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.
This mallard was standing on a log, staring in my direction as I walked along a bridge that crossed a pond. I couldn’t back up and I was using a 300mm lens so I just took the shot. I was glad I did, it was one of my last duck photos of the year.
This little wood duck has appeared on my blog before, this photo caught it slightly differently. It’s still a while before the adults return and form pairs and several more months before we see sights like this again.
You’re never alone in the woods. There’s a well trodden path in the reserve that sees a lot of foot traffic, both human and duck. Looking around we often see a mallard following us (or maybe just enjoying a walk too 😊).
As we were about to leave the park after several hours in the field, we saw a flash of yellow by the side of the road. The goldfinch was feasting on the seeds of the dried flower. As he moved the fluff would separate forming a fan around him.
When the Black-crowned night herons first return in the spring, we usually spot them high up in the trees. If we see one at the water’s edge it usually takes flight. The one pictured here was photographed later in the season and the fishing was good. It looked up to stare at us and then continued about its business.
The pileated woodpecker, native to North America is also its largest woodpecker. We heard the bird excavating the tree before we saw it. These loud, colourful birds populate our woods year round although we see them most often in April, as they begin nest building, and into the fall. Other animals benefit from their home construction. As these woodpeckers nest only once in the same tree, other birds and animals will often move in and feed on the insects the woodpecker has disturbed.
These medium sized gulls are sociable birds and opportunistic feeders. Ring-billed gulls often congregate in large numbers so I was surprised to see these two on their own. The first photo is of a breeding adult, the second is a non-breeding gull. I’m not overly fond of gulls but seeing them close up, they can be admired for their bearing and striking eyes.
On another note, this is the 4th Anniversary of my blog. 🎂
The photograph was taken in late fall just before the first snowfall. The chickadee stopped for a moment but seemed on alert as he perched on the tree branch. Although the trees were bare, the bird and the forest floor provided nice dabs of colour on that grey November day.
These common sparrows are often found in groups. You might appreciate their song but don’t often really consider them. This little sparrow enjoying the water on a hot day didn’t mind my presence, so I took the opportunity to admire him and take some shots.
The wind carves out the snow in waves. A pretty sight made more so by the cardinal that wandered into the frame. Although bright and solid the bird looked a little lost in all that white.
I took this photo in late fall, one of my last sightings of wood ducks for the year. I would have liked it if there was less distance between the ducks, but with water like this I couldn’t really complain.
The downy woodpecker landed in the nearby tree. I kept an eye on it, as it kept an eye on a nearby feeder until the larger birds flew off. One of several woodpeckers we see year round.
A scene like this works wonders on a snowy day, a bit of “duck relief”. Mallards always make for good photography subjects and the photo brought back a bit of summer.
This is another photo of the female red-winged blackbird I featured a few days ago. It was a hot day and the bird found a shady spot to rest. We usually see the first of these birds return to our region in late March. The males announce their arrival with noisy song.
The goslings in these photos are just starting out. I thought they were a good choice to ring in the new year. New beginnings, endless possibilities. Happy New Year!
We visit a nearby wildlife garden as often as we can. The garden is planted with flowers and plants that attract the local bird and insect population. It’s surrounded by acres of wooded area where we often see a nice variety of wildlife including this female red-winged blackbird enjoying a quiet moment.
The low winter sun was illuminating the woods when the nuthatch flew into the frame and sat quietly on the branch. A perfect moment in time.
This might look a typical winter scene but it was actually taken last April. There was more snow on the ground then than we have right now, though not for long I imagine. Chickadees are here throughout the winter, brightening our walks along the trails.
It’s always a pleasure to see one of these birds. We saw several goldfinches in the woods this year, this female landed close by and I managed a quick shot.
The weather today is cold, grey and wet. I thought a scene like this was a good antidote. The duckling was exploring his new surroundings. There are a lot of predators of these young birds and I wished it well as I walked along.
People with backyard feeders tell me they often have blue jays visit their feeders. Living in the city and having no backyard, my sightings are in the woods and far less frequent. The bird’s noisy call usually alerts me to its presence as it did so here. The jay stopped for a minute amid the fall colours.
Most ducks have left our rivers and lakes as the water begins to freeze. A few mallards remain by the open water in a reserve we visit but the majority have left for the season. These photos were taken a month ago when the fall colours were at their height.
I watched the sparrow as it paused on the edge of the pond and then walked about. This pond is a favourite of frogs too and attracts other birds and insects during the course of the summer. The sparrow is an energetic little bird with striking colouring. Always fun to photograph.
Many birds balance on one leg to reduce heat loss. Although it looks kind of comical it’s quite effective. Another photo of a wood duck with attractive fall background.
We didn’t see many Great Blue Herons this year and they tended to fish at quite a distance. I had to crop the photo but was rewarded by some pretty spectacular reflections and lighting.
Every year in late October, several pairs of American Wigeons stop here on their migration south. You can almost tell the date by these birds. I took quite a few photographs of them and will feature more over the coming months.
I took this photo two weeks ago, before the temperature began to drop. The wood duck had a faraway look as though he knew it was soon time to leave for the winter. Snow is on the way tonight, I sure hope all the birds that should have left are well on their way. I’ll have to check on the next sunny day.
The sumac provided a perfect landing spot for the chickadee. The bird was in the open and took its time to look around, making this animated subject easier than usual to take.
I featured this nuthatch, in a late October post, looking half asleep. In this photo the bird had reached the end of the branch and looked like it was weighing its options.
The goose was at quite a distance and I tried to position myself to get a clean view of it. I shot down a narrow tree lined pathway so there were a few unwanted shadows in the frame, most of which I removed. There were no colourful reflections at this spot but the vegetation added some interest to the water.
I like the wake created as the duck glided through the coloured water. I watched as she swam around, changed course and headed in my direction forming the trail behind her.
Fall in the Northern Hemisphere is a short one. The days get colder, and the leaves change colour and fall. But before they do, they dress the water in fabulous reflections which caught this passing Canada Goose.
The forest was dark, so to compensate for this I shot at a high ISO which made for a noisy photo. I corrected this in Lightroom using noise reduction and the moire filter.
The nuthatch looks half asleep as he makes his way up the branch, almost sleepwalking.
I feature mallards a lot on my blog. There are plenty of them year round always up for a photo shoot and are sociable, good looking subjects. This handsome male was competing for my attention with the wonderful fall background.
One of several woodpeckers we see year round, I took this photo in July. Using a narrow depth of field I got the background you see here.
This juvenile Black-crowned night heron was a fair distance from me and very high up a tree. I had to crop the picture quite a bit and when I did I noticed its stern expression. It’s a common look for this stocky heron and one that never fails to make me laugh.
These herons usually remain until the lakes begins to freeze, so with a bit of luck we’ll have a few more sightings before then. I didn’t see the heron right away. I was focussed on a goose in the water and panned around to see if there were any other birds about when I spotted the heron standing absolutely motionless. At that distance I would have missed him if hadn’t been for the goose!
This photo was taken on the weekend at a nearby reserve. The lake has several beaver lodges, the one in the background is one of the largest and provides a nice backdrop for the Canada Geese.
I featured the same cardinal a few weeks ago, in this photo he’s giving me a a sidelong glance. I guess he realizes he’s looking a bit rough. While out today I saw another cardinal that was in perfect form but it flew off before I could take a shot.