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Posts tagged “downy woodpecker

Getting Outdoors

When a person has been sick in bed, it is so nice to get outdoors again and take photos.Not many birds and it was cold out,minus twenty, but here are some images of the environment, the Black-capped Chickadee and a Downy Woodpecker.

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First Birds of 2014 and results of Christmas Bird Count 2013 in Edmonton

I didn’t have to work today, and the temperatures were above -20 celsius so headed for the park. At first there were quite a few Juncos that remained un-photographed, then Black-capped Chickadees, Downy Woodpeckers, and red-breasted and white-breasted Nuthatches. At one point I was going to leave because not much was happening and I told myself, “Good things come to those who wait.” A few minutes later a female Pileated Woodpecker flew over me to a tree that was in the open and right in front of me.I managed to get some good, unobstructed shots. i was happy about that!

Here’s a list of the total bird count at Christmas in Edmonton, Alberta. I thought some of you would be interested.

Final numbers for the 2013 Edmonton Christmas Bird Count!

Total Birds = 26,566
Total # of Species = 46
Total # of Participants = 506!
(159 Bushbeaters + 347 Feederwatchers)
Feederwatchers spent a total of 535.25 hrs
Bushbeaters party hours = 299.44 hrs

Mallard = 444
Common Goldeneye = 20
Northern Goshawk = 5
Merlin = 21
Gray Partridge = 41
Ruffed Grouse = 1
Rock Pigeon = 3802
Great Horned Owl = 2
Downy Woodpecker = 474
Hairy Woodpecker = 61
Three-toed Woodpecker = 1
Northern Flicker = 73
Pileated Woodpecker = 65
Blue Jay = 741
Black-billed Magpie = 2745
American Crow = 40
Common Raven = 1053
Black-capped Chickadee = 4841
Boreal Chickadee = 34
Red-breasted Nuthatch = 613
White-breasted Nuthatch = 377
Brown Creeper = 8
Golden-crowned Kinglet = 7
American Robin = 45
Bohemian Waxwing = 3941
Cedar Waxwing = 52
Northern Shrike = 3
European Starling = 107
Dark-eyed Junco = 646
Snow Bunting = 5
Pine Grosbeak = 6
Common Redpoll = 144
Pine Siskin = 145
House Sparrow = 4901
Bald Eagle = 3
Sharp-shinned Hawk = 5
Coopers Hawk = 1
Rough-legged Hawk = 1
Gyrfalcon = 1
Prairie Falcon = 1
Great Gray Owl = 1
Townsend Solitaire = 8
White-throated Sparrow = 8
White-crowned Sparrow = 1
American Goldfinch = 5
House Finch = 1067 * New Record high

And here is a sample of what I saw today. Used my 70-300mm lens, mostly at 300mm and hand held with high(for me) ISO 800 . I have not seen Pine Grosbeaks this year nor any Red Polls. That is reflected in the bird count as well. Just not the year for them.







Chickadees, Juncos and Downies

Even the magpies were at the public feeders in the parks.Otherwise I spotted  Downy Woodpeckers, Chickadees and Juncos.Waiting for the Pine Grosbeaks,  Bohemian Waxwings and a Bald Eagle was spotted the other day.





My Definition of a Good Day

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My definition  of a good day for me is being outdoors and getting close to the creatures of the wild, even the smallest ones.It is a very good day when I see a few species that I don’t always get to see. This one day I took a small bit of birdseed and my camera to a bird feeder in a  local park and saw a red breasted nuthatch, a white-breasted nuthatch, chickadees, a red squirrel, a downy woodpecker and a piliated woodpecker all in the same area!  I say a small bit of  birdseed, because, while it is a thrill to have these small creatures land in my hand to take a seed or two, they are wild and I don’t want to enable them to rely on humans so much that they forgo their natural abilities. Besides, it is impossible for me  to take a picture when they are flying right at me, too close to the lens to get a shot. Some photos were taken with a 18-55mm lens, others with a Sigma 70-300mm lens.

It is great to combine my love of photography with my love of birds and a priority for me once I bought my DSLR a couple of years ago was to buy a zoom lens to get closer shots of the  birds-I did buy the lens- a cheap one- but it works for me. I can reduce camera shake by using high speed shutter settings or will “cheat” sometimes and take photos in the sports mode. I am so grateful to get out for walks in nature and get close to the inhabitants of the land, as well as to enjoy the land itself, to breathe fresh air, to get exercise and practise seeing the world in a different perspective. I am truly living ” in the moment” and feel free of all the distractions and stresses of the  rest of my world.

It is a moment with my Creator, other creatures and with my self. Whatever the weather, I come back from a trip to nature feeling refreshed and happy.