Hawk / Northern Harrier? Neither, it's an Osprey

With the wings spread open, it is easy to see the beautiful stripes in the feathers. 1/640sec, f5.6, ISO800
With the wings spread open, it is easy to see the beautiful stripes in the feathers.
1/640sec, f5.6, ISO800
The lines of the wings and the neck are just beautiful. 1/800sec, f5.6, ISO800
The lines of the wings and the neck are just beautiful.
1/800sec, f5.6, ISO800

I had some lovely photo opportunities yesterday while out walking with the dog, both of the heron that I posted earlier, and of this beautiful bird.  I have tried to determine what type it is, and think that it could be one of several different types of hawks.  But while looking through birding websites and photos, I realized that photos I posted earlier, of what I thought to be a cooper’s hawk, may in fact have been a juvenile northern harrier.  Regardless of what we call them, they are wonderful to watch.  Maybe one of these days, I will see them under blue skies rather than the stark grey we had yesterday.  At least it waited to rain until after I got in the car!

Update: I ran into a lovely couple from the Alouette Field Naturalists group, and they took a look at these photos and told me this is an Osprey.  They had been watching an Osprey rebuilding a nest that had been taken over by a Canada goose.

Things happened quite quickly, and I am not sure if the hawk went towards the tree to tae a branch, or mistimed a landing and ending up breaking the branch off. 1/500sec, f5.6, ISO1100
Things happened quite quickly, and I am not sure if the hawk went towards the tree to tae a branch, or mistimed a landing and ending up breaking the branch off.
1/500sec, f5.6, ISO1100
After gathering up a smaller clump of branches, the hawk landed on the top of a power pole. 1/500sec, f5.6, ISO1100
After gathering up a smaller clump of branches, the hawk landed on the top of a power pole.
1/500sec, f5.6, ISO1100
As we got closer, the hawk got ready to take off again. 1/500sec, f5.6, ISO800
As we got closer, the hawk got ready to take off again.
1/500sec, f5.6, ISO800
1/1000sec, f5.6, ISO800
1/1000sec, f5.6, ISO800
1/1000sec, f5.6, ISO800
1/1000sec, f5.6, ISO800
The angle of the light was just right for a silhouette photo.  Right after this, the hawk was gone. 1/1000sec, f5.6, ISO450
The angle of the light was just right for a silhouette photo. Right after this, the hawk was gone.
1/1000sec, f5.6, ISO450

 

Great Blue Heron

On our drive to the dikes this morning, we had a great blue heron take off from the side of the road, and fly straight towards the car.  I braked hard (luckily it was early and there was no one else on the road) and the heron decided to change direction at the last possible moment, so thankfully, no casualties today 🙂  It’s amazing to see them up close though, and be able to see how big their wingspan is.

I am glad I grabbed my camera bag on the way out the door, as I had some great bird sightings today.  I only managed a few shots of the heron, but I have lots more photos to go through for future posts.

A great blue heron coming in to land.
A great blue heron coming in to land.
A lovely reflection of the heron in the river. 1/160sec, f5.6, ISO1600
A lovely reflection of the heron in the river.
1/160sec, f5.6, ISO1600
Relaxed at the water's edge; no doubt keeping an eye out for the next meal.
Relaxed at the water’s edge; no doubt keeping an eye out for the next meal.

Hummingbird with her tongue out

Continuing on with the hummingbirds!

If you look very closely, you can see that this hummingbird is sticking her tongue out (maybe she was tired of the flash).  I've posted a second photo where she is not, for comparison purposes. I love the angle of the light, as the beautiful gold green colour of her feathers is very apparent. 1/200 sec, f5.6, ISO100 with speed light
If you look very closely, you can see that this hummingbird is sticking her tongue out (maybe she was tired of the flash). I’ve posted a second photo where she is not, for comparison purposes.
I love the angle of the light, as the beautiful gold green colour of her feathers is very apparent.
1/200 sec, f5.6, ISO100 with speed light
I've posted this photo to compare to the other photo of the female on the feeder. 1/200 sec, f5.6, ISO100, 150mm with speed light
I’ve posted this photo to compare to the other photo of the female on the feeder.
1/200 sec, f5.6, ISO100, 150mm with speed light

Male Rufous Hummingbird

Male Rufous Hummingbird

The photos I have of the male rufous hummingbird in flight (so far!) are not as sharp as I would like, but this one of him paused at the feeder highlights his beautiful colouring.
He didn’t stay long as the female kept coming around and chasing him off!

1/500 sec, f5.6, ISO1250

Female Rufous Hummingbird

Rufous Hummingbird

I was so happy to see my first hummingbirds of the year this past weekend, and was able to spend some time relaxing on my parent’s porch, camera at the ready to capture a few shots. I’m quite pleased with the results, so there just might be a hummingbird of the day around here for the next little while 🙂

1/200 sec, f5.6, ISO 100 with speed light

1/200 left significant motion blur of the wings, and with the light, the fastest I tried was 1/640, and that didn’t even come close to freezing the wing motion.

