Niagara Escarpment nature.

The new Lens-Artists Photo Challenge is Nature.

The first thing I did was Google the definition of nature which reminded me that nature includes geology. So I thought of a local geological feature, the Niagara Escarpment, to write a post about.

First, a brief description of the Niagara Escarpment. It runs through several U.S. states and loops up through Ontario, Canada. It’s most well-known feature is the cliff over which the Niagara River flows at Niagara Falls. It form the eastern side of the Bruce Peninsula before disappearing into Lake Huron at the tip of the peninsula.

To the photos.

A large ledge of stone overhangs the Colpoy’s Bay shoreline. There are caves of various sizes in the face of the Escarpment. A pair of Common Raven bred in a small cave in this section in 2018.

Rock overhang.

A larger section of the Escarpment covered in autumn colour. You can see small sections of the rock face through the trees.

A section of autumn colour on the Niagara Escarpment.

A female Common Merganser with a youngster on her back. Taken on Colpoy’s Bay at the base of the Escarpment. Common Merganser nest in holes in trees so the female could have nested in one of the trees along the Escarpment.

Hitching a ride.

A group of White Trilliums and a solitary Dandelion growing on top of the Escarpment. The White Trillium is the provincial flower of Ontario.

Ontario's Provincial Flower.

Food.

Except that in the end it wasn’t food in the way I was expecting it to be.

This week’s Cosmic Photo Challenge is Food.

I had a dozen ideas for the challenge, none of which I was particularly happy with. I then remembered this incident and decided to tell a bit of a story.

The first photo shows a Herring Gull standing over a fish covered in sand on the Lake Huron shoreline in Southampton, Ontario. After a while the Herring Gull lost interest in the fish and left it lying on the sand. It was still lying there when I packed the camera away and headed home. But that is the end of the story.

American Herring Gull guarding a fish.

The story begins when an Osprey patrolling the Lake Huron shallows dives in and catches a fish. This is witnessed by various Herring Gulls who then start harassing the Osprey trying to get it to drop the fish. In this photo an immature Herring Gull is coming in from the side of the Osprey in an attempt to steal the fish.

Herring Gull harassing an Osprey.

Eventually the Osprey is forced to drop the fish. It lands on the shoreline where an adult Herring Gull claims the fish to pick at it briefly before losing interest.

American Herring Gull with a fish.

Looking up?

Or giving the photographer a look of disdain?

The new Weekly Prompt Photo Challenge is Up.

The attitude of this male Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) makes me think it’s a look of disdain for the photographer sitting in the portable canvas hide a few feet away.

Normally they’re looking down, watching for a fish in the water or an insect on the ground. It’s possible the bird was watching something in the air that could be a potential meal or a threat.

Male Common Kingfisher.

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.

Junk pile Dunnock.

The Weekly Prompt Photo Challenge is Junk.

This Dunnock (Prunella modularis) was photographed on a junk pile in an old orchard in Cheshire, England.

There was Field Voles living under the junk pile which is why I had a camera pointing at it. This Dunnock was a regular visitor to the junk pile so got its photo taken while I waited for a Vole.

Junk pile Dunnock.

Sunbathing Dunnock.

The new Wits End Weekly Photo Challenge is Comfortable and Cozy.

I had my post almost finished before changing my mind about which photo I was going to use and starting again. The only part of the first version to survive is the opening sentence with the link to the Weekly Photo Challenge.

Thinking about the challenge a second time got me thinking about summer, warmer weather and the sun, probably because we had been under snow squall warnings and extreme cold warnings for a lot of last week. That made me think of this photo of a sunbathing Dunnock (Prunella modularis) in Cheshire, England.

The bird is obviously comfortable and cozy in the warm sun.

Sunbathing Dunnock.

If you’re wondering what my initial pick for this challenge was it was this photo.