For the last few days, it has been very quiet around the yard in terms of bird life. While last weekend the chickadees, nuthatches and flickers seemed to be around non-stop, the past few days, even on my walks, I haven’t heard a twitter.
With birds on my mind, I decided to play around with some of my photo art edits for my post this week. This is a topic that I have worked on previously; if you missed some of the posts from a couple of months ago, here are two links to take a look at:
I had planned on creating a post about hummingbirds this week, but it’s just not going to happen. I have been out taking photos of them as much as possible, but I haven’t had a chance to edit them yet. As it’s Father’s Day today, I want to spend time with Pops rather than at my computer editing images.
Below is a selection of bird images from my travels that I haven’t had a chance to share yet.
I decided to take a look back at my most “popular” posts of 2016 – going only by the number of post views; since many of them are from the earlier part of 2016, I’ll be sharing them again over the next few days, along with a new photo related to the the original post.
The photo below was one that I originally dismissed, but looking at it again, I really like the triangles of light hitting the eye, beak and back, which tie together with all the triangles created with the mess of tree branches.
The week ended on a very interesting note, and has left me with a fair number of photos to go through. On the advice of one of the members of the photo group, I went east of town yesterday hoping to see the northern hawk owls that had been spotted earlier in the day; I managed to see one, perched so high up in a tree, the first time I drove straight past it.
Today, I decided to take a drive about an hour out of town to a park, to scope out potential photography areas for the spring. It was just too lovely a day to be indoors. I had Spencer with me and we had a nice walk along the frozen marsh, but on the way out, I started to pull over closer to the side of the road to let a truck past, and the combination of ice covered road and extremely soft snow on the side, I ended up with the passenger side wheels stuck. A lady tried to give me a tow (who it turns out is also part of my photo group, but we hadn’t met yet), but that didn’t work so we set off to get into cell range so I could call for a tow truck. While I waited for the tow, it gave me a bit of time to catch up on some podcasts I’d been wanting to listen to, and honestly, the people around here are lovely. Every single person heading in or out of the park stopped to see if they could help in any way. I’m very grateful to the kindness of strangers.
And if I hadn’t been delayed an hour, I likely wouldn’t have seen a bald eagle perched high in a tree on the side of the highway (thoughtfully, right near a truck pull out so I could safely pull over). And since many wise photographers have always said “look behind you”, I turned to scan the opposite side of the highway, and saw two more perched in a tree and one soaring above, calling repeatedly. So an owl Saturday, and four bald eagles (plus a slightly lighter wallet) on Sunday. All in all, an excellent weekend.
And with that long and rambling weekend description behind us, on to the photos.
It was quite an exciting week for photos this week! Given the continued icy conditions on my road, I’ve been driving a short distance away to one of the main roads to walk Spencer. Tuesday morning, there were a huge group of ravens and magpies surrounding a ravine, so I stopped the car to see what had happened. During the night, the local coyote pack took down a deer, and the birds were tucking into the leftovers (evening at 9am, maybe only 1/4 of the deer remained.
We set off again at lunch for another walk, and this time the ravens and magpies were absent; while walking I figured out why – a beautiful bald eagle was watching over the area. I grabbed a few shots and he or she flew off through the field, and I carried on with my walk. On the drive home, I spotted the eagle again and grabbed a few more shots through the open window of the car, before realizing that there were two eagles in the area. I followed one to the end of the cul de sac, and was lucky enough to be able to get a few more shots in before it was time to get home and get back to work.
Fingers crossed this coming week brings more wonderful photo opportunities.
After seeing this challenge, I decided to go through the photos I took of fish eagles throughout my last trip to Southern Africa. I saw them from a lot of different vantage points, including from above, which is a unique way to watch birds.
On my first trip to South Africa, I completely blanked on the name of this bird while watching a pair perched in a tree along the river, and asked my guide the brilliant question “What is their primary prey?” Fish. Oh dear… I felt quite silly. I learned a bit more about the fish eagles this past trip (thank you to Graeme, Rebecca and Vincent for all the valuable information throughout my stay!) You can tell the difference between the males and females by the white front feathers. The males have a shirt, and the girls have a skirt. I had serious trouble distinguishing between the two at times though – those fish eagle girls sometimes have VERY short skirts! I’ll give my best guess as to the sexes in the pictures below. I’ve got a 50/50 shot of being right. Have a great evening!