Bohemian Waxwing at -30°C.

Throwback Thursday is a follow-up of sorts to yesterdays Wordless Wednesday post. Here’s a Bohemian Waxwing (Bombycilla garrulus) at -30°C.

Both birds were photographed in Saskatchewan, Canada in the winter. I’m always impressed by the way small birds survive winter temperatures.

Nowadays some digital cameras make a big deal about a freezeproof rating of -10°C. I find that rather humourous having shot film at -40°C and digital at -20°C.

I found a small flock of Bohemian Waxwings feeding along a fence line one morning. I briefly considered putting up a portable hide (blind) until I thought about how hard it would be to peg down given how frozen the field would be. In the end I followed them along the fence line for a while before leaving them to finish stripping the berries.

A Bohemian Waxwing at -30°C.

 

An autumn Pine Siskin.

One from the archives, taken in Saskatchewan, Canada in the 1990s. The Pine Siskin (Spinus pinus) looks fluffed up against the cold but it will get a lot colder in the winter.

Pine Siskins can survive very low temperatures. Their metabolic rate is 40% higher than typical for songbirds of their size. In extreme cold they can increase their metabolic rate up to five times normal.

This is my favourite Pine Siskin shot from Saskatchewan although I can’t explain why. The bird isn’t doing anything and is partially obscured by a branch. Maybe it’s the colour combination of the bird and the autumn leaves.

An autumn Pine Siskin.

Calm sunset.

Throwback Thursday travels back to Saskatchewan, Canada in the late 1990s. This is a section of Last Mountain Lake at sunset. I was visiting the lake for the flocks of Snow Geese and Sandhill Cranes that gather in the area on autumn migration.

This was a favourite location for sunset, I tried to stop there if I was in the area. This evening the water was calm with the wildfowl and Sandhill Cranes all on another section of the lake.

The sun sets over Last Mountain Lake.

Snow Geese and smoke.

Throwback Thursday travels back to Saskatchewan, Canada in the late 1990s.

In the autumn one of my regular locations for Snow Geese and Sandhill Cranes on autumn migration was Last Mountain Lake National Wildlife Area in Saskatchewan. One afternoon there was large clouds of smoke to the north west. A couple of times flocks of Snow Geese would take off and fly in front of the smoke.

I never found out what caused all the smoke.

Smoke and Snow Geese.