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Here is a couple of photos of the Great Gray on the ground. I wasn't fast enough to get him downing the vole he caught, but he stayed on the ground for awhile to digest.

 

These shots are from my encounter last week.

 

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Aldergrove Lake Park - Abbotsford BC Canada

 

I ran into this guy when I was out for my walk today. In the past, I've never had much luck photographing this species in the wild, but this week I've got two good looks.

 

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This beautiful lady hovered before plummeting into the frigid water.

 

Note: Shot with natural light.

 

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Aldergrove BC Canada - I decided to go for a drive to see if I could find any Red-tailed Hawks. I stopped just in time to get this guy running away from a bunch of crows. They sure are a nuisance!

Blackie Spit - Surrey BC Canada

This juvenile wouldn't move until she had preened right to the tip of the tail-feathers.

This little male came launching out of this tree so fast I almost missed him. What an interesting species.

This was a very gray day, so I shot a hi-key image. These birds are magnificent in take-off.

Santa gave me a low perched RTH as an early Christmas present. It was right downtown Langley. Lucky I had my camera with me.

 

Thanks Santa, this is just what I wanted.

 

90% Full Frame.

 

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Blackie Spit - Surrey BC Canada

This guy was perched near the dyke so I decided to take a couple of shots. Suddenly, he gets an odd look on his face and hacks out this ball of stuff. Actually, it's a pellet of fur and any grasses that may be consumed during feeding. I've never witnessed it, let alone photographed it. Yah, kinda gross, but also kinda cool.

A Forster's Tern hovers while attempting to locate a fish in the water below.

I'm always surprised to see how delicate these guys are constructed, especially in the legs and talons.

 

Note: A couple of contacts have asked about how I created the BG. Actually, I never add a BG in PS. This BG is the natural bokeh created by the long wheat coloured grasses that surround the perch. I think it's the most interesting part of the image.

 

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I finally got a chance to see one of these guys. I cranked out a lot of photos that I'll be rolling out over the next couple of days.

 

This photo was taken in real difficult light. I fumbled around after he caught the vole and returned to his perch. He only took a couple of seconds to gulp it down. I was lucky to get any shots.

They are so quick that I don't often get a photo without blur.

 

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Wow, the Red-tailed Hawks are out in full force.

I was happy to find this Rufous Hummingbird still frequenting the same perch I photographed him on a couple weeks ago. This time I was quick enough to get the fanned tail.

have a great week everyone!

Blackie Spit - Surrey BC Canada

I'm still in love with the female Bushtit. Look at those eyes!

Blackie Spit - Surrey BC Canada

This juvenile Merlin (Boreal subspecies) was nice enough to hold onto her (actually, the sex is uncertain) landing. This is a pretty severe crop on a severe angle, but I thought it was still interesting enough to post.

I still couldn't freeze the wing tips at 1/3200 sec. They are so quick!

 

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I just had to get out today. It's been 8 days of inside stuff. The light wasn't really there to get this shot the way I wanted, but I decided to try anyways. A little noisy, but I really like the pose.

 

She was coming in for a landing and then decided not to at the last second.

 

1/1600 sec

ISO 1600

f5.6

420mm

Wow, I actually got an adult Cooper's Hawk in-flight. I can't believe it. This is something I've been trying to achieve for about 3 years. Normally, the adults take off the minute I'm in the area. These shots are from a friends farmhouse, where a mating pair have been nesting for years. Thanks Art!

Blackie Spit - Surrey BC Canada

Very high contrast situation, but I just needed to post something with blue sky. Gettin' real tired of the clouds and rain.

Another shot from the other day's encounter with this Peregrine.

 

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Yesterday was Turtle Day, so I am a day late but hadn't run into subject with good lighting until today. This is the Eastern Box Turtle which is the only subspecies of Box Turtle native to New Jersey. Box Turtles can live to be 100 years old and here's hoping this fellow lives to see many more happy turtle days in the years to come.

