Posts Tagged ‘springtime’

Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)

Male Red-winged Blackbird

Spring has arrived in my neck of the woods. There is nothing more wonderful than waking to the song of the male Red-winged Blackbirds upon their return. They always seem to arrive overnight. One day all is quiet and then the next morning the songs of Red-winged Blackbirds fill the air. The above bird was photographed yesterday in Ontario’s Cootes Paradise as it sang from a perch at the edge of a wetland. Earlier in the day an Eastern Screech Owl was discovered basking at the entrance of a tree cavity that was facing the rising sun.

Each of today’s photographs are straight out of the camera, with very little post processing applied – my preferred way to go when photographing wildlife!

Eastern Screech Owl (Megascops asio)

Eastern Screech Owl – Gray Phase

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For me, spring has not officially arrived until the first frogs begin to sing in the vernal ponds behind my rural home. Today when I took my dog, Koko, for her afternoon walk we heard a few chorus frogs singing. While some of the ponds still have ice on them and snow remains in the deepest shaded areas, it is very welcoming to hear these little frogs singing. Trying to photograph these tiny frogs is somewhat like trying to find a needle in a hay stack, but once the numbers of frogs chorusing increases, I will no doubt be pulling on my chest waders, putting on my head-lamp and generally looking like some kinda odd-ball, head out into the ponds to shoot some fresh images. For this post I have used an image from the archives – captured with a Nikon F80 and 105 micro lens with a small flash on a home-made flash bracket.

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I haven’t had time to get out and do much shooting lately, but on Wednesday I had a few hours to spare so I decided to drive down to Toronto and do a little springtime shooting at Humber Bay Park on Lake Ontario. At one spot along the shoreline there were plenty of icicles hanging from branches high above the lake’s surface which was perfect for creating beautiful out-of-focus blue backgrounds. There are still many Long-tailed Ducks, my personal favorites, hanging around also. They will soon be flying back to the arctic, the females are now in their early summer plumage, as seen in the accompanying photo. On this day, however, there were few ducks to be seen so I enjoyed creating some images of the common day birds that can easily be seen and approached at Humber Bay Park. Some folks laugh at those of us that are taking pictures of Mute Swans and Ring-billed Gulls. I even had one fellow ask me once, if I drove all the way down to Humber Bay to shoot Trumpeter Swans. Well, I always leave with a few new shots of these bird species everytime I visit. Because these birds are so approachable at Humber Bay, they make great subjects to practice/improve your techniques, whether its headshots, birds in flight or even new gear. It is always best to perfect your techniques on the common wildlife subjects so that when the day comes and you find yourself in some exotic locale, you will be prepared for what nature has to offer.

Long-tailed Duck Hen in early summer plumage

Mute Swan preening

Ring-billed Gull



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