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Saturday Bird

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

My Saturday Bird this week is the Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris). The only Hummingbird species that breeds in eastern North America.

This is a male photographed in mid summer. After courtship and mating the male leaves the female to raise the young. Males start heading south as soon as early August.

I selected this photo to show the worn plumage. The bird will moult its plumage when on its wintering grounds. They spend the winter in Central America, Mexico or Florida. Some birds make a 900 mile flight across the Gulf of Mexico.

Saturday Bird: Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Categories
Squares Challenge

July Squares: Blue Water, Horned Grebe.

A contribution to Becky’s July Squares: Blue challenge.

A breeding plumage Horned Grebe on blue water (a farm pond) in Saskatchewan, Canada.

The Horned Grebe is known as the Slavonian Grebe in the U.K.

July Squares: Horned Grebe, Blue Water.

Categories
Throwback Thursday

Swimming in the Shallows.

Throwback Thursday travels back to the 1980s and a bird in its habitat. The photo was taken at Brown Moss, a nature reserve and Site of Special Scientific Interest near Whitchurch, Shropshire, England.

This is a Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis) in breeding plumage. An alternative name for the Little Grebe is Dabchick which seemed more commonly used when I was growing up. The bird is swimming in a shallow section of the large pool on the reserve.

Little Grebe or Dabchick.

Categories
Photo Challenges

An unlikely afternoon

The Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge is Unlikely.

A hot summer afternoon at Last Mountain Lake, Saskatchewan. There’s a couple of dozen American White Pelicans feeding on a channel where a marsh drains into a section of the lake. I set up a tripod in the water at the edge of the channel and I sit in the water behind the camera. After a while the Pelicans are used to me being there and are ignoring me.

I kept hearing a splash to my right but was concentrating on the Pelicans so didn’t pay attention to it. Eventually something caught my eye and I turn my head to find a Red-necked Grebe on the water next to me. The splashing I had been hearing was the bird diving under the water. The angle of the light wasn’t the best and the fact that I was sitting in the water behind the camera meant it was difficult to swing the camera around but I had to get some shots.

Red-necked Grebe watching the photographer

Red-necked Grebe on Last Mountain Lake.

Categories
Photo Challenges

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.

Categories
Archives

Gray on gray.

With some black and some white. Actually the birds bill is red although you can’t tell from this photo. A winter plumage Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus) on water in a thick fog taken on Hurleston Reservoir, Cheshire, England.

One from my film archives from the 1990s. Kodachrome probably although you wouldn’t know it from this shot. I do remember that I spent a lot of time racking the focus backwards and forwards as it was very difficult to focus on the bird through the fog.

Black-headed Gull in fog, Hurleston Reservoir, Cheshire, England