Blackie Spit - Surrey BC Canada

I took this shot at Dunsmuir Gardens in Surrey. This little Juvi. Cooper's would flash from this perch, dive in the bushes and return to the perch. He never did get his breakfast. He was on a very low perch so these shots were almost at eye level. Not a perspective I get very often.

Reifel Bird Sanctuary - Ladner BC Canada

There were an abundance of Mergansers at Reifel today. This is the first time I've gotten close enough to get a decent shot.

 

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Abbotsford BC Canada

This is one of my favorite in-flight shots of this Harlani Red-tailed Hawk, taken on November 8th. Would have been nice to get a few more pixels, but I like the light, pose and BG.

 

SS: 1/1250

Ap: f/5.6

ISO: 1600

EV: +1 1/3

This is a photo from back in January. The perch caught my eye.

 

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While looking back at some of my images the moss in this shot jumped out at me. Sometimes I'm so preoccupied with the bird that I neglect to look at the whole photo.

 

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The first time I saw this species I thought it was an owl. Of course I was wrong, but this shot reminded me of why so many of us make this mistake.

Blackie Spit - Surrey BC Canada

This is one of the two Belted kingfishers that were cruising around the dyke. This one went horizontal from this perch and then dove straight into the water. She was submerged for about 2-3 seconds and then came zooming back out. I saw this happen about 4-5 times and what was interesting is that she always came out at the exact point she went in at. I tried to get a photograph of her coming out but there just wasn't enough light.

 

1/200 sec

f/5.6

420mm

ISO 800

Thanks to another photographer, Bruce, for spotting this beauty. I don't often get this close to a perching harrier.

 

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Have a great weekend everyone!

 

Device: Nikon D300

Lens: Nikkor 300mm F/4 AF-S

Focal Length: 420mm

Aperture: F8

Shutter Speed: 1/20s

Metering: Spot

ISO: 200

 

I strategically positioned myself near the blackberries last night for two reasons. First, I know that many birds like to eat them. Secondly, I like to sneak away from my tripod to eat a few. I almost missed this shot because I was indulging myself.

I love when the sun peaks out to illuminate a subject while heavy clouds still line the background. It creates a sort of surreal quality to the scene. Also, it creates a dark gray BG that makes the subject pop.

 

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Oh, the inhibition of youth. This young Cooper's Hawk flew to this perch and just started to preen away. There were many people around, but he didn't seem to mind.

Blackie Spit - Surrey BC Canada

This is the first time I've ever got a good look at a male Harrier. They are stunning when they glide low over the flat land or near the water.

 

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This little guy was sitting so nice all by himself on this branch.

 

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Big thanks to a friend who pointed out this Black Racer in a tree along the wildlife drive.

Blackie Spit - Surrey BC Canada

I nearly walked right past this juvenile Cooper's. He was blending in the fall foliage, waiting to launch a surprise attack on unsuspecting sparrows at the entrance to Dunsmuir Garden. I was there looking for the American Tree Sparrow that someone reported last week.

 

note: updated to square crop. Thanks for the eye m.geven.

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Reifel Bird Sanctuary - Ladner BC

One of the unique aspects of Reifel is that you can be surprised by one of these silent gliders coming right in on you. In this instance, I was shooting a Great Blue Heron, when I looked up and this beauty was coming in almost on top of me. I had removed my tele-converter, which turned out to be a good thing, because it allowed me to get the whole bird into the frame.

 

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This beautiful American Goldfinch was perched just long enough to get this shot. Recently, I read this species used to be called the wild canary. This sure answers a lot.

 

I believe this to be a male in non-breeding plummage.

 

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Wow, they're powerful. This is near full frame.

Nowhere near as creative as everyone else's, but it called to me when I spotted it this evening.

 

I know you don't need a 430-mm equivalent lens to photograph wildflowers. But it was what was on my camera this afternoon, as I'd set out to photograph an eagle with its chicks in a nest.

It was nice to get a couple of days of sunshine on the West Coast.

 

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