Archive For The “garden” Category
I looked out into my back garden on the morning of October 2, 2019 to see more flocks of birds flying around in an early October downpour. Far more birds than I expected. It is bear season and there are more black bears around town than usual, which means my feeders are currently empty. No matter, the birds were concentrating on a mountain ash tree in the backyard.
In less than a hour I visited by a raven, a varied thrush, a northern flicker, steller jays, juncos and too many robins to count. I managed to get good photographs of the robins, the raven, the northern flicker and the varied thrush. I had no luck capturing the juncos and steller jays. I didn’t see any sparrows.
I used two cameras for this shoot. I normally keep an older Sony Alpha 55 with a Tamron 70-300 lens on my dining room table all the time to shoot birds in the garden. Once I realized that the feeding was going to continue for a while I grabbed my Sony RX10-iii which has a 24 to 600 lens.
This morning the garden was quiet, so it looks like that for some reason, the gathering only happened yesterday,
One of my favourite birds in here in Kitimat is the Varied Thrush (Ixoreus naevius). There were a lot more than usual this spring for one reason or another. So here is an album of images.
A varied thrush on my back deck. (Robin Rowland)
There was still snow in a hollow in a small woods near my house in mid-April. (Robin Rowland)
The snow in the hollow which lasted for about a week after all the snow had gone elsewhere attracted varied thrushes almost every day. (Robin Rowland)
The spring melt advances on the last patch of snow. A pair of varied thrushes. (Robin Rowland)
As the spring buds come out in the nearby woods. (Robin Rowland)
And in my backyard.
And on an old log in the same hollow a couple of days later. (Robin Rowland)
In early May on the waterfront at the Minette Bay Lodge. (Robin Rowland)
A closer shot of the varied thrush at Minette Bay. (Robin Rowland)
On an driftwood stump at the mudflats of Minette Bay at low tide. (Robin Rowland)
A closer view (Robin Rowland)
On a warm Kitimat sunny afternoon a couple of days ago a beautiful blue dragonfly was circling my back yard. So I decided to find out if I could get a shot of the speedy creature as it circled and whizzed and looped and dived. Camera Sony Alpha 6000, Sony E-mount, 55 to 210, set at 210, ISO 1600, Shutter 1/2500 at F13. The only one that worked was actually the third frame I shot, got a couple of hundred more (thanks digital) but only one other one came close and at 1/2000 was just a bit too slow so it was a bit blurry.
One of the at least three families of stellar jays that live in the cedar trees at my house is bolder and smarter than the rest. Or maybe it’s a “point bird.” If I go out with a bag of seeds to refill the feeder, there is the harsh call of the stellar jay and in a few moments, the bird is close by (often on my deck) and watching me pour the seeds into the feeder.
So a couple of days ago, the stellar jay was sitting on my fence, watching, as I filled one feeder. Went back in the house to get a different bag, for a second feeder. Brought my camera along this time and caught the jay as it took off, heading right for me. Bold or what?
Here’s the stellar jay just a few seconds later on my deck.
A yellow-rumped warbler, a “common migrant” along the BC coast, sits on a branch on the new trail to Maggie Point near Kitimat harbour.
Mallards flying over the choppy ocean of Douglas Channel near Maggie Point.
A male Harlequin duck skims the choppy waters.
A Savannah Sparrow another “common migrant” along the BC coast, sits on my neighbor’s roof.
A robin checks out a Robin on my front lawn.
Golden-crowned sparrows are also regular lunch guests at my feeder.
Not sure who this little guy is. He was determined to get seeds and was good at finding the best spots in this feeder.
When I went out with the Kitimat Valley Naturalists, we went to special protected sites at Pine Creek, near Kitimat, to look for salamanders, part of a province-wide salamander count. Taken with a macro lens, but not exactly the best light. Next time I go out I will bring a small reflector.