Singing male Red-winged Blackbird.

Throwback Thursday travels back to Saskatchewan in the 1990s. With no sign of spring arriving in Ontario I thought a spring photo of a species that arrives in Canada for the summer would be nicer than another photo of snow and ice.

This male Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) has recently arrived in Saskatchewan to spend the summer and is singing to establish a breeding territory. I’ve always liked the backlighting on the bird that’s illuminating the red epaulettes that give the male birds their name.

Backlit male Red-winged Blackbird proclaiming its territory.

Burdock Hooks.

Throwback Thursday travels back to Cheshire in the 1980s.

This is an extreme close up of the hooks on a seed head of Lesser Burdock (Arctium minus). Alternative English names include Little Burdock, Louse-Bur and Common Burdock.

The hooks allow the seed heads to attach themselves to humans and animals for seed dispersal. The hooks gave the inventor of Velcro the idea for the product.

Burdock Hooks.

Female Common Blackbird.

Throwback Thursday travels back to Cheshire, England in the 1980s and continues the theme of birds eating windfall apples in the winter.

Having posted a male Common Blackbird (Turdus merula) at the end of January here’s a female. The female is a little different from the male, brown overall but with an orange bill and eye ring similar to a male.

Female Common Blackbird.

Candle.

Throwback Thursday travels back to Cheshire, England sometime in the mid 1970s.

In fact so far back I’m not sure which camera the photo was taken with. It could either be a Zenit E, my first serious camera, or the Olympus OM1 that replaced the Zenit. I’m pretty sure I was still in school and not studying photography at art school.

There must have been a power outage because I remember photographing this candle on the mantle piece of the fireplace in the living room of my parents house.

The circle of light to the left of the flame is the candles reflection on the wall above the mantle piece.

Candle flame.

Mistle Thrush eating a windfall apple.

Throwback Thursday continues a recent theme of birds eating windfall apples in the winter.

This is a Mistle Thrush (Turdus viscivorus) eating a windfall apple in an orchard. The Mistle Thrush gets its name from its liking of Mistletoe berries. Apparently Mistle is an old English name for the plant.

This individual was photographed in Cheshire, England in the late 1980s. In the U.K. they are a year round resident.

A Mistle Thrush in an orchard.

Motorcycles in fog.

Throwback Thursday travels back to North Wales in 1981.

It was taken using Ilford XP1, at the time a new type of film announced by Ilford the previous autumn. It was a very early chromogenic film where the silver halide image is replaced by a dye image during processing. This allowed the film to be processed in a regular C-41 colour negative processing line.

The film had either just gone on sale or was soon to be available. I was one of the field testers for it. At the time I was running the photo department of a research institute and was testing the film for use in scientific photography. However I also tested a few rolls for general use.

The Dragon Rally is an annual motorcycle rally held on a mountain in Snowdonia, North Wales in the winter. I was on my way to photograph the event when I stopped to grab this shot of some of the participants emerging from the fog part way up the mountain.

I should add that I intensified the film grain in the photo when editing it as I think it adds to the atmosphere.

Motorcycles emerging from fog.

Male Common Blackbird.

Continuing a bit of a recent Throwback Thursday theme¬†of birds eating windfall apples here’s a male Common Blackbird (Turdus merula) photographed in Cheshire, England.

The Common Blackbird, sometimes known as the Eurasian Blackbird or simply the Blackbird in the U.K. is a year round resident in Britain and is a member of the Thrush family. The male is black with an orange bill and eye ring.

Male Eurasian Blackbird.