Winter 2013/14 in Calgary was virtually devoid of winter finches (redpolls, siskins, grosbeaks, etc) so it’s been great to see some of them return this winter. However, I had not seen any redpolls until today when a pair flew over my head and conveniently landed in the tree next to me. I love the colours of Redpolls, especially the pink males!
After 2 years of concentrating almost exclusively on birds as subject matter, early in 2014 my wife suggested I try my hand at shooting some of the many mammals that inhabit Alberta. Perhaps not unsurprisingly, I found bird photography skills to be very transferable to mammal photography and so, like bird photography again, the real challenge became finding the subjects!
I hope to add to this initial portfolio next year, and will be on the look-out for some of the more elusive animals such as bobcats and lynx, wolves, and all of the weasel family! Any tips on where to find these hard-to-find creatures would be most welcome, so please drop me a line.
Spent two hours in the afternoon shooting various ducks on the Bow River, just south of Calgary. While Common Goldeneyes made up the majority, a real bonus was getting images of a male Barrow’s Goldeneye – a lifer for me! He was also cooperative enough to do a couple of take-offs pretty much right in front of me.
All through this session I’d been sitting on snow & when I got up to leave I realised that my butt was pretty much frozen and I went through some rather painful thawing out in the car on the way home. My learning is to bring something to sit on (like a roll-up camping mat)!
It had been 2.5 years since I last returned to the place where I grew up, Melbourne, Australia, so it was about time we visited family friends again and November is generally a great time of year to do so – not too hot, but definitely not cold. Amidst all the visiting, and an unfortunate bout of stomach flu (that hit every member of the family!), I was able to do a little bit of bird photography in my folks’ backyard, as well a ‘big day’ of birding with a great local birder & guide (Steve at www.themelbournebirder.com), followed by some coastal birding in Sorrento on Port Phillip Bay.
There were so many highlights on the ‘big day’, given that we visited multiple ecosystems from scrub to rainforest to coastal wetlands, but I was very pleased with the fairy wrens, the wetland birds in flight and some nice close-ups of a Black-shouldered Kite, who had eluded us up until the very end of the day :
I know the birds I got to see were just the tip of the ice-berg, so I hope to be able to go back & check out some other ecosystems next time!