2021-02-08: Monochrome Monday

This barred owl seems to be having good success in the yard with either mice or shrews that are running around under the snow. It was also eyeing up the flock of pine siskins that have been around, but I haven’t seen it have any success in catching one of those – at least not while I have been watching.

2021-02-07: Barred Owl

I’ve been really fortunate to have a barred owl hanging around the yard for the past week. It’s been spending a significant amount of time around, and most of the time perched in one of the trees that is easily visible from the window in my office.

I managed to get a few images to share; even if it is around over the next few days, it is doubtful I’d be getting anything more than a shot through the window, with the temperatures plummeting here for the next week. I think my camera and I will be spending as much time indoors as possible!

Enjoy, and wishing you a wonderful week ahead!

2020-04-20: Monochrome Monday

Spotlights can add a strange colour cast to images, and rather than tinkering for ages with colour correction, I moved this to black and white to see how it would look, and loved the result.

Wishing everyone a fantastic week!

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A southern white-faced owl spotted while on the way back to camp while staying at Chitwa Chitwa in the Sabi Sands.

2020-01-19: Barred Owl

I spotted a barred owl hanging out in the backyard a couple of days ago while I was having lunch.  It spent a bit of time trying to hunt, and the rest trying to nap.  It was -28C, so I took the photos through my window, as it was just too cold for me to get out to take a couple of pictures.  Besides, Murphy’s Law would have kicked in, and by the time I got bundled up enough to head outside and take a few images, the owl would have flown away.

Thankfully things have warmed up a little bit here; still cold, but at least not bitterly cold.  I hope your week ahead is looking up too 🙂

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Trying to catch a few zzz’s

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Puffed up against the cold.

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Scanning for something to eat.

2019-12-15: Photo Art – Birds

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:

2019-10-20: Photo Art – Owls

2019-09-15: Photo Arts – Birds

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A saddle billed stork resting along the shore of a small dam.

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A pair of Verreaux’s eagle owls

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A helmeted guinea fowl

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A long-crested eagle perched at the top of a dead tree.

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One of my favourite birds to see on safari, a lilac breasted roller.  Just a little brighter than you may see in real life 🙂

2019-12-08: Random photos from walks

I always take a camera with me when I go out for walks with my dog (or on the rare occasion when I go for a walk on my own).  I haven’t taken too many images in recent months, and as such hadn’t downloaded the card in quite some time.  While out on Thursday, I saw a beautiful barred owl near my house, and while reviewing those pictures, I found a few others I had forgotten that I had taken.

This is a bit of a random assortment of images taken since July, while out and about on walks.

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I see this young buck frequently around the neighbourhood now, but this was the first time that I had spotted him while out on a walk.

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A violet-green swallow seen while out on a walk on the dikes in Pitt Meadows.

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A proof shot that there are moose in the neighbourhood, even if they are seen very infrequently.

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A barred owl spotted on my morning walk last week.

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An early morning along the Pitt River.

2019-10-20: Photo Art – Owls

I recently saw a beautiful abstract painting of an owl, and it inspired me to work on some of my owl images in a different way.  All of these were created in Topaz Studio, using a variety of different filters and techniques.  It’s been a lot of fun playing around with these this week.

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You can find these images, and lots of others, over on my gallery page.

2019-08-11: Birds in the dark

Last week, I featured hornbills for my topic of the month, and this week, it is birds in the dark.  I had started typing out birds at night, but one of the images was taken at daybreak, and I thought it best to try and be accurate 🙂

I was very fortunate to have several different owl sightings during my travels, as well as two nightjar sightings.  The nightjars were by far the easiest to photograph, as they tend to lay in the road after dark, and if you are lucky you can drive the vehicle fairly close to them and use a spotlight.  Owls are a more challenging one, unless you are lucky enough to find them very close to the road, and not spook them when driving up.

This past trip, the first owl sighting I had was on my first evening game drive, and it was rather exciting.  I spotted this owl far away on a tree, and as we watched for a few moments, we realized it had a kill it was working on.  The terrain made it impossible to drive any closer, so I had to do the best I could with a 400mm lens and a bit of cropping; the quality isn’t fantastic, but the moment was definitely memorable.

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A Verreaux’s eagle-owl on a scrub hare kill.  Lion Sands River Lodge, May, 2019

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I had one eagle sighting while in the Timbavati, of a pearl-spotted owlet, but unfortunately by the time I got the attention of our ranger to stop, the owl was in flight and all I got was a butt shot as it flew away.  And not even a decent butt shot; it’s completely blurry and not worth sharing.  There’s always next time though 🙂

The rest of the sightings of birds in the dark all came while staying at Chitwa Chitwa with Harley as our guide.  Harley really seemed to enjoy pointing out birds, and identifying the ones that I would randomly point at (generally small raptors which I still have a terrible time identifying).

The southern white-faced owl and the spotted eagle owl were seen within about 10 minutes of each other while heading back to camp for dinner; and then the pair of Verreaux’s eagle owls were spotted the following morning as we set off from camp.

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A southern white-faced owl.  I’ve been lucky enough to see this species a couple of times before.  Chitwa Chitwa, South Africa. May, 2019.

Nightjar’s are a common bird to see on game drives at night, but a lot of times they fly away before you have a chance to capture a picture.  This past trip, I was fortunate to have two sightings of different species that I could get decent images of.

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A fiery-necked nightjar.  I would have struggled to identify this on my bird app if the song hadn’t been described as “Good lord, deliver us” which was the description our ranger Harley used when talking about them.  Chitwa Chitwa, May, 2019.

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A rufous-cheeked nightjar.  Very similar to the fiery-necked nightjar from beak to wing, but this one has white patches on the end two tail feathers (thank you, Roberts Bird app!)

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A spotted eagle-owl.

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A group of Verreaux’s eagle-owls, spotted early morning on a drive at Chitwa Chitwa.  There were actually 3 in this group, but I couldn’t fit them all into one frame as one was in another tree, hidden behind the trunk until it took off.

I hope you enjoy my selections for the week.  Wishing everyone a fantastic week ahead!