Specks in front of the sun.

A photo of the setting sun taken with a telephoto. I had a couple of teleconverters stacked behind the lens to make the sun as large as possible in the frame. The specks around the sun are very distant wildfowl. I was hoping for a large V of Sandhill Cranes to cross the sun but they wouldn’t cooperate.

One from the archives taken in early autumn when the wildfowl and Sandhill Cranes are gathering up ready to head south for the winter. Little Quill Lake, Saskatchewan, Canada in the late 1990s.

Specks in front of the sun.

Wings across the sky.

This week’s Cosmic Photo Challenge is Wings Across The Skies.

There was some obvious choices for me. At the same time, a bit of a challenge because of the range of choices.

I picked this shot of Sandhill Cranes (Antigone canadensis) flying to roost at sunset because they cross the frame, from one side to the other. In other words, wings across the frame. The photo was taken at Little Quill Lake, Saskatchewan, Canada in the autumn. The Quill Lakes area is a staging area for Sandhill Cranes on their way south for the winter.

Flying to roost at sunset.

Flying in formation.

Throwback Thursday travels back to Saskatchewan, Canada in the 1990s. At this time of year the Sandhill Cranes (Antigone canadensis) are gathering together ready to head south for the winter. It wasn’t unusual to see flocks of hundreds of birds in places and a few miles away there could be a family party of four or five by themselves.

One of the staging areas was around the Quill Lakes wetland complex. It is also an important staging area for Snow Geese on autumn migration. I had a few locations around the northern end of Little Quill Lake that I visited at sunset to photograph the various flocks flying over to their roost sites.

Sometimes I would isolate small groups, other times I would shoot wider for larger groups. I picked this shot of five Sandhill Cranes because they appear to be flying in a loose formation. I find it interesting that the wing position of each bird is different.

Formation flying at sunset.

Foxtail Barley detail.

Throwback Thursday travels back to Saskatchewan in the late 1990s with a close up of the heads of some Foxtail Barley. Taken on a section of the Little Quill Lake shoreline near Wadena, Saskatchewan.

Alternative common English names are Bobtail Barley and Squirreltail Barley. Although it is native to North American it is regarded as a weed and an invasive species by some people.

Foxtail Barley seed heads.

Eat, bath, preen.

A Marbled Godwit on a section of Little Quill Lake shoreline. Taken one spring in the late 1990s in Saskatchewan.

I remember spending some time with the bird but had forgotten how many photos I had taken until going through my slide archives and digitizing some a few years ago.

The bird feeding.

Feeding Marbled Godwit.

After feeding the bird decided that it was bath time.

A bathing Marbled Godwit.

After bathing the Godwit had a long preen.

Preening Marbled Godwit.

An unlikely morning.

The Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge is Unlikely.

One spring morning I’m out with the camera at a section of Little Quill Lake, Saskatchewan. The location was several miles from the nearest road and I’ve no idea where the nearest occupied farm was and I had managed to lock my keys in the truck after getting the camera and tripod out. So I decided to photograph a Common Tern fishing and then preening before breaking into the truck.

Eventually I decided it’s time to learn how to break into your own vehicle. How hard could it be, you see actors do it all the time on TV. There was the remains of a long abandoned barbed wire fence nearby so I  walk over and break a piece of wire off. I used the multi-tool I keep in my camera bag to strip the barbs of and get a straight piece of wire. I’m just about to slide the wire down the window to try to pop the lock when a bus loaded with birders drives up followed by a convoy of other vehicles. It was the weekend of the Wadena Shorebirds Festival and they were on an outing to Little Quill Lake. So I’m now being watched by dozens of people as I try to break into my truck. I slide the piece of wire down the window, wriggle it around and the lock pops open. I couldn’t believe how easy it was, I must have looked like a professional car thief to the spectators. A couple of the birders wander over to make sure that I was breaking into my own vehicle.

After a while the bird tour departs and a few minutes later half a dozen Wilson’s Phalaropes fly in and start feeding along the shoreline. I crawl across some sand, well I’ll call it sand although there was rather a lot of duck and goose poop mixed in it, and get into position to photograph the Phalaropes. They completely ignored me, I had females walking almost up to the lens, to close to focus on.

Feeding Phalarope.

One of the female Wilson’s Phalaropes poses for a portrait.

Female Wilson's Phalarope.