Saturday Bird

Male Mountain Bluebird

This week’s Saturday Bird is a male Mountain Bluebird (Sialia currucoides) with food for its young.

Photographed near Punnichy in Saskatchewan in the mid 1990s. The male and female were landing on this branch before going to the nest which was in the hollow steel leg of a grain bin.


A Photo a Week Challenge: Summer Vacation 2020


Weekly Photo Challenge

Cosmic Photo Challenge: A Wet Weekend

This is my contribution to the Cosmic Photo Challenge prompt A Wet Weekend.

When the prompt was posted we were having a sunny and hot weekend so I was going to have to resort to my archives.

Then I remembered the 52 week photo project I did in 2018. We had a couple of wet weekends that summer.


Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: All Wet

A young male Rose-breasted Grosbeak in the rain in early summer.


A solitary raindrop.

A raindrop on the end of a branch taken while waiting for the Rose-breasted Grosbeak above.


Raccoon with spiky wet fur.

This wet, bedraggled Raccoon wandered out of the bush after 24 hours of rain on the first weekend of the summer.


Travel Tuesday


Welcome to my second Travel Tuesday.

I spent part of the summer of 1995 in Saskatchewan, Canada shooting nature and travel photos for a couple of U.K. photo agencies.

I was photographing a small group of American Goldfinches feeding on weed seeds in a ditch when I noticed this male peeking around the fence post at me. The old Saskatchewan license plate someone had nailed to the fence post to stop it splitting further made it both a travel and a nature photo.

A Photo a Week Challenge: Summer Vacation 2020


Throwback Thursday

Male Eurasian Bullfinch

This week’s Throwback Thursday travels back to Cheshire, England in the late 1980s.

This is a male Eurasian Bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula) feeding on grass seeds in a hay field. Alternative common English names include Bullfinch and Common Bullfinch.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Delicate Colours


Saturday Bird

Yellow-headed Blackbird

Welcome to the first in what will probably be a regular feature, Saturday Bird.

This is a male Yellow-headed Blackbird (Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus) photographed in central Saskatchewan, Canada in the summer. Their breeding habitat is Cattail marshes where they nest in colonies, often sharing the habitat with Red-winged Blackbirds.

It is one of the New World blackbirds and is not related to the Eurasian Blackbird.


Saturday Bird: Yellow-headed Blackbird


Monochrome Monday

Monochrome Monday: 15th June 2020

Monochrome Monday travels back to Saskatchewan in the mid 1990s and an inquisitive male American Goldfinch.

I was photographing a small group of American Goldfinches feeding on weed seeds in a ditch when I noticed this male peeking around the fence post at me. The fence post is an old railroad tie (or sleeper to the British) that was splitting. So in the past someone had nailed an old Saskatchewan license plate across the split to hold it together.


Monochrome Monday: 15th June 2020


Lens-Artists Photo Challenge

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Old and New

This is my contribution to the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Old and New.

I thought it was an interesting prompt and had several ideas for a post. I had my first choice partly planned out in my head and then forgot about the plan and took the wrong lens when I went for a walk with the camera on Sunday morning.

Then on Sunday evening I set up a camera in the yard hoping for some colourful clouds at sunset. There wasn’t much colour at sunset but as I had the camera set up I started using the auto composite setting to record the clouds moving across the sky.

That’s when I started thinking about some of the old techniques for showing movement in a photograph. That led to me thinking about photographic techniques and how some are the same and how some have changed dramatically.


Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Old and New

The late 1980s in Cheshire, England. A male Common Blackbird checking on the photographer lying in the grass.


Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Old and New

30 years later I’m still lying in the grass and birds are still checking me out. A male Red-breasted Nuthatch on the South Bruce Peninsula, Ontario, Canada.


Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Old and New

The early 1980s and I’m on a roof in North London at dusk turning the lights of the city into streaks by zooming the lens during exposure.


Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Old and New

Nearly 40 years later and the digital camera I am using has an auto composite setting. This photo was a base exposure of 1 second and a further 120 x 1 second exposures to show the movement of the clouds at dusk.

Edit: On Googling auto composite I discovered that Olympus call it live composite. Probably because you can watch the image building as the exposures continue.