2016-04-17: What I’ve seen this week

It’s been a great week for birds around the neighbourhood, especially yesterday, when I managed to capture photos of 5 different species in one morning walk (plus 3 different bunnies).

Wishing everyone a wonderful week 🙂

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I actually saw a pair of flickers yesterday, and while they conveniently perched together in a tree, I didn’t manage to get any shots of the two together worth sharing, as they were so high up, and I didn’t have to big lens. This one was working hard tapping at this dead tree; I heard it long before I saw it.
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A hairy woodpecker pauses from pecking between the tree branches early yesterday morning.
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A sure sign of spring are the robins singing from the treetops every morning. I caught this one searching for worms on the roadside.
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Earlier this week, I saw frantic activity below a large pine tree; I snapped loads of photos just so I could try to identify the birds. This was the best that I managed, but I include it here as it was a new species for me, a white winged crossbill.
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The juncos are back in town, but generally don’t visit the feeder; they are part of the clean up crew that keeps that area beneath the feeder tidy (thanks guys!).
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The pileated woodpecker was tapping away at the top of this pole, making quite the racket.
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One of the 3 bunnies I saw yesterday; this one was right next to my driveway at the end of our walk. Luckily, Spencer only barks at them about 1 in 10 times that he sees them. Mostly he just patiently waits for me to finish taking a photograph.
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I’ve been hearing the ruffed grouse drumming for some time now, but this was the first time I’ve seen one this year. This beauty hung around under the bird feeder, cleaning up fallen sunflower seeds.
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I was happy I was able to quietly sneak outside and get a few photos (I was hiding behind the garden hose reel so I didn’t disturb the grouse browsing).
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Sunflower seed success.

Northern flicker

A northern flicker looks off to the distance, from high on top of an electrical pole. 1/100sec, f5.6, ISO400
A northern flicker looks off to the distance, from high on top of an electrical pole.
1/100sec, f5.6, ISO400

 

 

 

 

 

Juvenile Northern Flicker

This juvenile northern flicker stayed on the power line for what seemed to be a remarkably long time given how close I was (they always seem very skittish), but it spent most of the time looking in the opposite direction of me and my camera. This one hasn't yet developed the distinct red streaks along the cheek. The previous week I saw 7 flickers at one time; how I wish I would have had my camera along for that! 1/500sec, f6.3, ISO100
This juvenile northern flicker stayed on the power line for what seemed to be a remarkably long time given how close I was (they always seem very skittish), but it spent most of the time looking in the opposite direction of me and my camera. This one hasn’t yet developed the distinct red streaks along the cheek.
The previous week I saw 7 flickers at one time; how I wish I would have had my camera along for that!
1/500sec, f6.3, ISO100

Northern Flicker

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.

 

1/400sec, f5.6, ISO1600
1/400sec, f5.6, ISO1600
I like the expression an body position of the flicker closest to the tree trunk, even though it does remind me of a pigeon! 1/640 sec, f5.6, ISO1600
I like the expression an body position of the flicker closest to the tree trunk, even though it does remind me of a pigeon!
1/640 sec, f5.6, ISO1600
The wind had picked up, rifling the feather of one of the flickers. 1/640sec, f5.6, ISO1600
The wind had picked up, rifling the feather of one of the flickers.
1/640sec, f5.6, ISO1600

Birds, birds and more birds

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'm having some real difficulty with my bird identification, but I think this is a juvenile bald eagle, based on the beak and the size.
I’m having some real difficulty with my bird identification, but I think this is a juvenile bald eagle, based on the beak and the size.
I'm not sure what type of sandpiper these are.  They were in a small pond next to the dike - these were a first for me :)  Not a stunning photo, but just great to see something new.
I’m not sure what type of sandpiper these are. They were in a small pond next to the dike – these were a first for me 🙂 Not a stunning photo, but just great to see something new.
The female was in hot pursuit of the male, and as soon as she got too close, he would fly a little way further down the shore.
The female heron was in hot pursuit of the male, and as soon as she got too close, he would fly a little way further down the shore.
I have been hoping that one day I would be able to get a decent photo of a flicker, and Saturday was my day.  More to follow!
I have been hoping that one day I would be able to get a decent photo of a flicker, and Saturday was my day. More to follow!
So, I had a post called Slow; where I called myself out for not taking my camera with me.  This time, I put it away moments too soon.  After the juvenile eagle, an osprey that I didn't manage to photograph, the flickers and the sandpipers, I thought my photographing was done for the day, and put my camera away, as I was only a couple minutes from the parking lot.  And of course, a pair of adult bald eagles took off from the trees and headed straight towards me. :(  This is the best I could capture... note to self, don't put away the camera until you're in the car!
So, I had a post called Slow; where I called myself out for not taking my camera with me. This time, I put it away moments too soon. After the juvenile eagle, an osprey that I didn’t manage to photograph, the flickers and the sandpipers, I thought my photographing was done for the day, and put my camera away, as I was only a couple minutes from the parking lot. And of course, a pair of adult bald eagles took off from the trees and headed straight towards me. 🙁 This is the best I could capture… note to self, don’t put away the camera until you’re in the car!