Posts tagged “wildlife photography

Spring hunting

I spent a morning watching a great gray owl flying over the long grass which broke up the forest. Spring has not yet taken hold so the color palette was rather pale but matched the owl’s plumage exceptionally well. He missed on the first dive into the field but came away with breakfast on two other occasions.


A goose and his territory

A couple of weekends ago it was a beautiful, sunny morning at the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary. Ducks were quacking and swimming around the open water in the ponds. Two Canada geese flew in and paddled towards the edge. The scene was hectic but peaceful… up until a nearby goose took exception to them coming into his territory. He flew over and then chased them away. This image is when the defender was attacking his perceived intruders with hissing, splashing and general malevolence.


Aspirations

A chickadee at the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary flew up in front of me. Made me think of positive aspirations – onwards and upwards. A good visual to ruminate on.


A day of twos

It was interesting thinking about two in different forms on this 22nd day of the 2nd month in 2022.

I liked thinking of couples, pairs and partners. I ended up thinking mostly about my love most of all. Happy two day sweetheart.

This image from the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary of two Canada geese taking off from the Bow River seemed a good fit for the theme.


Inglewood’s Goldeneyes

A run of warmer weather preceded the latest dip of the thermometer here in southern Alberta. That opened up a couple of the ponds at the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary last weekend. The calm, open water drew in dozens of Canada geese, mallard ducks and a few common goldeneyes. A steady cacophony of quacks was the soundtrack by the water. Some calling out to partners, occasional angry exchanges and seemingly random squawking here and there.

The sun was low enough that the light was still warm and, to my eye, a bit buttery. I focused on moment of action – flapping to dry wings, short flights across the pond and a couple of chases.


A fawn through the trees

We had a pair of mule deer fawns hanging around our backyard for most of the summer. From wobbly little babies to bouncing youngsters, they entertained us as they learned how to be deer. This was a rare moment where one stood still.


Evening light on a red fox

We were in Kananaskis last weekend. The autumn colours were beautiful near Highwood Pass. The snow dusting the trees was also beautiful but felt more than a little early. We came down from the pass in warm afternoon sunlight and found this incredible fox trotting down a hill. She crossed by a pond and settled on this rock for 20 minutes before continuing along. Both Desirée and I were mesmerized watching her. I love foxes and this was a special one to spend a little bit of time with.


Watching the hunt

I spent a bit of time with a great gray owl last week. It was later in the evening and it seemed to be looking for a last snack before dark.

I watched it crisscross a meadow of tall grass and make several dives out of sight. It came up without a catch on those.

Apparently, it felt like a change of location was required. Crossing the road she landed on a couple of old fenceposts and stared hard into the adjacent little fields but didn’t find a target worth chasing.

Success came when she flew out of a tall tree she had spent a few minutes surveying from. When she launched, it was a drop to just above the grass and then a sudden drop.

She swallowed while low in the grass and then rose out and flew towards me before alighting on a post right beside me. A couple of minutes later she went across another field and out of sight.


Inflight fight

This shot of two bald eagles sparring in midair is one I have waited to capture for a long time. I felt extremely lucky to get this dynamic image with the wings flared, one claw wide open and the emotion in the top one’s face.

I have photographed bald eagles in many places over the years. They are dynamic, powerful, cunning, intelligent and emotional raptors who I never tire of watching at rest, in flight or on the hunt. This is one of my favorites of these incredible birds.


Those eyes…

We had two wonderful encounters with great gray owls yesterday. The highlight for me came when the second owl flew across the field to a tall post about 30′ away. I took some good flight shots there. Then he glided down and landed 2′ away on a fence post beside me. When he was there, it was incredible to share the space. Being that close I was awed by the power and wisdom that I felt from him.

He stayed there for around 10 minutes before I moved further down the fence. The wind picked up as the clouds covered the sun. The owl remained focused on finding dinner in the long grass but after several more minutes, with his feathers whipping around, he flew off into the trees.


Flaring to land

This great gray owl dove at something in the hillside grasses behind this sign. I wasn’t in a good position for that attack but I was when it returned to the sign post it was hunting from.


Snowstorm and Robin

In mid-April, snow fell regularly. The robins had arrived earlier in the month and I wasn’t sure how they would feel about the weather. One afternoon, I photographed this one for a little while. He didn’t seem to have any issues with the white stuff as he bombed through it and flew around to a few different spots around the yard.