Two More New Arrivals
Oh! I am getting so excited! Love to see the birds coming back. These are two more new arrivals this season. I only saw the males and the light was getting low but will get the pairs soon. Shot at the full 300mm.
Lesser Scaup Male
American Widgeon Male
Outdoors with the Birds
I went out a couple of times during the Easter weekend to shoot the birds with my Canon.Here is what I saw , including one “lifer.” Getting outdoors makes me feel complete and I am so grateful to be able to take photos, smell the fresh air and watch and listen to the birds and wildlife.
Did I tell you that I booked a seat on the “Wild Goose Chase” tour? We will be going to see the snow geese migration, possibly owls, cranes, bluebirds.. I haven’t done this in years so am looking forward to it. The trip is on May 3rd and of course I will be taking photos and posting them!
But back to the birds, etc. from this past weekend…
It is always a sign of spring to see the gulls return. Here is a resident Ring-billed gull.
I got a kick out of the Canada Geese lined up at the open side of the pond.
The House Finches are back in the neighbourhood. I like their songs, although my neighbour hates them since they nest right outside his window.
Here is a shot of a Handsome Canada Goose gander.
And you know who had to make an appearance, always helping himself to the spoils at the bird feeder.
I had been trying a number of self -portraits when this beauty showed up. I quickly grabbed the camera off the tripod and changed my settings from timer to bursts.
Both the male and female Downy Woodpeckers showed up This is the male.
This is the female Downy Woodpecker.The Black-capped Chickadees.
And my “lifer” the American Tree Sparrow. Yay!
A Ruckas in the Back Alley
It was quite noisy in the back alley this particular morning. The fighting between two couples was echoing off the buildings and was loud, attracting people’s attention from the surrounding apartments and condos.. I went out to investigate, taking my camera with me. Turns out that one couple is trying to set up house on the balcony of someone’s apartment (the owners must be thrilled) and the other couple were loudly protesting from the parking area.below. At one point, one of the mates flew up to the balcony but bounced off the wall, not quite hitting the mark.In the last photo the couple seem to be perplexed, maybe giving up. It has been eerily quiet since then and I wonder whether someone took the matter into their hands in a lethal way.
They are Back!
I was out and about doing errands and took off to a nearby park since it was close to the mall where I had been shopping. Enough errands, it was a gorgeous day outside and the temperature was in the teens. My rubber boots were not in the car which prohibited me from going closer to the water. A man with a camera passed me and asked what I ‘d seen. I replied ” just Chickadees and Blue Jays”. He told me he’d seen about 60 Canada Geese in Hawrelak Park. Off I went.
They congregate in these large puddles where the snow has melted and there was a Pair of Mallards there which is exciting when it is the first sighting this year. I arrived in time to see a male fly in from the area of the pond which happens to be iced over, and a vicious fight ensued. When all was calm everyone went back to their eating and I sat down, watched and took photos.Now that’s a good day. I will show you what other species I saw in the next posts.
A New Bird-Boreal Chickadee
This is the first photo that I have taken of this species, a Boreal Chickadee, quite pleased to find it.Not the best photos but I am happy to have a record of the sighting. They are not too common here in the city.
I haven’t been out much, would get back to work,the cough would come back, I would go home exhausted and in no time be under the blankets again, obviously with a fever and no energy, coughing.
After resting a few days, I am back to longer walks with the dogs, exploring. All of us love it. We have had some sunny warm days and melting snow that makes the paths slippery so I am happy that I got my cleats on.This day was heavily overcast I adjusted the exposure about two-thirds higher in aperture priority mode, then in post-processing lowered the highlights and lightened the shadows, all to get more detail..I will be returning to work tomorrow.
Hairy Woodpecker and Downy Woodpecker
Downy Woodpeckers are quite common here in Alberta as well as the Hairy Woodpecker but it is usually more likely to see the Downies.The two look very similar but there are ways to tell them apart. The Hairy is larger overall and its bill is longer. The Downy has spots on the edges of it’s tail feathers but they are not always apparent.
If you look at the white tail feathers in the second photo of the Hairy Woodpecker, there is just white, no black dots. These are both male birds because of the red at the back of the head.Sorry for the poor quality, there were so many branches.Hopefully you can see the difference in size using the feeder as a comparison.Happy birding!
Birding Count for Today
There are many feeders in the park and I found one today that I had never stopped at before. There were two squirrels competing with the Black-capped Chickadees and a White-breasted Nuthatch, and even a Bluejay stopped in for a visit. The squirrels would take turns running up the tree grab a nut then go back down, but one did stop to give me some cheek.The grosbeaks were at a new tree across the road, a little higher up in the branches gobbling those berries but did not appear to be drunk. I haven’t seen any woodpeckers but have heard them a couple of times.The Nature Club sent me a letter announcing the annual Christmas bird count. I always find that interesting, more so when it isn’t minus twenty-something.
Female Grosbeak doing an acrobatic move for some berries.
He is stopping for a look at me, sizing me up.
White-breasted Nuthatch at a perch -they fly from far away then make very quick stops
Blue Jay likes to move around and hide in the branches
Giving me some Cheek
Black-capped Chickadee at its perch just before going to the bird feeder