Feathers on Friday

If you would like to join me for my Feathers on Friday meme, please put the link to your blog post in the comments and I’ll add the link to my post.

A pair of Blue-winged Teals near the house,

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Nikon D610, handheld, f5.6, 1/500, ISO 100, Nikkor 200-500mm, natural light

More Feathers on Friday Posts:

Bird Boy

Birds in Your Backyard

The Cats and the Birds

Wolf Song Blog

JG Birds+

Backyard Bird Blog

The Morning Side of Life

Anotherdayinparadise

A Day in The Life

Feathers on Friday

If you would like to join me for my Feathers on Friday meme, please put the link to your blog post in the comments and I’ll add the link to my post.

I photographed this female Wilson’s Phalorope the other day as I was trying to photograph the Cinnamon Teal, but the phalaropes were more accommodating!

Nikon D610, handheld, f5.6, 1/800, ISO 100, Nikkor 200-500mm, natural light

Nikon D610, handheld, f5.6, 1/800, ISO 100, Nikkor 200-500mm, natural light

More Feathers on Friday Posts:

Bird Boy

Birds in Your Backyard

The Cats and the Birds

Wolf Song Blog

JG Birds+

Backyard Bird Blog

The Morning Side of Life

Anotherdayinparadise

A Day in The Life

Evening Photography

I went for a drive one evening at the end of April with the intent of photographing the nearby one-room school house in the beautiful evening light, but I saw some good birds as well.

There were lots of Snow Geese, Canada Geese, and Northern Pintails feeding in our field and in the neighbours’; Northern Shovelers, Buffleheads, American Avocets, Lesser Yellowlegs, Tree Swallows, Snow Buntings, and a Red-tailed Hawk were also around.

A pair of Buffleheads,

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Nikon D610, handheld, f5.6, 1/500, ISO 160, Nikkor 200-500mm, natural light

Northern Shovelers,

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Nikon D610, handheld, f5.6, 1/400, ISO 160, Nikkor 200-500mm, natural light

Driving down one of the back roads, there was a big raptor sitting on a fence post, and it was a Peregrine Falcon! I took a few photos before it flew off. This is the second Peregrine I’ve seen in the area. The last and first one I saw was in September last year.

The Peregrine Falcon — such a stately bird,

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Nikon D610, handheld, f5.6, 1/400, ISO 160, Nikkor 200-500mm, natural light

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Nikon D610, handheld, f5.6, 1/400, ISO 160, Nikkor 200-500mm, natural light

A view of the school from distance,

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Nikon D610, handheld, f6.3, 1/640, ISO 100, Nikkor 200-500mm, natural light

I switched my 200-500 mm lens to the 50mm lens to better photograph the school. A Great Horned Owl was sitting in the back window of the school, and because of the lens switch, I didn’t get very good photos.

The departing Great Horned Owl,

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Nikon D610, handheld, f1.4D, 1/400, ISO 160, Nikkor 50mm, natural light

The quaint Chatsworth School,

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Nikon D610, handheld, f1.4D, 1/500, ISO 125, Nikkor 50mm, natural light

Two Rock Pigeons then flew out the windows, and that pretty much concluded the birding for the evening.

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Nikon D610, handheld, f1.4D, 1/1,000, ISO 320, Nikkor 50mm, natural light

So You Think You Can Dance

The other week it was time for our Naturalist Society’s annual field trip to Camp Wainwright, Alberta, to view the Sharp-tailed Grouse dance.

It was my sixth time waking up before sunrise to watch the birds on their lek. Until this year, I had been using point and shoot cameras to photograph the grouse, but this year I was eager to use my new DSLR! Luckily the morning was nice and sunny, through we had to leave just as the light was getting really good. All the photographs I took were with the Nikkor 200-500mm lens. I so enjoyed taking photos with my D610 and I can’t wait to use it more throughout the spring and summer.

The grouse seemed to be very active behind the blinds, and I was hoping to photograph the males sparring, but I guess they weren’t in much of a fighting mood that morning. Our group counted eight displaying males this year, and two females.

