Sunday, 2 February 2014

February: A month of preparations

February for Brad and i is looking like a month of preparing for upcoming ideas and projects.
Yesterday we headed to Butterpot Provincial Park to set-up a feeding station in the hopes of photographing some boreal species such as the Northern-Three toed woodpecker or Boreal Chickadees. The resident park ranger Keith is going to keep a eye to our feeders and report to us if he gets anything of interest. Yesterday when we were setting up the new feeders birds were already taking to them and feeding. Thus far (1 day) there are juncos, black-capped chickadees, american goldfinch and pine siskins!

In addition to the seed feeders we set-up we also placed out some suet for woodpeckers like Northern Flicker, Downy and Hairy woodpeckers and possibly Northern Three-toed Woodpeckers. Now its just having patience and waiting for something good to show up to our little buffet in the woods.

After we got everything placed and set-up at Butterpot, we headed to Quidi Vidi Lake. 
Nothing new to report from the lake besides the nice Female Ring neck duck that has shown up. Other then that we got a few photos of the resident tufted ducks and Scaup. The peregrine was happily eating a starling in a near by tree and an otter made a short appearance and flushed almost everything in the pond. 
A beautiful drake Tufted Duck

When photographing Waterfowl one thing that i find is VERY important is your point of view. Too often i see people with great gear, probably better then mine shooting standing up; creating regular drab images with mostly water as the background.  I mean thats fine everyone has their own shooting style but for me and brad alike getting eye level with what we are shooting is a must. Even if that means lying in duck droppings, getting in the water or having rocks driving in our knees.
Both the images above and below were shot lying on the ice with our lenses as low as we can get them, the background in both images is a flock of gulls resting on the ice but because i am eye level with my subject the background is then further away allowing my 3000mm F2.8 ii to work its magic and create that nice out of focus blur for the background.

Hen Greater Scaup 

Black-headed Gull

Later this month if all goes well we will begin building nest boxes for this upcoming nesting season. 
Just like in past years we are building boxes for tree swallows and Boreal/Saw-Whet Owls.
Soon we will begin a video series involving reviews on some of the gear we both use and some of our photography techniques 

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