Snow Geese Take Off

Throwback Thursday travels back to Saskatchewan in the late 1990s and Snow Geese on autumn migration.

This is a section of the Last Mountain Lake National Wildlife Area in Saskatchewan. A staging areas for Snow Geese heading south on autumn migration. I was on an observation tower that overlooks part of the Lake photographing small groups of birds flying in to join the main flock on the water. At this point something spooked the main group and the flock took off as one.

Throwback Thursday: Snow Geese Take Off

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Magical.

This is my contribution to the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Magical.

I was thinking about the challenge and had this post mostly written in my head on Sunday evening. On Monday I started considering a completely different selection of photos before deciding to combine my ideas.

My original ideas was to detail some of the magical experiences photographing nature subjects. Then I started thinking about some of the magical landscapes and skies I have photographed.

In the end I went with a mix of nature encounters and landscapes.

Storm clouds and light beams over Loch Arkaig, Scotland.

Tuesday Photo Challenge - Vista

 

Pond Skaters, not only can they walk on water, they also mate on the water. Taken on a garden pond in Hatherton, Cheshire, England.

Mating Pond Skaters.

 

An Osprey with a White Sucker on the Lake Huron shoreline, Ontario, Canada. Not only can the bird spot and catch a fish in rough water but it can then carry the fish in the most aerodynamic position.

Flying Osprey with flying fish.

 

Snow Geese on autumn migration. Taking off from a section of the Last Mountain Lake National Wildlife Area, Saskatchewan, Canada. This is a small part of one of the flocks in the area.

A flock of Snow Geese taking flight.

 

A young male Rose-breasted Grosbeak in the rain on the South Bruce Peninsula, Ontario, Canada last year and September in a 2019 birds calender.

In the rain.

 

Trees and their shadows, Bickerton Hill, Cheshire, England.

Trees and their shadows on farmland.

Friendly Friday: Day Trip

This is my contribution to the Friendly Friday Photo Challenge: Day Trip.

There was a couple of bird photography locations in Saskatchewan, Canada that I used to spend the day at, Little Quill Lake and the Last Mountain Lake National Wildlife Area. Here’s a selection of photos from the two areas.

A frozen marsh at dusk, Little Quill Lake, Saskatchewan.

Frozen marsh at dusk.

Striped Skunk in the spring, Little Quill Lake, Saskatchewan.

Unexpected encounter.

A frozen section of Last Mountain Lake, Saskatchewan in winter.

A frozen Last Mountain Lake.

Snow Geese on autumn migration, Last Mountain Lake, Saskatchewan.

A gathering of Snow Geese.

A Marbled Godwit preening in the spring, Little Quill Lake, Saskatchewan.

Preening Marbled Godwit.

American White Pelicans in the summer, Last Mountain Lake, Saskatchewan.

Feeding party of American White Pelicans.

Sandhill Cranes flying to roost at sunset in the autumn, Little Quill Lake, Saskatchewan.

Living sky.

Friendly Friday: Ebb and Flow

The latest Friendly Friday Photo Challenge is Ebb and Flow. It got me thinking about some of the locations I have photographed birds over the years.

A couple of locations in Saskatchewan stood out, in particular Last Mountain Lake, especially the National Wildlife Area that surrounds the northern end of the lake. Bird numbers would vary massively over the year.

In the spring the area is a stopover location for species such as this Killdeer. Some will stay in the area to breed while others will carry on north after feeding and resting.

Stretching Killdeer.

 

In the summer the area is a breeding location for species such as American White Pelicans. These birds are feeding in a channel where a marsh drains into a section of the lake.

Feeding party of American White Pelicans.

 

In the autumn the area is a major stopover location for Snow Geese and Sandhill Cranes on autumn migration. This is a section of a Snow Geese flock, the birds can number in the thousands.

A gathering of Snow Geese.

 

In the winter the lake is frozen and partially snow covered. There are no water birds left in the area although you may see the occasional flock of Snow Buntings. It is however still a good location for sunsets.

A frozen Last Mountain Lake.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Oh, the Place You’ll Go

ThIs is my contribution to the Wits End Weekly Photo Challenge: Oh, the Place You’ll Go.

The challenge brought back memories of a question I posed on a photography forum some years ago. I asked what people would like to go back to photograph with modern equipment?

Having been a photographer since the late 1970s there’s quite a list of locations and situations that I would like to photograph again varying from motorsports to wildlife spectacles. I would have great fun re-shooting any of the selections below.

In the early 1980s I was living in London, England and traveling around Europe in the summer photographing motorcycle endurance racing. Team Bike at the Le Mans 24 hour motorcycle race, France in 1982.

Night racing

In the mid 1980s I was visiting Scotland to photograph nature and landscapes for photo libraries. A light beam on a hillside, Loch Arkaig, Scotland near sunset in the autumn.

Sunset light beam.

In the late 1980s I was documenting the nesting cycles of some European bird species. An adult Eurasian Blue Tit feeding young in a nestbox, Cheshire, England.

Almost ready to leave the nestbox.

In the early 1990s I was living in Cheshire, England. I spent some time positioning a portable hide (blind) to allow me to sit within a couple of yards of a Common Kingfisher.

Male Common Kingfisher.

In the late 1990s I was living in Saskatchewan, Canada. In the autumn parts of Saskatchewan are a major stopover for some species of birds heading south for the winter. Huge numbers of Snow Geese and Sandhill Cranes gather together in various locations. Snow Geese taking flight at Last Mountain Lake National Wildlife Area, Saskatchewan.

A gathering of Snow Geese.

Winters in Saskatchewan can be very cold but also very spectacular. A frozen section of marsh at sunset, Little Quill Lake, Saskatchewan at -40°.

Frozen marsh at dusk.

Weekly Prompts Photo Challenge: White

My contribution to the Weekly Prompts Photo Challenge: White.

Now I will admit that my first thought was snow but after a winter that dragged on for what seemed like 6 months I didn’t want to think about snow.

So I decided to go with a selection of photos of bird species that are mostly white, the first two have white in their common English name.

White-breasted Nuthatch, Saskatchewan, Canada.

White-breasted Nuthatch

American White Pelican, Last Mountain Lake National Wildlife Area, Saskatchewan, Canada.

Breeding adult American White Pelican

Caspian Tern with fish on the Lake Huron shoreline in Southampton, Ontario, Canada.

Caspian Tern with catch.

Black-headed Gulls in winter, Cheshire, England.

Winter plumage Black-headed Gulls.

Snow Geese on autumn migration, Last Mountain Lake National Wildlife Area, Saskatchewan, Canada.

A gathering of Snow Geese.

Whooper Swan portrait, Lancashire, England.

Portrait of a Whooper Swan.