Monday, 27 May 2013

Spring has arrived !

This past Saturday brad and I spent the morning at a marsh near my house. Our main objective was to capture some photos of a snipe calling from a post. However that is not as easy as you would think. Snipe are renowned for being probably the most secretive bird out there. They can throw there voice as we found out real quickly and they also are extremely good at blending into there environment. But then again that's how they survive!

The shot above I got Thursday afternoon after school. It may have been a fluke because we did not get the same opportunity to get a shot of a snipe like this on Saturday. We will be keeping our eye on this wetland by my house in hopes of getting a photo of a snipe calling from a post !
So Saturday we did not luck out on the we did what anyone else would of, we photographed what we could. Which wasn't all that much but we make the best of our outings because we only get out on Saturdays ! Savannah sparrows were looking great amongst the cattails so we did get some shots of them. I think they are probably the best shots we have ever gotten of this very common species!


The tree swallows are slowly coming back and they have not been wasting any time. One pair has been back for only a few days and have already began nest construction !

June is only a few days away and it is by far the best month of the year for photographing birds on the island of Newfoundland. Of course brad and I are EXTREAMLY busy this up coming month. I have exams in school and brad has some traveling to do. So by the sounds of it the blog may be a bit slow. BUT I am having a member of parks Canada check some of our owl boxes in a few days and we also have a little announcement to make eventually. Stay tuned its about to get crazy

Friday, 10 May 2013

A look ahead into spring

Spring is making its self known on the island of Newfoundland. Over the last few warm days buds on some trees are looking like they are ready to pop. Some year round birds are singing along with a small number of early arrivals and the grasses are getting their rich green colour. Yellow-Rumped warblers are now returning and the first broods of ducklings are emerging.
Nature photographers like Brad and I (Brendan) have been highly anticipating the southern winds to bring the song birds of summer back to their breeding grounds. Some of the first songbirds like Tree swallow's, Yellow warblers and sparrows should be well on their way back to the island by mid may. When they arrive the race is on to find a mate, claim territory and begin the duties of nest building.

One thing Brad and I have been doing differently this year compared to other years is visualizing shots we would like to get and then doing things in advance before the birds arrive to ensure we are going to get the shots we had in mind. Such as putting perches in place for the birds to land on near the nest boxes or even scoping out locations we are going to be shooting before we go to shoot there in summer so we know which way the sun will rise and set, also small things like what kinds of flowers will be growing there or what species we have seen there in the past. All this adds up to make sure we get the most out of the few days we get to shoot.

We have decided to focus on common birds this year more then we usually would because really these birds are very often over looked and can make great subjects ! Some of these birds include: Swamp Sparrow, Yellow Rumped Warbler, American Black Duck, Northern Pintail, Northern Flicker. Also this year we are planning on really getting into using camo gear as much as possible because thinking back on last year; we missed a lot of shots that we could of easily nailed had we been camouflaged.


As promised here is a quick review of the jobu Jr.3 Gimbal head that is used by both Brad and I.