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Nikon D610, handheld, f5.6, 1/250, ISO 6400, Nikkor 200-500mm, natural light

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Nikon D610, handheld, f5.6, 1/250, ISO 5000, Nikkor 200-500mm, natural light

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Nikon D610, handheld, f5.6, 1/250, ISO 3200, Nikkor 200-500mm, natural light

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Nikon D610, handheld, f5.6, 1/250, ISO 3200, Nikkor 200-500mm, natural light

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Nikon D610, handheld, f5.6, 1/320, ISO 3200, Nikkor 200-500mm, natural light

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Nikon D610, handheld, f5.6, 1/320, ISO 3200, Nikkor 200-500mm, natural light

A female looking at the males,

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Nikon D610, handheld, f5.6, 1/400, ISO 2000, Nikkor 200-500mm, natural light

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Nikon D610, handheld, f5.6, 1/400, ISO 2000, Nikkor 200-500mm, natural light

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Nikon D610, handheld, f5.6, 1/400, ISO 2000, Nikkor 200-500mm, natural light

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Nikon D610, handheld, f5.6, 1/400, ISO 2000, Nikkor 200-500mm, natural light

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Nikon D610, handheld, f5.6, 1/400, ISO 1600, Nikkor 200-500mm, natural light

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Nikon D610, handheld, f5.6, 1/400, ISO 1600, Nikkor 200-500mm, natural light

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Nikon D610, handheld, f5.6, 1/400, ISO 1600, Nikkor 200-500mm, natural light

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Nikon D610, handheld, f5.6, 1/400, ISO 1600, Nikkor 200-500mm, natural light

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Nikon D610, handheld, f5.6, 1/500, ISO 1600, Nikkor 200-500mm, natural light

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Nikon D610, handheld, f5.6, 1/500, ISO 1600, Nikkor 200-500mm, natural light

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Nikon D610, handheld, f5.6, 1/640, ISO 1600, Nikkor 200-500mm, natural light

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Nikon D610, handheld, f5.6, 1/800, ISO 1600, Nikkor 200-500mm, natural light

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Nikon D610, handheld, f5.6, 1/400, ISO 1600, Nikkor 200-500mm, natural light

The Sharp-tailed Grouse tours are hosted every year by the Wainwright Wildlife Society. This year they’re holding the tours until May 7th, so if you’re interested in watching this amazing spectacle, bookings are still available. Contact ljhoover AT hotmail DOT com or phone 780-842-2399 to register. The cost for the tour is $10 for students and $15 for adults.

You can find the Wainwright Wildlife Society’s website here and you can “Like” them on their Facebook page here.

Feathers on Friday

If you would like to join me for my Feathers on Friday meme, please put the link to your blog post in the comments and I’ll add the link to my post.

Up until yesterday, my photos of Western Meadowlarks weren’t very good. The species have nested in our yard for years, but I was never able to get any decent photos.

I came back to the house for lunch this afternoon and this male Western Meadowlark was singing on a fence post. I got my camera and took a few photos, and though they’re good, I’d like to work on taking some even better ones.

A Western Meadowlark,

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Nikon D610, handheld, f5.6, 1/400, ISO 100, Nikkor 50mm, natural light

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Nikon D610, handheld, f5.6, 1/400, ISO 100, Nikkor 50mm, natural light

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Nikon D610, handheld, f5.6, 1/400, ISO 100, Nikkor 50mm, natural light

More Feathers on Friday Posts:

Bird Boy

Birds in Your Backyard

The Cats and the Birds

Wolf Song Blog

JG Birds+

Backyard Bird Blog

The Morning Side of Life

Anotherdayinparadise

A Day in The Life

Feathers on Friday

If you would like to join me for my Feathers on Friday meme, please put the link to your blog post in the comments and I’ll add the link to my post.

I was photographing prairie crocuses the other day when my first of season Turkey Vulture flew right over my head. Because of the flowers, I had just my small 50mm lens on my camera (not the best lens for far-off bird photography), but I was surprised at how well the photos turned out. A nice surprise on a spring afternoon!

