Friday, April 22, 2011

Wildlife Photography - Britannia Conservation Area with Tony Beck

Thursday Apr 14, 7:30am

Unfortunately I forgot that the spring programs start at 7:30, and I confidently appeared at 7:50, having missed many of the photo tips.

When I arrived, they were still discussing at the edge of Mud lake.  Today there were Michael, Helena, Nina, Russell, Deanna, Bob & Tony.

I presume that Tony saw a Cooper's Hawk take a prey, because he led us over to the edge of the line of shrubs in front of Mud Lake by the Filtration Plant, and soon discovered it tearing something apart at the base of the shrubs.  We took a lot of photos, but the light was low and I had to use ISO 3200.
We had some Tree Swallows flying overhead, and a couple of American Goldfinches, as we observed a Mallard that had practically no neck ring. We saw an Osprey flying over MudLake being chased by a Common Raven. A pair of American Black Duck wandered onto the road. We tried to photograph displaying Red-winged Blackbirds.

We had male and female of both Hooded Merganser and Common Merganser.  Bob saw a Black-crowned Night-heron and a Great Blue Heron fly over. We had a Pied-billed Grebe on the lake.
We finally headed up onto the ridge, where we saw an American Tree Sparrow.  There was a fly past of Common Goldeneye down along the river.  We saw a pair of Wood Ducks along the shore.

We moved on to Hilda feeders, where we met Helena who did not stop at Tim Hortons like we did.  She said that a Merlin had just scattered everything.  Even though many of the feeders were gone or empty, there was enough seed around to keep birds in the area, particularly American Tree Sparrows.  Slowly they began to return - Mourning Doves, Dark-eyed Juncos, Brown-headed Cowbirds, Northern Cardinals.

We did a walk around and heard a Northern Flicker.  After a bit of a search, Tony located it.  We noticed some Turkey Vultures circling, then the Merlin reappeared a the top of a tree.  I was just getting closer for photos, when it took off and razed the feeders again.  Returning to the cars, we saw a White-breasted Nuthatch.

We decided to hike over to Shirley's Bay beach, but at the corner of Rifle Road and Lois St., we heard Northern Chorus Frogs across the street, which drew our attention.  I recorded a bit of the song for old times sake.  Tony noticed a Porcupine just nearby in full sunlight, so we took lots of photos.  We got too close for comfort for the Chorus Frogs, so they stopped calling and did not restart.
On the walk back, we saw another Osprey.  Returning to Hilda, Common Grackles and Blue Jays had taken over the feeders.  We heard a White-throated Sparrow across the road, but the best it would show was a glimpse in the dense thicket.

We returned to Mud Lake to pick up our own cars, and had a last look around.  We checked out the Tree Swallows that were swirling overhead, and found a couple of Northern Rough-winged Swallows and Barn Swallows among them.

Tony pointed out an American Wigeon out on Mud Lake.  Then we saw a Cooper's Hawk being chased down the road by an American Crow.

1 comment:

  1. Hello,

    Nice images! Great blue heron is the largest heron in North America. It is a large bird, with a slate-gray body, chestnut and black accents, and very long legs and neck. Great blue herons are often seen flying high overhead with a slow wings-beats. Thanks a lot!

    Wildlife Photography