Monthly Squares

Eye Level with a female Wilson’s Phalarope

This is my day 24 contribution to Becky’s July Squares on the theme of Perspective and another of my eye level perspective series.

This is a female Wilson’s Phalarope feeding on a section of the Middle Quill Lake shoreline in Saskatchewan, Canada. To get down to eye level with the bird I was lying in sand mixed with duck and goose poop.


July Squares: Eye Level with a female Wilson's Phalarope


Tuesday Photo Challenge

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Animals

This is my contribution to the Tuesday Photo Challenge – Animals.

Having been digitising my slide archives I had various options so I needed to come up with a theme.

In the end I decided to keep it simple and go with one photo from my time in Cheshire, England, one from my time in Saskatchewan, Canada and one from my time in Ontario, Canada.


Cosmic Photo Challenge: Through an Opening

A Red Fox in a hay field at Faddiley, Cheshire, England. A favourite and an easy choice after the photo was used in a field guide to garden wildlife. Rather amusing as it’s fairly obviously in a hay field.


Friendly Friday Photo Challenge: Funny Furry Friends

A Striped Skunk on the Middle Quill Lake shoreline, Saskatchewan, Canada in the spring. This was also a relatively easy pick despite having a few animals to select from. I went with this Skunk because a lot of people’s reaction to the photo. I was never concerned about being sprayed. Skunks have very poor eyesight so my trick is to talk calmly to them. That way they know you’re there and you aren’t going to surprise them.


Tuesday Photo Challenge - Animals

An American Red Squirrel in dappled sunlight on the South Bruce Peninsula, Ontario, Canada. This shot was the hardest to select, in the end I went with this photo because it was used in a calendar. I also like the effect of the dappled sunlight filtering through the trees which is why I had set up in that location.


Monthly Squares

April Squares: Spinning Like Tops

This is my day 11 contribution to Becky’s April Squares: Top photo challenge.

This one will need some explaining. These are Wilson’s Phalaropes feeding on Middle Quill Lake, Saskatchewan, Canada. One of the three species that make up the Phalarope family of birds.

Phalaropes are waders (known as shorebirds in North America) with a couple of interesting features. One of their feeding techniques is to spin in circles when swimming. It’s unusual enough for a wader species to swim let alone spin in circles. The reason for the spinning is that it stirs up the water and mud on the bottom to bring food to the surface.

The other interesting feature of Phalaropes is that the females have the brighter, more impressive plumage while the males are duller. In this photo it’s a colourful female in front and a duller male behind. The reason for this is because once the female has laid her eggs she clears off, leaving the more camouflaged male to incubate the eggs and raise the young.

April Squares: Spinning Like Tops


Weekly Prompts

Weekly Prompts: Boundaries

The Weekly Prompts: Boundaries challenge got me thinking about the variable boundaries wild birds and animals put between themselves and humans.

The reason I say variable is because most species will keep their distance from humans. The more erratic and noisy the behaviour of the human the wider the boundary between them.

On the other hand, some understanding of animal behaviour and some fieldcraft will allow you to get within a few feet of many species. I have had wild birds and mammals approach me so closely that I couldn’t focus the lens I was using on them.


Weekly Prompts: Boundaries

Portrait of a female Wilson’s Phalarope taken at Middle Quill Lake, Saskatchewan, Canada. A flock of six Wilson’s Phalaropes landed close to me when I was photographing some American White Pelicans. I laid down in the sand and wildfowl poop at the edge of the lake and proceeded to spend some time with them. When I was lying down the birds started ignoring me. This female was so close I couldn’t get all her body in the frame. Some of the birds wandered so close I couldn’t focus on them.


Friendly Friday: Funny Furry Friends

This European Rabbit was photographed in Shropshire, England. I was surprised how relaxed some Rabbits were at this location. I know there was a Red Fox hunting them. I did wonder if they were so  relaxed because they knew that the Fox wouldn’t be around if there was a human in the area.


Cee's Fun Foto Challenge: Letter K

A juvenile Red Knot resting on the Lake Huron shoreline in Southampton during its autumn migration. I had gone down to the shoreline for the sunrise and discovered two Red Knot. I spent long enough with them that they started ignoring me allowing me to photograph them feeding, bathing, preening and resting.


Friendly Friday Photo Challenge: Christmas Preparations

This Eastern Chipmunk was photographed in our yard in Ontario, Canada. The various birds and mammals got so used to me lying in the grass that summer that they started ignoring me. I had Chipmunks running across my legs while squirrels and birds landed in the Cedar branches a few feet away checking out the human in the grass.


Lens-Artists Photo Challenge

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Distance

This is my contribution to the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Distance prompt.

As a nature and landscape photographer I have been social distancing for decades. I started thinking about some of the locations in Saskatchewan where there wasn’t another human being for miles. Especially in winter when some farmers move into town, just because there’s a farm 5 miles away doesn’t mean there’s anyone living there. For some of these photos I was miles from the nearest road.


Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Special Spot Shots

A frozen section of Last Mountain Lake National Wildlife Area at sunset in winter.


Fan Of... OM Zuiko 350mm lens

Whitetail Deer at dusk near Punnichy.


On the Hunt for Joy Challenge: Make Yourself Feel Small

A frozen section of marsh at sunset, Little Quill Lake.


Friendly Friday Photo Challenge: Funny Furry Friends

A Striped Skunk in the spring between Little Quill Lake and Middle Quill Lake.


One Word Sunday: Ice

Sunrise reflected in a frozen slough near Punnichy.


A Photo a Week Challenge

A Photo a Week Challenge: Up In The Air

This is my contribution to Nancy’s A Photo a Week Challenge: Up In The Air.

The prompt got me thinking about the times I have pointed the camera upwards to photograph clouds. Sometimes I leave a small strip of the landscape in to give the photo a sense of scale.


A Photo a Week Challenge: Up In The Air

A section of Last Mountain Lake, Saskatchewan, Canada at sunset in the autumn.


Silent Sunday: 16th February 2020

A frozen and partially snow covered Lake Huron at sunset with Chantry Island and its lighthouse on the horizon. Southampton, Ontario, Canada.


A Photo a Week Challenge: Traditions.

Canada Day fireworks in the town of Wiarton from across Colpoy’s Bay on the South Bruce Peninsula, Ontario, Canada.


Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Chaos

Snow Geese on autumn migration flying to roost at sunset over Middle Quill Lake, Saskatchewan, Canada.


Tuesday Photo Challenge

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Spread

This is my contribution to the Tuesday Photo Challenge – Spread.

When I read the prompt I thought of wide angle landscapes that take in a spread of view wider than the human eye can see without moving. I had actually started editing photos for the post before thinking of birds with spread wings.


Tuesday Photo Challenge - Spread

Spreading its wings. A Great Crested Grebe stretching its wings on Hurleston Reservoir near Nantwich, Cheshire, England and the photo I thought of that caused me to rewrite this post.


Tuesday Photo Challenge - Spread

Two pairs of spread wings. Two American White Pelicans gliding between Little Quill Lake and Middle Quill Lake, Saskatchewan, Canada.


Black-capped Chickadee for Six Word Saturday.

Wings spread for take off. A Black-capped Chickadee on the South Bruce Peninsula, Ontario, Canada.


Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Special Spot Shots

Tail spread, trying to impress a female in the spring. A male Yellow-headed Blackbird displaying near Punnichy, Saskatchewan, Canada.