Feathers (all blog posts)

In Quebec, Common Gallinules breed in the extreme southern part of the province. On July 12, I came across five chicks and their parents while checking out a freshwater marsh area. Water levels were high in the area, which meant finding shorebirds was less likely. Birding was slow and photo opportunities were slim on this day; however, all that was forgotten when my friend, Lucien, and I were startled by an adult Common Gallinule no more than 25 feet away.

Birding has slowed down a little recently, so I’ve taken the opportunity to go back over my recent trip to Magee Marsh, Ohio in May and catch up on some photo editing.

The Piping Plover is an endangered species. According to a Government of Ontario brochure I read recently, during the 1980’s loss of habitat and increased beach use caused the Piping Plover to disappear from Ontario beaches. Then in 2007, a pair of Piping Plovers successfully nested once again on Sauble Beach, Ontario located along the eastern shore of Lake Huron.

As happens more than I would expect, I find myself heading out the door for one target species and returning home with something completely unexpected. I headed out looking for a Blue-winged Warbler and decided to take along my Canon EF 400mm f/4 DO IS II USM lens. I attached my 2x teleconverter to this lens, which combined with my Canon 7D Mark II camera body provided an effective 1280mm focal length.

Upland Sandpiper is a common breeder in central portions of its range, but it is uncommon to scarce and declining in much of the east and northeast, where they tend to be very local. I’ve had very few sightings of this sandpiper species and even less to show in photographs; however, my luck changed for the better on June 4. A few days earlier on an OFO (Ontario Field Ornithologists) field trip to Carden Alvar, I did see one in the tall grass near a herd of horses grazing in a meadow, but it was far in the distance.

On my week-long May trip to Magee Marsh in Ohio, Bay-breasted Warbler was another warbler species that I obtained great views of, several of which I am posting here. I've included more than my typical number of photos for a post because, in my opinion, they help highlight key ID features, they capture an interesting behaviour or they capture an interesting pose. I hope you enjoy them.

I had several chances to photograph American Redstart during my week-long visit to Magee Marsh in Ohio during The Biggest Week in American Birding festival held there in May. There was one day in particular when it seemed that everywhere I looked there was another American Redstart. On a few occasions, I got point blank looks at them and made several pictures.

When everything falls into place for bird photography, which doesn’t happen nearly often enough for me, I attempt to take full advantage of the situation. Today’s photos captured on June 10 highlight Willow Flycatchers. The morning sunlight was great and this Willow Flycatcher (see photos below) posed for many photos before moving on to even better locations, which provided either a better background, improved direction of light or both.

While looking across fields near the US (New York state)-Canadian border near Elgin, Quebec, I came across a few Eastern Meadowlarks. One in particular caught my attention as it sat on a wire with some type of bug in its bill. After grabbing a few photos, this bird flew back into the field and landed at what appeared to be its nesting area. It still had the bug in its bill so I assumed it was bringing back food to its nest.

Brewster’s Warbler is a cross between Golden-winged and Blue-winged Warblers, which hybridize freely (Lawrence's Warbler is also a hybrid, typically a Golden-winged x Brewster's hybrid according to The Warbler Guide by Tom Stephenson and Scott Whittle). This is primarily the result of overlapping habitats.

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