Penguin

Penguin

The long grass was doing nothing to enhance the photo, and the Jackass penguin has only a limited amount of pale pink colouring around the eyes, so I decided to do a black and white conversion. After a hectic day, unwinding with some editing seemed like a good choice, and the penguin made me smile. Mission accomplished 🙂

1/320sec, f5.6, ISO200 – conversion in Silver Efex

Penguin at Boulder Beach, Cape Town, South Africa, March 2013.

Silhouettes

The clear, cold weather over the weekend brought with it a lot of shivering, but also a lot of great photos opportunities.  I had Spencer with me, so I was more concerned with his well-being and enjoyment than getting the perfect shot… but, I still managed to get a few that I really like.

I hadn’t set out with a theme in mind, but the strongest photos of the weekend were all silhouettes (a clear topic for the blog – hurray!)

I see a Cooper's Hawk on nearly every weekend walk I take out at the dikes, and still they catch me by surprise most times.  I was glad I had the camera set to capture it in flight.  The setting sun is glimmering off of some of the ice floating in the river.  1/1250, f5.6, ISO100.
I see a Cooper’s Hawk on nearly every weekend walk I take out at the dikes, and still they catch me by surprise most times. I was glad I had the camera set to capture it in flight. The setting sun is glimmering off of some of the ice floating in the river. 1/1250, f5.6, ISO100.
I saw this pair on the dike as we were pulling into the parking lot, and snapped a few quick photos without thinking too much more about it.  This is one of my favourites from that afternoon. 1/1250, f4.5, ISO100
I saw this pair on the dike as we were pulling into the parking lot, and snapped a few quick photos without thinking too much more about it. This is one of my favourites from that afternoon.
1/1250, f4.5, ISO100
Cool tones in the sky, and ribbons of ice lining the river's edge.  The ice creaking in the dark made things a little bit spooky.   I had to adjust my exposure slider 1 1/2 stops in processing, so I guess I should have bumped my ISO to start or waited an extra 10 seconds or so during the exposure.  61sec, f22, ISO100
Cool tones in the sky, and ribbons of ice lining the river’s edge. The ice creaking in the dark made things a little bit spooky.
I had to adjust my exposure slider 1 1/2 stops in processing, so I guess I should have bumped my ISO to start or waited an extra 10 seconds or so during the exposure. 61sec, f22, ISO100
While we were walking, I saw this shape in the water, and thought it was a oddly shaped stump.  When I realized it was a heron resting, I set up right away, and didn't bother adjusting my settings; I just hoped it would stay still long enough to get a shot.  Like the Golden Ears photo, I had to adjust my exposure slider 1 1/2 stops...but I am glad I pressed down on the remote when I did, as he soon shifted position.  34sec, f29, ISO100
While we were walking, I saw this shape in the water, and thought it was a oddly shaped stump. When I realized it was a heron resting, I set up right away, and didn’t bother adjusting my settings; I just hoped it would stay still long enough to get a shot. Like the Golden Ears photo, I had to adjust my exposure slider 1 1/2 stops…but I am glad I pressed down on the remote when I did, as he soon shifted position.
34sec, f29, ISO100
I love the sky before sunrise, with the beautiful warm tones to the east, and cool tones to the west.   2.5sec, f22, ISO100
I love the sky before sunrise, with the beautiful warm tones to the east, and cool tones to the west.
2.5sec, f22, ISO100
Beautiful Mount Baker, about a half hour before sunrise. 6.0sec, f25, ISO100
Beautiful Mount Baker, about a half hour before sunrise.
6.0sec, f25, ISO100

Zebra

The weather on the weekend was not conducive to having my camera out, and none of my indoor projects have inspired me this week.  So, I decide instead to experiment with new software on a photo I have worked on before.

I've edited this photo a few times, but recently purchased Silver Efex and wanted to see the difference in using that compared to Lightroom for a B&W conversion.  I am very happy with the results.
I’ve edited this photo a few times, but recently purchased Silver Efex and wanted to see the difference in using that compared to Lightroom for a B&W conversion. I am very happy with the results.

Birds at Finn Slough

Swan

It’s been several weeks since I went on my last photo walk with my class, but life has gotten in the way of putting together a post of my favourite photos.

The purpose of the trip was to concentrate on the altered landscape, but instead I was focused on all the birds.  I rarely see swans in the local area, and on the drive in went past a field filled with them.  There was no where to pull over to take a photo, and I was glad when I arrived at Finn Slough and had another opportunity for a photo.

Mallard Ducks

Tucked up against the rain

Great Blue Heron in a tree

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