Richardson’s Ground Squirrel.

Throwback Thursday travels back to Saskatchewan one spring in the 1990s.

This is a Richardson’s Ground Squirrel, recently emerged from hibernation and looking for some fresh grass. It could be a male as the males emerge from hibernation in March allowing them to establish territories before the females emerge.

Recently emerged from hibernation.

 

Some Spring Arrivals.

The new Cosmic Photo Challenge is The Beauty of Spring.

One thing I always look forward to each spring is the arrival of the various  bird species that head north to breed in the summer.

So here’s a selection of recently arrived summer migrants from the U.K. and Canada.

First, a Sedge Warbler photographed at Hurleston Reservoir, Cheshire, England. One of many warbler species that arrive in the U.K. in the spring.

Summer migrant Sedge Warbler.

Next a male Yellow-headed Blackbird in Saskatchewan, Canada proclaiming his territory having recently arrived for the summer.

A male Yellow-headed Blackbird.

Finally, a male Rose-breasted Grosbeak recently arrived in Ontario, Canada for the summer.

Archaic bird photography of a Rose-breasted Grosbeak.

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.

Colourful Dusk.

The new Wits End Weekly Photo Challenge is Bright Colors.

A fairly easy challenge you would have thought. I came up with a long list of possible subjects in my head. I then thought about some of the colourful skies I have photographed over the years and changed direction for this post.

This colourful dusk is one that I may never forget. Not just because of the colour but also because it was -40° and a few minutes previously there had been Snow Buntings flying past me to roost in a reed bed. It should be noted that -40° is roughly the same in Celsius and Fahrenheit.

I added a glow with Snapseed to give a dreamlike quality and then a border as I’ve been on a bit of a border kick recently. The view is of a section of frozen marsh at Little Quill Lake, Saskatchewan, Canada approximately 20 minutes after the sun dropped below the horizon.

Frozen marsh at dusk.

Living sky.

This current Weekly Prompt Photo Challenge is Sky.

A subject that I have rather a lot of options available for. Then I thought about living in Saskatchewan, Canada in the late 1990s. Saskatchewan proclaims itself the “Land of Living Skies” with the slogan on the provincial license plates.

That got me thinking about some of my shots from my time in Saskatchewan and some of the flocks of Snow Geese and Sandhill Cranes. This is a flock of Sandhill Cranes flying to roost at sunset in the autumn. The photo was taken north of Little Quill Lake, part of a wetland complex in Saskatchewan.

Living sky.