This week my Flora and Fauna Friday post is part one of a two part post.
These are Common Hazel (Corylus avellana) catkins, the male flowers that produce the pollen that pollinate the Hazelnut producing female flowers. Photographed in an abandoned orchard at Faddiley near Nantwich in southern Cheshire, England. The catkins and flowers are produced in late winter or early spring before the leaves appear.
This is my contribution to Cee’s Midweek Madness Challenge: Blue-Greens prompt.
I had a couple of ideas for the challenge before thinking of the Common Kingfisher found in Europe and parts of Asia.
The birds plumage varies between blue and green depending on the direction and quality of light falling on it. Here is three photos of the same male photographed at different times and in different light.
This week for my Saturday Bird I am continuing my recent theme of birds photographed in Saskatchewan in winter.
This is a male Evening Grosbeak (Hesperiphona vespertinus) a member of the finch family. This individual was photographed in Greenwater Lake Provincial Park, Eastern Saskatchewan, Canada in winter. There’s some light snow falling around the bird. It was around -25°C which is probably why the bird is warming one leg in its feathers.
The species is found in coniferous and mixed forest across a large part of southern Canada and western mountainous areas of the U.S. and Mexico. The species migration is very variable traveling as far as the southern U.S. some winters.
It was a good prompt for me as I usually try to get to eye level with birds and mammals. This often involves lying on the ground behind the camera.
However, I quickly realised just how many photos I had to pick from. So initially I decided to limit myself to four photos. Then I decided to go with one photo from the past four decades, partly to make the selection easier.
1980s. A male Common Blackbird checking 1what the photographer is doing. I was in a ditch photovraphing something when I noticed this male spying on me. Photographed in an abandoned orchard at Faddiley near Nantwich in southern Cheshire, England.
1990s. A breeding plumage Horned Grebe on a cattle watering hole. I wanted to get as low a viewpoint as possible so had the legs of the tripod fully spread and then stomped them into a mixture of mud and cattle poop before lying behind the camera. Photographed near Punnichy, Saskatchewan, Canada.
2000s. A juvenile Red Knot resting on the Lake Huron shoreline during autumn migration. The shoreline was too rocky to lie down behind the camera so I was kneeling, trying to get as low a possible. I spent long enough with the birds that they fed, bathed and napped in front of me. Photographed on the Lake Huron shoreline in Southampton, Ontario, Canada.
2010s. An American Red Squirrel in dappled sunlight. From the 52 week photo project I did in 2018 when I spent lots of time lying behind the camera photographing birds and mammals. Photographed on the South Bruce Peninsula, Ontario, Canada.
My Saturday Bird this week is the Common Redpoll (Acanthis flammea). It is also known as the Mealy Redpoll.
This bird is a male due to the reddish tinge on the breast. The amount and brightness of the red on the breast can vary enormously. Photographed from a portable hide (blind) while it searched for wind blown seeds on a snow drift near Punnichy, Saskatchewan, Canada.