BELINDA GROVER PHOTOGRAPHY

STOPS ALONG THE WAY


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OFF COURSE

DownyFar 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.


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WATCHFUL DUCK

Mallard 2This 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.


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MALLARD ON THE MOVE

MallardYou’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 😊).


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FAN DANCER (TWO PHOTOGRAPHS)

Goldfinch-2As 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.

Goldfinch


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BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT HERON

BCNH-2When 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.

BCNH


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PILEATED WOODPECKER

Pileated WoodpeckerThe 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.


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RING-BILLED GULLS (TWO PHOTOGRAPHS)

Ring billed gullsThese 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. 🎂

Ring billed gulls-2


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ANTICIPATION (TWO PHOTOGRAPHS)

ChickadeesThe 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.

Chickadees-2


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SINGLE SPARROW

SparrowThese 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.


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FEMALE RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD – 2

F RW BlackbirdThis 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.


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FEMALE RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD

R W Blackbird

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.  


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CHICKADEE

ChickadeeThis 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.


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A LOOK BACK, WOOD DUCK

Duckling
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.


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BLUE JAY

BluejayPeople 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.


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END OF SEASON (TWO PHOTOGRAPHS)

Mallard 2Most 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.Mallard


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ON THE WATER’S EDGE (TWO PHOTOGRAPHS)

Sparrows

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.

Sparrows-2


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GREAT BLUE HERON (TWO PHOTOGRAPHS)

GBHWe 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.

GBH-2

 


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AMERICAN WIGEON

American WigeonEvery 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.


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WOOD DUCK

WoodduckI 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.


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CANADA GOOSE

Canada Goose 2The 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.


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NUTHATCH

NuthatchThe 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.


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WHY SO SERIOUS, HERON

Young Heron
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.


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GREAT BLUE IN THE FALL

GBHThese 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!


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NOT AT MY BEST

Cardinal 2 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.