Canada Warbler is one of my favourite warblers to view and photograph. The combination of blue-gray upperparts and yellow underparts combined with a bold necklace in males makes for a very attractive warbler. This past May at Magee Marsh in Ohio during The Biggest Week in American Birding I got a few opportunities to improve on my Canada Warbler library of photos, a few of which I’ve included here.
Out west, Wilson’s Phalarope is a common breeder and abundant, however, it is uncommon in the east, although it does breed in southeastern Ontario (Source: Pete Dunne’s Essential Field Guide Companion). On the morning of August 15 as I headed out, the rain made me wonder if bird photography on this day would be a worthwhile pursuit; however, the weather forecast suggested it wouldn’t last most of the day.
Blackpoll Warbler is a late-spring migrant and one of the most impressive migrants of any North American small bird. In the fall, it may fly non-stop for more than three days from the northeastern cost to northern South America, a distance of up to 7,000 miles. (Source: Audibon.org).
As I sat on our patio deck a few days back (August 8th), a Cooper’s Hawk flew into a tree in the backyard. This hawk seemed in no hurry and hung out for about a half hour, which provided ample time to grab my camera gear and take advantage of beautiful early evening sunlight to make a number of portraits. I was able to position myself so as to obtain an unobstructed view of the hawk.
The photo below typifies the usual habitat and height at which I observe Scarlet Tanagers. The male is a stunning treetop tanager of mature eastern forests. As such, it can be somewhat difficult filling the frame and you are pretty much at the mercy of Mother Nature when it comes to good lighting conditions, especially beneath a shadowy canopy. Nonetheless, this photo, made at Point Pelee NP in Ontario during spring migration in on May 9, represents one of my better efforts at photographing a Scarlet Tanager near treetop level.
Yellow Warbler is by far the most common warbler that I see. While at Second Marsh, Ontario back on July 21, I spotted this male Yellow Warbler perched on a nearby branch and posing quite nicely for me. I made a few images and upon reviewing my photos upon returning home, I smiled when I saw the image below. I assumed that with the number of sightings I've had of this species, I must have lots of good Yellow Warbler portraits in my Lightroom library, but I was wrong.
I experimented quite a bit with various camera settings during my visit to Magee Marsh, Ohio back in May. In addition, I was giving my new Canon EF 400mm DO IS II USM Lens a true workout. I attached a Canon 1.4x teleconverter to it and because I wanted good reach and yet be able to handhold this lens, I combined it with my Canon 7D Mark II body (900mm equivalent focal length). I had no difficulty handholding this combination for several hours each day.
At five inches, Black-capped Chickadees are small to begin with, but seeing a tiny fledgling chick on its first day out of its nest is quite the sight to behold. The photos below show just how small and adorable this young Black-capped Chickadee is, who explored our backyard for the first time. It’s an experience that I will remember for a long time.
While visiting Presqu’ile Provincial Park back on July 10, I came across a female Orchard Oriole. This proved to be my first time photographing a female Orchard Oriole, so I was happy to be able to make several images.
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.