What a great day to be outside!

18 02 2009

I took a day off yesterday… Wow it was nice to go out to the Reifel Bird Sanctuary when there aren’t hundreds of CARS (never mind people).

I got out there around 0945 and there were only 8 cars in the lot.  It was quiet. Perfect.   I came across the night herons right near the entrance as usual.  There was a juvenile nice and close and he had his eyes open…  a great photo op. 

Loons and cormorants were busy fishing (successfully) and the birds were almost loud – there were so many of them chirping!    There were many Northern Pintails, Northern Shovellers and American Widgeons as well as the usual plethora of Mallards.

Highlights of the visit included my first GOOD raptor in flight, my first GOOD Northern Flicker, my ONLY photos of an American Bittern, and being able to hang with 5 sandhill cranes!

I was there for 6 hours and easily could have spent longer if not for my desire to beat the rush hour traffic.

Here are a couple of shots from the day:

Northern Harrier on the hunt:
hawk Harrier Reifel Bird Delta BC Canada

American Bittern also hunting (for fish):
Bittern Reifel Birds Sanctuary Delta BC Canada

After his catch (you can see the bulge in his throat):
Bittern Reifel Birds Sanctuary Delta BC Canada

All these shots were with the Canon 50D and Canon 100-400mm lens @ 400mm.

For full data, view the fullsize image and read its EXIF.





More OOB fun!

16 02 2009

I found myself on Friday looking for more images to make “OOB” or Out of Bounds.  Some just seem to be more suited to the idea than others.

I did, finally, find this one.  It has a nice double feeling… With the OOB Scouts looking for their way (perhaps back in bounds?):

My latest fun:

OOB SteinValley Scouts BC Canada

 

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OOB Downy Woodpecker

12 02 2009

Using Serrator’s Excellent OOB tutorial, after the Jay previously, I hacked up Mrs Downy Woodpecker: 
Image

Better than my first try…  This is sort of addictive 🙂

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OOB Steller’s Jay

11 02 2009

Using Serrator’s Excellent OOB tutorial, I came up with this guy:
Image

That was my first try… I’ve got to find things that aren’t so fuzzy, I think.

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An exciting morning at the feeder today

11 02 2009

Hmm… I just realized that things are getting a bit desperate if I’m writing about an “exciting morning at the feeder”.  LOL!

Anyway…

I was about to head of to work this morning and looked out at the feeder as usual to see who was visiting.  Imagine my surprise to see both Mr. and Mrs. Downy woodpecker feeding from the feeder.  Also, there were these little grey birds (smaller than chickadee, with longer tails) that were mobbing my suet feeder.  I didn’t know what they were…

“I’ve got to get a quick shot before I head off to work”, I thought to myself. 

I zipped upstairs and grabbed the camera, snapped on the 100-400 and zipped back down.  My Downies had gone and so had the little grey birds.. all that was left was a finch, and he bolted once he saw me at the door. :( 

I went out to the balcony to see if the woodpeckers had stopped in the fir (that would be a good shot too!).  No luck.  As I was standing there, about 4 feet from the feeder, I heard the distinct sound of claws landing and grabbing metal.  I knew a bird had landed very close by. I looked around the feeder and as I circled, I found this little Downy.  I couldn’t believe my luck!  I picked up the camera to shoot and then realized that the lens won’t focus at 4 feet – you need 6.. Arghh.. TOO close – what a great problem to have!  I backed out to where the lens would FINALLY give me confirmation of focus and started snapping away.  Drat – 1600ISO was still too dark.  2500 seemed to give me enough light to shoot.  She held so still.  I was able to walk around and try shooting from different angles.  She was a VERY patient model 😉

“Maybe I can get her to eat peanuts from my hand!”, was my next thought.

I ran in and grabbed a couple of peanuts and held them out to her.  I could reach my hand to within 6 inches her! She didn’t fly away.  Alas, she also didn’t want my peanuts.  I went back inside and decided to get the 70-200 because I was sure I could get some great pics at F2.8.  Upon my return, she had flown off, and all I could see around was a male Downy off in the maple nearby.  She obviously decided to move on to a more “professional” photographer.  Sigh – story of my life 😉

My chirping and “Downy Woodpecker calling” seemed to have attracted a Steller’s Jay.  They LOVE the peanuts!  They are pretty skittish though and don’t particularly like being shot.   I did manage to get a nice shot of him/her as it was on the fir tree eyeing me over to determine how much of a threat I was, and was the threat worth it to get the 2 peanuts on the balcony railing. 

Here’s the Steller’s Jay:

An interesting morning – I’d STILL like to figure out what the little grey jobbies were…  Oh well, that’ll be another day, I’m sure they’ll be back!

 





Colony Farm walk

9 02 2009

Mrs D and I went for a nice walk on Sunday out to the Colony Farm Regional Park in Coquitlam.  The area is wide open grassy flatlands, and in the winter it’s pretty bleak… There was still ice on the water in many of the ditches, which I think meant that the ducks weren’t as likely to be hanging out.

We heard a few Chickadees but didn’t really see much sign of life as we walked the first while.

There were a few Great Blue Herons stalking the puddles in the fields (not many fish there for them) and some buffleheads, goldeneyes, grebes, mallard and widgeons in the ditches and the small pond.  They didn’t exactly hang out in particularly easy to shoot areas but we did get some good shots.  Mrs D was using the 100-400, and I was shooting with the 70-200. I really missed the extra reach :(  Perhaps we’ll have to pick up a 2x converter for the 70-200 so that that extra reach is attainable for both of us.

Near the end of the walk, the light was getting darker and the hawks started to come out to hunt.

We got a couple of decent hawk shots.  I think they are a Northern Harrier  Cooper’s Hawk Adult and Juvenile Cooper’s Hawk Red Tailed Hawk.. Your help in ID would be appreciated.  Here they are:

Harrier:

(EDIT – Apparently this is a COOPER’S HAWK)

RTH(Perhaps a Juvenile Northern Goshawk?): Juvenile Cooper’s Hawk
 

RTH(?) Juvenile Cooper’s Hawk in flight:

We DID also see a Northern Harrier skimming the fields, looking for dinner:

Thanks for visiting!

 








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