I have been having a difficult time in the last few weeks to set aside the time to either edit photos or post anything. I’ve finally gone through photos from the last two weeks, and as usual, it’s all about birds. These wood ducks were a first for me – I’m sure I have seen them before, but I had never photographed them or identified them. When I was trying to determine what variety of duck these were, I learned that the wood duck was hunted to near extinction in the 19th century, but a hunting ban helped to rebuild their numbers.
The flicker has always been elusive for me when I have my camera in hand. On days when I am walking the dog near my office (camera safely stored at home), I often see one sitting atop a light pole, pecking at the top, making a lot of noise and drawing my attention, or see one pecking in the grasses growing along the dikes alongside the robins. When I have my camera though, I always seem to hear them only, as they call from distant trees, or watch them disappear as I am desperately trying to catch a single picture.
I finally had my chance, and was lucky enough to see a couple sitting in a tree along the dike… and they didn’t disappear the minute I focused my camera on them. As with the herons and the eagle (I still can’t believe I saw all of them in an hour one morning), I am really noticing the noise at high ISO on my camera, but unfortunately in BC, lots of dreary, grey sky days are the norm, and quick moving birds require the fast shutter speed.
Saturday was quite the day for bird sightings while out on my morning walk with the dog. I haven’t had a chance to do much editing, but since I also haven’t been terribly consistent with posting, I thought I should do a quick post showing a sample of the birds I saw on the weekend, and hopefully I will have a chance to highlight each sighting later in the week.
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.
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.
Spencer was enjoying the sunny weather on the weekend – it’s been the first time this year that we have had any porch time.
The amazing acrobatic abilities of the hummingbird!
Continuing on with the hummingbirds!
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