Although quite common, I’ve only seen a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker once, a few years ago. They are fairly small and beautifully patterned woodpeckers. We heard the bird hammering away at a tree and followed the sound. It was busy feeding and wasn’t at all bothered by our presence.
This is another photo taken late last fall. The water has a flat murky look and the only real colour is the mallard which also looks a bit muted in tone and expression.
It was nice to catch the mourning dove tilting its head. I thought it made for a more interesting photo. I learned that they exist in large numbers and are prolific breeders which is a good thing, as they’re heavily hunted in North America. Their name is derived from their rather plaintive call.
There are quite a few abandoned railway bridges in the countryside. With the closure of many Mills, railroads were no longer needed to move goods. Some of the bridges have been reclaimed by Ospreys who build their nests and raise their young on them. When we noticed the nest on the first bridge, we stopped the car and waited to see what would happen. We didn’t have to wait long as an adult flew in to feed the young bird.
The woods were quiet, no squirrels about. This usually means there’s an owl or hawk nearby. Sure enough we saw this Screech Owl comfortably perched in the cavity of a tree. What did surprise me was the agitated chickadee flying close to the dozing owl. Brave or reckless, I couldn’t decide.
I found this image on a memory card that was in a camera I hadn’t picked up in months. It was like finding something you had forgotten about in a coat pocket. The cooler days aren’t here yet but scenes like these are fast approaching.
I took these photos from a floating bridge. I was using a long lens, the duck was close by and I couldn’t put much distance between me and the duck. I would have liked more but you can’t really go wrong with a subject like this.
Canada Geese can be elegant in the water and a different bird on land where you have to approach them with care. They can be territorial during breeding season, with their young and after they’ve been feeding, you have to watch your step. On the water they can be quite different, languid and graceful.
I feature chickadees quite often. They’re seen frequently and are always up for a photograph. You have to be quick though because they don’t sit still very long.
It was a cloudy day and the woodpecker was well off the path. I chose to do little to edit the photo as I liked the mood created by the overcast day and the tree branches in the background.
The chickadee, about to tuck into his snack, was at quite a distance from me but still in range. It’s nice to photograph birds and other animals when they’re engaged in some activity, or as in this case, about to be.
This duckling was curious about its surroundings, while the rest of the brood were more interested in eating. Not the best of backgrounds but the duckling made up for it.
I took the top photo last fall when the leaves were beginning to fade, I couldn’t miss the cardinal though he was at quite a distance. The photo below of the female cardinal was taken earlier in the summer.
Wood Ducks arrive every spring like clockwork and last year was no exception. The reserve we go to has a good number of these ducks and the lake has many coves to catch a quiet moment 😊.
Female Wood Ducks are less colourful than the male, but equally good looking. I took this photo last fall when the autumn colours were at their height. The birds swam into the reflection and I took the shot.
I’m glad the old tree wasn’t any higher! Sometimes birds find their way right to the top of a tree making for tricky photography. Wonderful bird, wonderful tree, what’s a bit of a sore neck after all. 😏
These ducks arrive in late October and never swim close to shore. They bob around in the middle of the lake, just a bit too far out. Yet I thought the scene was still worth taking as it captured the mood of a late fall day.
House Finches are native to western North America but were introduced in the east. Their colour, particularly the red plumage of the male varies according to diet. They’re attractive little birds, although quite common I rarely seem them.
This wood duck was taken last fall, before they all flew south for the winter. I’ve noticed that unlike most ducks that tend to stick together, the female wood duck is often on her own above the fray.
The hairy woodpecker is larger than the downy with a longer bill but their colouring is very similar. This fellow was working his way up and down the tree trunk, in and out of sight. I caught him as he came back into view.
Mallard Mom and her young ducks, still juveniles. Not sure if they’re male or female at this stage. The adult keeps a bit of a distance but the juveniles seem more comfortable with little space between themselves.
I caught sight of the red-winged blackbird in the half light of the woods. The female seems to prefer to remain in the background or on her own unlike the more flamboyant male who sings his tune for all to hear. 😊
The Canada Goose might not be Canada’s favourite export. They’re noisy, messy birds, and can be aggressive to both people and other geese when they feel threatened. However, they are quite elegant when you catch them in a pose like this.
The heron was across the lake from me, having a look around. It remained in place for longer than I did. These birds can remain motionless for long periods of time particularly when stalking their prey. They are singleminded and ignore everything else around them.
The egret was the bright spot on the water and stood out among the canada geese. We see the occasional egret, heron or cormorant along with huge numbers of geese in this body of water but they’re always at a fair distance. Scenes like this stretch the limits of my lens but make for a pleasant perspective.
I took this photograph last May. The wood ducks had arrived a few weeks earlier and were sporting their fine breeding colours. I imagine they are back at the lake this year. I do hope we get to enjoy them again at one point this summer.
Blue Jays are common birds here but we only see them occasionally in the woods. This one was eating something when I took the photo. Males and females are similar in size and plumage, not sure what I have here.
I haven’t seen too many Baltimore Orioles so it was a pleasure to photograph this bird, feeding on the nectar of these flowers. They are among the many migrants to our area each spring.
I took a break from aiming at warblers high in the pine trees when I saw the wood duck. I don’t often see these birds on land and thought the background made for an interesting photo. (I don’t think anyone with me noticed the wood duck, as they had their eyes trained on the quick darting warblers.)
A bit of cheer brought to you by this handsome pair. This bridge is a nice place to stop and look around to see where the locals are. Cardinals are usually pretty skittish but these two weren’t. Lucky for me.
The log was a popular spot for both turtles and ducks that day, crowded but room for everyone. I love scenes like these. A good lesson for us all!
If you follow my blog you’ll know that I’m pretty partial to mallards. I never get tired of photographing them. Unlike their more flashy cousins, many are here year round, always ready for a close up or group photo. Good looking ducks full of personality.
The Great Blue Heron in the first photo was taken at our local reserve. I saw the second bird at a city park close to the river. The heron at the reserve was looking for lunch, while the second heron had already found his; the unlucky frog in his beak.
A chickadee from last spring. Usually at this point, I’m at the reserve looking out for early spring migrants. This year, it’s different for everyone. So for the time being I’ll be posting photos I took earlier last year.
It was nice to see this goldfinch in plain view, it was in no hurry at all. They are often just flashes of colour, flying away as I approach. Not that day though.
We don’t see many hooded mergansers. When we do, they’re usually too far away to get a decent photo. This female was closer to shore than usual, she was on her own, no other ducks in sight. When she saw me, she swam away but I did manage to get this parting shot.
The lake has a lot of fallen trees that form ledges in the water. The mallard found a footing to dry off after a swim. It was late fall, and the water reflected the leaden sky. The ducks added the colour that day.
A female red-winged blackbird taken last spring. A bit of cheer and a reminder that as dire as things might be right now, things will turn around and when they do, the trails and reserves will welcome us back.
On a cold day, I noticed the mourning dove high up in the tree puffed up against the cold. Although many migrate in winter, the nearby feeder in the wildlife garden was a drawing card for this bird and many others.
Far from any green space, we stopped to photograph this downy woodpecker on a busy street. The management of the office tower had just planted trees outside and the bird decided to investigate. Office workers rushed by and no one else seemed to notice the downy at work.