Green variations.

The current Weekly Prompt photo challenge is Green.

Some winters in Ontario we don’t see very much green. This winter we’ve had a few mild spells and thaws so we’ve seen more green than is typical.

I went for a walk with the camera after a thaw during the first week of 2019. One of the shots I took was of a tree trunk with Ivy and Lichen growing on it. At the time I was struck by various colours in the Ivy leaves and different groups of Lichens.

Tree trunk detail in winter.

Female Blackcap in winter.

Throwback Thursday travels back to Cheshire in the early 1990s. This is a female Blackcap feeding on a windfall apple in the winter. Sometimes known as the Eurasian Blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla) it is a member of the Warbler family. The male Blackcap has a black cap on its head, the female a brown cap.

They were traditionally a summer visitor, arriving in the U.K. to breed. However, in the 1980s a few birds were being recorded in gardens in the winter. In the early 1990s when this photo was taken they were still uncommon in the winter. A few years later they were becoming common. If I recall correctly this bird was reported to the county recorder for inclusion in that years county bird report.

Since then numbers have continued to increase. Research has shown that the winter birds are different than the ones that breed in the U.K. in the summer. The wintering Blackcaps arrived from Germany. Isotope analysis has also shown that the German birds wintering in the U.K. tend to mate with other Blackcaps that wintered in the U.K. when back in Germany for the summer.

Another interesting point is that Blackcaps prefer mature deciduous woodland for breeding in the summer while the birds that arrive from Germany to spend the winter prefer gardens. It’s thought that the birds started wintering in the U.K. because of the milder winters and the availability of food with people feeding birds in their gardens.

Wintering female Blackcap.

Male Common Redpoll in winter.

One from the archives, taken in Saskatchewan in the late 1990s. I found a small flock of Common Redpolls (Acanthis flammea) feeding on windblown seeds caught in a snow bank.

Due to the temperature and wind I set up a portable hide (blind). This allowed me to get close to the birds without disturbing them while keeping slightly warmer as I was out of the wind. Sitting in the hide also put me closer to eye level with the birds on the snow bank.

The red on the breast makes this individual a male. The current scientific classification of the various Redpoll species is under debate by the various taxonomic authorities. My reasoning is that if they can’t agree I’m sticking with this being a male Common Redpoll.

Common Redpoll on snow.

 

The South Bank one Sunday morning.

One from the archives taken early one Sunday morning on the South Bank of the River Thames in London, England in the early 1980s.

I was living and working in north London at the time, running a photo department during the week and shooting a variety of personal work at the weekends. Early one Sunday morning I headed down to Westminster with my tripod and camera bag.

There was a light mist over the River Thames which added to my decision to shoot black and white. Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament were partially obscured by the mist, adding to the atmosphere.

I used my Olympus OM1 loaded with Ilford FP4 which was my regular black and white film.

Early morning on the South Bank.