Hidden behaviour in plain sight.

This week’s Cosmic Photo Challenge is Hidden In Plain Sight: Photo Elements You Might Have Missed.

This is a photo of a pair of American Avocets in Saskatchewan, Canada. They’re in breeding plumage having arrived for the summer. You may wonder what I missed? The photo was taken in the mid 1990s but until I copied the slide a couple of years ago I hadn’t noticed the behaviour of the two birds.

The bird on the left seems to be ready to mate while the other bird appears to be preening as if getting ready to go on a date. By the curve of their bills it’s a female ready to mate and a male preening.

Two American Avocets.

Good catch.

An American White Pelican with a large fish in its pouch. One from the archives, photographed on Last Mountain Lake, Saskatchewan in the late 1990s.

This part of Ontario is under a heat warning at the moment which got me thinking about photography in hot weather. That made me think of a hot afternoon in Saskatchewan when I set up a tripod in a channel where a marsh drains into a section of Last Mountain Lake. I sat in the water behind the camera. There was a group of American White Pelicans fishing in the channel. They would swim in the direction of the water flow before flying back to the start of the channel and repeating the fishing expedition.

This breeding adult looks a bit grumpy despite the size of the fish it has caught.

American White Pelican with fish.

Saskatchewan’s Provincial Flower.

Having posted a photo of White Trilliums, Ontario’s Provincial Flower I thought a photo of Saskatchewan’s Provincial Flower would make an follow up post of sorts.

The Prairie Lily is found over a quite large section of North America and isn’t limited to prairie habitat. Interestingly, as the Provincial Flower of Saskatchewan it cannot be picked, uprooted or destroyed in any manner in the province.

I found a group of three or four growing in a ditch on a quiet back road. Rather than walk up to the flower with a close up lens I set up my long telephoto on a tripod. That helped isolate the flower from cluttered surroundings and avoided trampling other plants in the ditch.

Saskatchewan's Provincial Flower

A wandering Willet.

Having been posting photos of birds in Ontario recently I thought it was time I posted something from Saskatchewan.

Now that summer has arrived here’s a photo of a Willet in breeding plumage wandering around a marsh looking for something to eat. Taken from a vehicle window using a bean bag to rest the lens on.

A feeding Willet.

A pair of American Avocets.

A pair of American Avocets feeding on a slough in Saskatchewan. By the curve of the bills it’s a male in front and a female behind.

A film shot from Saskatchewan in the mid 1990s. Taken from a vehicle window using a bean bag on the window frame to support the lens. A form of Throwback Thursday.

A pair of American Avocets.

Twisting and turning.

A couple of Black Terns twisting and turning as they search for something to eat in a marsh. A bird would spot something in the marsh and twist around in flight.

I was taking a little used back road as an alternative route to visit friends in Saskatchewan when I came across a small colony of Black Terns on a marshy slough. Needless to say, I was late getting to the friends place although they knew I was going to be delayed having seen me on the back road when I was photographing the Terns.

The Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge is Twisted.

Twisting and turning.

Twisting and turning

Eat, bath, preen.

A Marbled Godwit on a section of Little Quill Lake shoreline. Taken one spring in the late 1990s in Saskatchewan.

I remember spending some time with the bird but had forgotten how many photos I had taken until going through my slide archives and digitizing some a few years ago.

The bird feeding.

Feeding Marbled Godwit.

After feeding the bird decided that it was bath time.

A bathing Marbled Godwit.

After bathing the Godwit had a long preen.

Preening Marbled Godwit.