2018-12-30: Backyard Birds

I must apologize for the lack of posts over the last couple of weeks.  I hadn’t intended on taking any time off the blog in the run-up to Christmas, but time just got away from me.

Christmas Day saw a very unusual visitor to the bird feeder – a Blue Jay.  To those on the east coast I’m sure that doesn’t sound very exciting; but they are considered rare in my area, and I’ve not seen one since I was a kid growing up in Ontario, so I was thrilled.  The jay was very skittish though and while I have seen it a few times over the past couple of days, they are usually blink and you’ll miss it moments.  All I have to show for it are some fuzzy shots through my office window, but at least I have proof that it was here.

We’ve had a fair bit of snow the last few days, and it’s been very busy at the feeders; chickadees and nuthatches, flickers, downy and hairy woodpeckers, gray jays and even a visit from the magpies that I generally only see a couple streets over from where I live.  The ruffed grouse has also been around quite frequently.  I’ve been battling a bug with a nasty cough so I haven’t been outside much with my camera, but I did manage to capture the magpie and the grouse.  Now that I am starting to feel better I am hoping to get out and capture more of birds in the yard, and perhaps with any luck the blue jay will make another appearance.

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2017-01-22: What I’ve seen this week

Actually, I guess this should be more appropriately titled What I Saw Last Week, as none of the photos are from the last 7 days. It’s typed now though and no point in wasting time changing it.  On to the photos, and wishing everyone a great week ahead.

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Chickadees rarely sit still, so I am glad I managed to get a clear shot of this little one.
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A coyote made a visit to my yard one day; (s)he didn’t spend too long and I am grateful I looked out the window when I did to get these few photos.
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The coyote was very aware of me in the window snapping photos.
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What a difference the sunlight makes!
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A magpie spent a few minutes in the back yard, gathering food from the deer bucket.
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On my way back from town, I spotted this barred owl up the road; I quickly rushed home and grabbed my camera.  The owl was very far back from the road, and didn’t stick around long.
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Now you see it, now you don’t.  I only managed a couple minutes watching the owl (which was my first owl sighting of the year).

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2015-09-27: What I’ve seen this week

I was originally planning to hold off on this post, in the hopes of including some photos of the super blood moon eclipse… but it’s mostly overcast here at 4:45pm, and it seems pretty unlikely that it will clear in time to see anything.  C’est la vie.

This week has seen me finally sort out the annoying camera spots (sensor dirt, so time for a trip to the service centre).  I’ve also started having a somewhat annoying issue with my Tamron 150mm-600mm; it occasionally will register f0 and stop working.  I need to turn the camera off, unmount and remount to get it back to normal.  Sadly it seems like it is a common problem after doing some research; so that might end up taking a trip to a service centre too.

Hardware issues aside, I’ve managed to remember my camera on most of my walks this week, and was prepared to capture what I saw along my walks.  I hope you enjoy!

A black billed magpie flying through the fog. 1/800sec, f6.3, ISO 2000
A black billed magpie flying through the fog.
1/800sec, f6.3, ISO 2000
I like this shot because it shows off the beautiful wing tips. 1/800sec, f6.3, ISO280
I like this shot because it shows off the beautiful wing tips.
1/800sec, f6.3, ISO280
The wire perch was to my advantage, as the fog wasn't as much of an issue. 1/800sec, f6.3, ISO 6400
The wire perch was to my advantage, as the fog wasn’t as much of an issue.
1/800sec, f6.3, ISO 6400
One wildflower clings on, it's neighbour having already given in to the chill of autumn. 1/160sec, f6.3, ISO800
One wildflower clings on, it’s neighbour having already given in to the chill of autumn.
1/160sec, f6.3, ISO800
Earlier this week, a Mom with a fairly large fawn spent some time in the front yard; again I saw them when heading out for our afternoon walk.  These ones were far less comfortable with my presence and hopped off deeper into the bushes very quickly. 1/500sec, f6.3, ISO2800
Earlier this week, a Mom with a fairly large fawn spent some time in the front yard; again I saw them when heading out for our afternoon walk. These ones were far less comfortable with my presence and hopped off deeper into the bushes very quickly.
1/500sec, f6.3, ISO2800
A couple days in a row, this ruffled grouse was in the long grasses at the roadside (I couldn't see him at all) and when Spencer and I walked within about 20 feet, he shot off noisily deeper into the bushes. On this occasion, he flew straight towards us and passed within about 5 feet, but it allowed me to track him to his perch in a evergreen tree, and finally get a few better shots.  Still not ideal with the low light and the fog, but an improvement nonetheless. 1/640sec, f6.3, ISO 6400
A couple days in a row, this ruffled grouse was in the long grasses at the roadside (I couldn’t see him at all) and when Spencer and I walked within about 20 feet, he shot off noisily deeper into the bushes. On this occasion, he flew straight towards us and passed within about 5 feet, but it allowed me to track him to his perch in a evergreen tree, and finally get a few better shots. Still not ideal with the low light and the fog, but an improvement nonetheless.
1/640sec, f6.3, ISO 6400
Looks at the fluffy legs! 1/640sec, f6.3, ISO4000
Looks at the fluffy legs!
1/640sec, f6.3, ISO4000
Cow-moo-flage. A pair of calves nearly disappear within the tall grass. 1/800sec, f7.1, ISO 6400
Cow-moo-flage.
A pair of calves nearly disappear within the tall grass.
1/800sec, f7.1, ISO 6400
Just as I was leaving to take Spencer for his afternoon walk, I noticed this young deer grazing in my back yard.  He spent a few moments watching me watch him, before getting back to eating. 1/1000sec, f8, ISO 2200
Just as I was leaving to take Spencer for his afternoon walk, I noticed this young deer grazing in my back yard. He spent a few moments watching me watch him, before getting back to eating.
1/1000sec, f8, ISO 2200
Nibbling on some select bushes. 1/1000sec, f8.0, ISO 1600
Nibbling on some select bushes.
1/1000sec, f8.0, ISO 1600
This little chickadee was clinging quite precariously to a branch, almost upsidedown.  I like how the autumn leaves create a frame for the bird. 1/800sec, f6.3, ISO1000
This little chickadee was clinging quite precariously to a branch, almost upsidedown. I like how the autumn leaves create a frame for the bird.
1/800sec, f6.3, ISO1000