A grey American Red Squirrel.

I was set up in the yard using my ground pod last weekend. One of the species I photographed was an American Red Squirrel. I did notice the colour of the individual when taking the shots, I’m usually to busy checking focus and framing to study the subject in detail. However, when editing the shots I noticed how grey the Squirrel was.

A couple of weeks ago we had young American Red Squirrels around, they were quite small and a distinctive grey colour. I suspect that this is one of them, grown a bit and starting to get some red colouring.

Juvenile American Red Squirrel.

Young Downy Woodpecker.

We have young Downy Woodpeckers and young Hairy Woodpeckers being fed by the adults. I have spent quite a bit of time trying to get photos of them over the past couple of weeks.

This isn’t the best photo I’ve got of any of them, it’s the only photo I have got so far. It shows an immature Downy Woodpecker with the tail and part of the wing of the adult male that had just fed it before disappearing up the tree trunk.

Downy Woodpecker juvenile.

A juvenile Pine Siskin.

Sunday morning saw me lying in the yard behind the camera. I had set up my ground pod to try for some shots of the Squirrels, Chipmunks and whatever bird species decided to feed on the ground. I was expecting Common Grackles, Blue Jays and other larger species. I wanted to get as close as possible to eye level with the subjects.

A few weeks ago I got a low profile ball head for the ground pod. It would allow the lens to be about 3/4 inch lower than the ball head I had been using. Coupled with a couple of other changes I could now get the lens more than an inch lower to the ground.

So my initial set up was as low to the ground as possible. I then remembered a lesson learned in the 1980s. You can get to low, it’s hard to see through the viewfinder and you can’t see smaller species for vegetation sometimes.

So I swapped the 3/4 inch bolts that act as legs on the ground pod for the 3 inch bolts. This allowed me to see the juvenile Pine Siskin as it fed in the grass.

Pine Siskin juvenile.

A Pine Siskin from week 23.

Just another Pine Siskin you may think but this one is a bit special, at least to me.

Pine Siskins are an irruptive species meaning numbers vary from winter to winter as the birds follow food sources. Some winters we may only see one or two, last winter we had a flock of over 40 birds at times. They must have found enough food because some of them stayed around in the spring and at least one pair must have bred as this is a youngster.

When we first spotted them some of the young were seen begging a male Purple Finch and a female American Goldfinch to be fed.

Juvenile Pine Siskin.