Scarlet Tanager – Not Always Near Treetop Level

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 - A Simple Portrait

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.

Indigo Bunting – Hamilton, Ontario

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 – Persistence Pays Off

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.

Dickcissel Belts Out Its Song

If only all target species on my outings were this easy to photograph, bird photography would be a breeze. Upon arriving at the known breeding location of this Dickcissel, I barely had time to stop my SUV when my friends and I spotted a male Dickcissel flying past the passenger window about eye level. It perched on a nearby Mullein stalk and promptly started singing its heart out for several minutes. The direction of the early morning light was absolutely perfect and I had ample time to capture several good images.