2021-02-28: Birds

Now that February is ending, it won’t be long before it is time to bring in the feeders, as the birds start having better sources of food available. Mostly though, it’s to mitigate the risk of having bears close to the house; if I could, I would keep feeders out year round to watch the birds.

With the cold and damp, I’ve not spent much time outside snapping shots of the chickadees and pine siskins, so instead, I found some bird images I hadn’t worked through yet from my last trip. There is one mystery bird in there, that I didn’t write the name down when I saw them, but I am hoping a friend based in South Africa will be able to help me out – fingers crossed.

A grey go-away bird.
Mystery birds – if anyone knows what these are, please let me know!
A crested barbet
A green wood-hoopoe catching a bit of shut eye.
A coppery-tailed coucal

2020-11-15: Francolins

Anyone that has been on a game drive in Africa will be familiar with francolins, spur fowl and grouse, as they are often encountered on the roads and have a funny habit of jogging in front of the vehicle for what seems like a rather long distance (given their size) before ducking into an opening in the grass or bushes. It always makes me chuckle every time I see this. Given where they are encountered though, and their natural behaviour, it is surprisingly tough to get a decent photo pf these birds, unless you are on a vehicle all to yourself… most people aren’t too keen to stop for every bird sighting while out in the bush.

A pair of crested francolins foraging at the side of the road.
A family of francolins on the run.
A coqui francolin being very accommodating and pausing for a photo op.
Double banded sand grouse were enjoying a dust bath in the middle of the road, until we rudely disturbed them!

2020-09-13: Uganda Revisited

For the last few blog posts, I have been revisiting my journey through Uganda and editing some photos that I passed by the first go around. It’s been wonderful to review these images and relive the memories that I carry of that wonderful journey. Today and tomorrow will be the last of Uganda revisited, and after that, I am going to be moving on to revisiting my time in Kenya.

These images were taken at Queen Elizabeth National Park while staying at Ishasha Wilderness Lodge, along the Kazinga Channel while staying at Mweya Lodge, and in the Kibale Forest, where I stayed at Primate Lodge.

I hope you enjoy!

A yellow throated long claw seen in burnt vegetation along the side of the road, just after coming into Queen Elizabeth Park from Bwindi.
A beautiful sunset while on a game drive from Ishasha Lodge.
A leopard and a topi. This leopard has in fact taken the topi’s small fawn which was why she was standing and looking at the leopard so intensely.
A group of pied kingfisher seen while on a birding boat cruise. The number of pied kingfisher we saw was unbelievable, as they were nesting in the tall sand banks of the channel. They were there by the hundreds.
A woodland kingfisher see along the Kazinga Channel
Traditional boats along the Kazinga Channel.
A red-tailed monkey I spotted while walking around the grounds of Primate Lodge.
A malachite kingfisher seen while on a birding cruise along the Kazinga channel.
Toti the chimp telling our group what he really felt about us (assuming that means the same in chimp language!)

2020-07-19: Yellow-rumped warbler

I was out with my dog at lunchtime this past week and saw an unfamiliar bird hopping through the lawn. I had just enough time to dash back inside and grab my camera to get a few shots to try and ID it later. I was actually a little disappointed when I did, as the yellow-rumped warbler summers to the north of here and winters far to the south in California and Mexico; Prince George is part of the migratory zone, so it was already on its journey southward again, reinforcing the notion that summer is waning (when weather wise, it has never really begun).

I’ve seen a dramatic decrease in the hummingbird numbers over the past week and I am sure within a week or so they will all be gone. I will miss hearing their buzzing while out for walks and my daily feeder fillings.

The seasons move on, whether we want them to or not, and I am going to keep this brief as the sun has finally come out, and it is time to get out and enjoy the few hours of summery weather we will get this weekend.

Wishing everyone a wonderful week.

2020-06-07: Local Birds (and more)

We have had some truly dismal weather the past few weeks, so much so that almost all of the hummingbirds have disappeared, presumably to find somewhere a little more hospitable to nest. But, I have seen a fair amount of wildlife, even though I haven’t had a chance to take pictures of all of it. The western tanager couple is back, and I see them flit through the yard usually once a day. Out on my walks, there have been frequent sightings of hermit thrushes, which surprises me after all the years I listened to them singing without being able to see one. There have also been a few different warblers; the Townsend’s, which I didn’t manage to get a photo of, and the Wilson’s warbler, which I managed a couple of ID shots of.

A male western tanager
A Wilson’s warbler
A hermit thrush

In addition to the variety of birds, I’ve seen both black bear, a cinnamon bear, and I finally caught a glimpse of the lynx that I saw tracks of all through the winter. I was walking my dog early one morning and saw it at the side of the road off in the distance, and it was so far away that I needed my camera to figure out what it was! Gratefully it stayed put for enough time to let me snap one photo, and then it evaporated into the bushes.

That’s all for today, wishing everyone a wonderful week.

2020-03-08: Redpolls

For two seasons in a row, I didn’t see a single redpoll over the winter, but over the last few weeks they have been in my yard in droves, jostling for position on the feeders with the chickadees and adding little flashes of colour to the otherwise rather drab winter landscape.

I still find it a bit baffling that anything would consider my area a good place to spend the winter, but I do get that in comparison to places even further north, it’s probably a bit easier to make it through the season here.

I’m enjoying their presence while it lasts, as soon bird feeding time will be over as the bears begin to emerge.  There’s still a while to enjoy the birds as we are still pretty deep in the grip of winter, despite my best attempts to will the snow to melt with the power of my mind 🙂

Here are a few images I captured a couple of days ago, when it wasn’t -20C!

I’ll keep up my mantra, spring is coming soon!  Wishing everyone a wonderful week ahead.

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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 🙂