they took a look at these photos and told me this is an Osprey.  They had been watching an Osprey rebuilding a nest that had been taken over by a Canada goose.

Things happened quite quickly, and I am not sure if the hawk went towards the tree to tae a branch, or mistimed a landing and ending up breaking the branch off. 1/500sec, f5.6, ISO1100
Things happened quite quickly, and I am not sure if the hawk went towards the tree to tae a branch, or mistimed a landing and ending up breaking the branch off.
1/500sec, f5.6, ISO1100
After gathering up a smaller clump of branches, the hawk landed on the top of a power pole. 1/500sec, f5.6, ISO1100
After gathering up a smaller clump of branches, the hawk landed on the top of a power pole.
1/500sec, f5.6, ISO1100
As we got closer, the hawk got ready to take off again. 1/500sec, f5.6, ISO800
As we got closer, the hawk got ready to take off again.
1/500sec, f5.6, ISO800
1/1000sec, f5.6, ISO800
1/1000sec, f5.6, ISO800
1/1000sec, f5.6, ISO800
1/1000sec, f5.6, ISO800
The angle of the light was just right for a silhouette photo.  Right after this, the hawk was gone. 1/1000sec, f5.6, ISO450
The angle of the light was just right for a silhouette photo. Right after this, the hawk was gone.
1/1000sec, f5.6, ISO450

 

Great Blue Heron

On our drive to the dikes this morning, we had a great blue heron take off from the side of the road, and fly straight towards the car.  I braked hard (luckily it was early and there was no one else on the road) and the heron decided to change direction at the last possible moment, so thankfully, no casualties today 🙂  It’s amazing to see them up close though, and be able to see how big their wingspan is.

I am glad I grabbed my camera bag on the way out the door, as I had some great bird sightings today.  I only managed a few shots of the heron, but I have lots more photos to go through for future posts.

A great blue heron coming in to land.
A great blue heron coming in to land.
A lovely reflection of the heron in the river. 1/160sec, f5.6, ISO1600
A lovely reflection of the heron in the river.
1/160sec, f5.6, ISO1600
Relaxed at the water's edge; no doubt keeping an eye out for the next meal.
Relaxed at the water’s edge; no doubt keeping an eye out for the next meal.

Sleepy Spencer

Sleepy Spencer

Spencer was enjoying the sunny weather on the weekend – it’s been the first time this year that we have had any porch time.

Hummingbird with her tongue out

Continuing on with the hummingbirds!

If you look very closely, you can see that this hummingbird is sticking her tongue out (maybe she was tired of the flash).  I've posted a second photo where she is not, for comparison purposes. I love the angle of the light, as the beautiful gold green colour of her feathers is very apparent. 1/200 sec, f5.6, ISO100 with speed light
If you look very closely, you can see that this hummingbird is sticking her tongue out (maybe she was tired of the flash). I’ve posted a second photo where she is not, for comparison purposes.
I love the angle of the light, as the beautiful gold green colour of her feathers is very apparent.
1/200 sec, f5.6, ISO100 with speed light
I've posted this photo to compare to the other photo of the female on the feeder. 1/200 sec, f5.6, ISO100, 150mm with speed light
I’ve posted this photo to compare to the other photo of the female on the feeder.
1/200 sec, f5.6, ISO100, 150mm with speed light

Male Rufous Hummingbird

Male Rufous Hummingbird

The photos I have of the male rufous hummingbird in flight (so far!) are not as sharp as I would like, but this one of him paused at the feeder highlights his beautiful colouring.
He didn’t stay long as the female kept coming around and chasing him off!

1/500 sec, f5.6, ISO1250

Female Rufous Hummingbird

Rufous Hummingbird

I was so happy to see my first hummingbirds of the year this past weekend, and was able to spend some time relaxing on my parent’s porch, camera at the ready to capture a few shots. I’m quite pleased with the results, so there just might be a hummingbird of the day around here for the next little while 🙂

1/200 sec, f5.6, ISO 100 with speed light

1/200 left significant motion blur of the wings, and with the light, the fastest I tried was 1/640, and that didn’t even come close to freezing the wing motion.

Penguin

Penguin

The long grass was doing nothing to enhance the photo, and the Jackass penguin has only a limited amount of pale pink colouring around the eyes, so I decided to do a black and white conversion. After a hectic day, unwinding with some editing seemed like a good choice, and the penguin made me smile. Mission accomplished 🙂

1/320sec, f5.6, ISO200 – conversion in Silver Efex

Penguin at Boulder Beach, Cape Town, South Africa, March 2013.

Slow

I saw this painted on a street in Vancouver and it made me chuckle.  I'll give them an A for effort...
I saw this painted on a street in Vancouver and it made me chuckle. I’ll give them an A for effort…

Sometimes, I make poor decisions.  Okay, oftentimes I make poor decisions.  But today, the decision to leave my camera at home really pissed me off.

I’ve not had much success photographing bald eagles.  The closest I came was last summer, but it came out of nowhere and my shutter speed was a bit too slow.  The last three times I have seen bald eagles, my camera was safely packed in the well cushioned case… at home.  Once was a juvenile bald eagle with a rainbow in the background, the second was a single mature eagle chasing a Cooper’s Hawk, and today, two mature bald eagles perched in a tree, scanning the river.   As I was walking with Spencer this morning, a Cooper’s Hawk flew in front of me at head height and as I scanned to follow it, spotted the pair of eagles.

Hence the SLOW (or is it WOLS?) photo.  Hopefully this time I have finally learned, and the next time I think it is too damp to bother taking my camera with me when I walk the dog, I will grab it anyways.

This was the best my phone could manage of the last couple of eagle sightings. Big, sad sigh.

eagle pair

I am posting this as a lesson to myself to be better prepared for opportunities! The photo, and the lack of quality, clarity, detail and definition just makes me mad!
I am posting this as a lesson to myself to be better prepared for opportunities!
The photo, and the lack of quality, clarity, detail and definition just makes me mad!

 

Crocuses

I’ve been hoping that the weather would finally cooperate, and I would be able to get some photos of the crocuses before they are gone. Sunday afternoon I finally got my chance.

I’m still getting used to the focusing of my new macro lens, and I am sure I will look at these in a couple weeks and cringe at the decisions I made on focus, but for now, I’m pretty happy with the results.

I love the vivid colours of the crocus; they are a vibrant sign in the midst of awful weather that spring, and brighter days, are coming.
I love the vivid colours of the crocus; they are a vibrant sign in the midst of awful weather that spring, and brighter days, are coming.

Striped Crocus Crocus