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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2017-01-01: What I’ve seen this week

Happy New Year everyone!  I have a few photos from the last two weeks to share; I hope you enjoy 🙂

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An elk grazes in the train tracks in Jasper, Alberta.
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An elk taking a casual stroll towards the highway.  Jasper, Alberta.
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A ruffed grouse tidying up spilled sunflower seeds.
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After a meal, it was time for a quick nap in a sunbeam for this deer.
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He spied me taking his photo through my office window.
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Today was a gorgeous morning for a walk.  A lovely start to a new year.

 

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.