Although I have seen and photographed harlequin ducks on occasion previously, never have I had such up-close views of one as what took place earlier this week along the Chateauguay River in Quebec, and that includes harlequin ducks I observed in Seward, Alaska as well as St. Paul Island in the Pribilofs, Alaska back in June.
Wood Warblers (family Parulidae) are a colorful group of birds that I truly enjoy getting out to see and photograph. About half of all Wood Warblers can be found in North America. By this time of year (late fall/early winter) the vast majority of warblers have migrated south from my province of Ontario. However, on occasion one can stumble upon the odd warbler here and there and recently there have been a half dozen or so species that have been reported in a small park in Oakville, Ontario, not far from my home.
For the past several days an adult Eurasian Tree Sparrow has graced birders and bird photographers in the Niagara-on-the-Lake area with fleeting glimpses as it lands infrequently on a bird feeder to snatch some mixed seed. According to the 2014 Avibase Ontario Bird Checklist, the Eurasian Tree Sparrow is rare/accidental in the province of Ontario. Not surprisingly, many bird watchers and photographers have staked out the bird feeder in the hope of catching a glimpse of this bird, myself included.
The winter of 2013-2014 proved to be an exceptional year with regards to the Snowy Owl irruption throughout much of Canada and the U.S. I was blessed with several opportunities to observe and capture photographs of these majestic and beautiful creatures. On Wednesday of this week, I went birding with my friend, Mark, and we set off for the first time this season to look for snowy owls in a region west of Montreal.
During a quite moment as I looked around for bird photo opportunities, I set down my tripod and practiced my flight photography on some Ring-billed Gulls in the area. I decided to pass some time while I waited patiently for a Great Egret at the far end of the pond to move closer to my end. Naturally the Great Egret refused to co-operate, but as serendipity would have it, this allowed me more practice time with the Ring-billed Gulls and I was able to produce some pleasing in-flight photos with the fall colors blurred in the background.