A Turkey Vulture,

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Nikon D610, handheld, f9, 1/400, ISO 100, Nikkor 50mm, natural light

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Nikon D610, handheld, f9, 1/400, ISO 100, Nikkor 50mm, natural light

My intended photography subjects, prairie crocuses,

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Nikon D610, handheld, f6.3, 1/640, ISO 100, Nikkor 50mm, natural light

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Nikon D610, handheld, f6.3, 1/640, ISO 100, Nikkor 50mm, natural light

More Feathers on Friday Posts:

Bird Boy

Birds in Your Backyard

The Cats and the Birds

Wolf Song Blog

JG Birds+

Backyard Bird Blog

The Morning Side of Life

Anotherdayinparadise

A Day in The Life

Birds of Germany

I returned to Canada last Tuesday and have since been thrown back into everyday life, including calving, the last curling bonspiel of the season, and school. A definite change from the previous four weeks, which were filled with various trips to visit relatives a road trip to Rome with stops along the way in Lucca, Pisa, and Florence, and Parma. A cousin and I also took the train to Berlin for a two-day trip of sightseeing and a little shopping. I had a really lovely time in Europe and came home with so many wonderful memories.

I’m planning to publish some Europe posts throughout the month, mostly be about birds/birding, but with some non-bird photos from the various cities we visited as well.

Below are some of the bird photos I took in Germany, mostly taken in passing since I was travelling with my grandmother and other relatives. All these photos were taken with my Nikon D610 and the 200-500mm lens.

The photography conditions were not always ideal in Germany — full cloud cover, rain, and wind were common; however, this photo of a European Robin was taken on one A rare sunny evening,

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Nikon D610, handheld, f5.6, 1/320, ISO 250, Nikkor 200-500mm, natural light

This Great Tit photo was taken the same evening as the Robin; you can see the pretty golden light shining on the tree branches,

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Nikon D610, handheld, f5.6, 1/320, ISO 250, Nikkor 200-500mm, natural light

Another Great Tit in the same location in Oer-Erkenschwick, but taken on a cloudy morning,

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Nikon D610, handheld, f5.6, 1/200, ISO 250, Nikkor 200-500mm, natural light

On the way to Italy we visited Schloss Nordkirchen (which translates as Castle North Church), located 34 kilometres north of Dortmund in Germany. The landscape and architecture are similar to Fontainebleau and Versailles in France, with big gardens and water features with several pairs of Mute Swans and Mallards.

One of the Mute Swans which was molting,

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Nikon D610, handheld, f5.6, 1/800, ISO 200, Nikkor 200-500mm, natural light

One of the classiest looking jays around, the European Jay,

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Nikon D610, handheld, f5.6, 1/1,000, ISO 1000, Nikkor 200-500mm, natural light

Common Blackbirds are certainly common, but I found them to be quite skittish,

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Nikon D610, handheld, f5.6, 1/400, ISO 320, Nikkor 200-500mm, natural light

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Nikon D610, handheld, f5.6, 1/320, ISO 320, Nikkor 200-500mm, natural light

This Common Chaffinch was positioned perfectly in the sun and on the really lovely lichen-covered branches so I photographed it until it flew away,

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Nikon D610, handheld, f5.6, 1/500, ISO 200, Nikkor 200-500mm, natural light

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Nikon D610, handheld, f5.6, 1/500, ISO 200, Nikkor 200-500mm, natural light

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Nikon D610, handheld, f5.6, 1/500, ISO 200, Nikkor 200-500mm, natural light

A European Starling,

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Nikon D610, handheld, f5.6, 1/500, ISO 160, Nikkor 200-500mm, natural light

I found the Eurasian Nuthatches really fun birds to watch, and their song is very melodic,

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Nikon D610, handheld, f5.6, 1/1,250, ISO 800, Nikkor 200-500mm, natural light

Please stay tuned for more posts from my trip!