Nuthatch Family.

The new Wits End Weekly Photo Challenge is Feathered Friends.

As a long time bird photographer I had all sorts of ideas for a post. Then I started thinking about bird families and realised that I could post about the Nuthatch family divided by decades and locations.

So we’ll start in Cheshire, England with a European species, the Eurasian Nuthatch (Sitta europaea), also known as the Wood Nuthatch. Photographed in the 1980s, I had set up a shovel handle as a perch for a European Robin that wouldn’t cooperate. So I photographed the Nuthatch when it used the perch.

Wood Nuthatch.

Now to a North American species, the White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis) photographed in Saskatchewan, Canada in the 1990s. A bitterly cold winters day, around -30°C with some light snow coming down. The dark crown stripe means that this is probably a male.

White-breasted Nuthatch

Finally, another North American species, a Red-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta canadensis) photographed in Ontario, Canada in the 2000s. Once again, the dark crown stripe means that the bird is probably a male.

Male Red-breasted Nuthatch.

Around Dominion Lookout.

The new Lens-Artists Photo Challenge is Around the Neighborhood.

I was considering the neighborhood I currently live in. I actually had the post started before deciding to change neighborhood, firstly to Saskatchewan, Canada and then to Cheshire, England where I grew up.

I then changed neighborhoods again and moved on to Southampton, Ontario. Located on the shore of Lake Huron, I lived in the town for around eight years and still visit regularly.

I used to spend a lot of my spare time down on the shoreline with a camera so decided to write a post based on the lake shore. I then went with using photos taken within a few hundred yards of Dominion Lookout at the bottom of the High Street as that was one of my regular locations.

I have no idea why it’s called Dominion Lookout, the giant Southampton flagpole is there and I’ve always referred to the area as down by the flagpole.

A female Common Merganser with a line of young in tow. A couple are riding on her back.

Ducks in a row.

Chantry Island and its lighthouse at sunset with a giant sun pillar behind the island. Taken in the winter, Lake Huron is covered with frazil ice. Sun pillars are formed by ice crystals suspended in the atmosphere.

A giant sun pillar.

A Caspian Tern with a small fish flying along the shoreline in the summer.

Caspian Tern with catch.

A view of Chantry Island and its lighthouse from the Lake Huron shoreline early one morning. Taken around 15 years ago this rocky spit is now under water after a rise in the water level.

Sunrise on Lake Huron.

A juvenile Red Knot on the Lake Huron shoreline during autumn migration. One of a couple of Red Knot I spent a few hours with. This shot was taken soon after sunrise in golden light. The birds became comfortable enough to feed, bath, preen and then sleep in front of me.

Red Knot in golden light.

Rocks and waves on the shoreline early one summer morning.

Rocks and waves.

A Red Fox trots along the shoreline. Taken last spring, I later discovered that the Fox is a well known resident with the locals mostly ignoring it

Trotting Red Fox.

A florescent green kayak emerges from the fog on Lake Huron. Taken in the middle of July last year although you wouldn’t think that given the weather.

A splash of green.

Lighthouse at sunset.

One from the archives taken in the early 2000s when I was living a few blocks from the Lake Huron shoreline in Southampton, Ontario.

Taken with a telephoto lens to make the lighthouse large in the frame. As I was down at the shoreline regularly I could time the camera exposure to the flash of the light in the lighthouse. If I recall correctly the light flashed every six seconds. So after it flashed I would count five seconds and then release the shutter before counting six.

Lighthouse at sunset.