Caught Red-Handed

My friend Nigel and I went out for a hike at Lynde Shores today. The trails at Lynde Shores are full of wildlife, most likely because they have several feeders on one of their popular trails. The Chickadee trail is only 500m long. On most winter days, you can find wild turkeys, chickadees, nuthatches, squirrels and more on this trail.

Goose Stretch

Under the walking bridge by the parking lot, ducks and geese were congregating in the river below. I got lucky when this goose decided to wash his feathers and put on quite the display doing so.

Mourning Dove

Starting on the Chickadee Trail, we spotted this Mourning Dove sitting on one of the trail fences.

Caught Red-Handed

The feeders are quite popular, and you won’t just see birds here. This squirrel was taking advantage of the free food. Do you think he looks a little worried that we’ve discovered him inside the feeder?

Red-Breasted Nuthatch

We stopped a little further down the trail and decided to take out the seed Nigel brought with him to feed the chickadees. Little did we know that this Red-breasted Nuthatch preferred to be feed by hand. When we put the seed on a nearby bench, to be able to free our hands to photograph, he scolded us from a branch above us. It wasn’t until we put the seed in our hand that he stopped scolding us and came down to eat. Someone’s a little spoiled.

Red Squirrel

We continued hiking, eventually coming to LeVay’s Lane trail, which looped us back towards the parking lot. On LeVay’s trail, we found this cute red squirrel, who couldn’t decide if we were friends or foes. After overcoming some of its fear, it came a little closer, and we were able to get a few photos.

It turned out to be a successful day out.

 

When Swans Irritate Herons

For another change of pace, my friend Nigel and I decided to head over to the Royal Botantical Gardens in Hamilton to do some birding. We decided to hike the trail along Cootes Paradise Marsh. We definitely choose the perfect trail because there were a lot of birds to photograph along here. A few in particular caught our attention. First a Snowy Egret was calming stalking the fish in the shallows of the lake.

Snowy Egret

Snowy Egret

We also watched a Blue Heron, which was out of range for my lens, catch a few fish as he stood stock still waiting for them to swim by. It was fascinating to watch, I just need a much longer lens to get some better shots. I still took the shots but they just didn’t make the cut.

As we continued along the loop I noticed some fungi growing on a log. After I sat my butt down to get a better shot, Nigel brought to my attention that if I looked past the log I would see something better. As I looked up I saw 3 beautiful white-tailed deer, unperturbed by our presence, munching away on the plants only a few feet away.

White-tailed Deer

White-tailed Deer

I was extremely lucky to get this up close and personal shot of one of the smaller deer. To clarify, he’s not sticking her tongue out at my but rather munching on those greens. I just happened to catch him at the right moment. And, that wasn’t the last surprise this place had for us.

Heron Eyeing Swan

Heron Eyeing Swan

As we neared the end of the trail we went off onto a small side trail where we startled a Blue Heron. It didn’t fly too far away before it settled back in the water. It was then that this large white swan started swimming up to the heron. The heron however, was having none of this, glaring at the swan as it swam closer, and then deciding the swan was too close for comfort, he flew away.

I love watching wildlife interactions and I wish they would happen more often when I’m out shooting. Overall it was a great day out and I came away with some good photos.

Unique Views

I can’t believe that since mid-March I’ve been expanding my macro photography skills by just shooting around my neighbourhood. Am I starting to get bored with just shooting macro all the time? Absolutely not because there are always unique views to find.

Unique views - Burdock

Burdock

Every time I head out I expect to see the same things, but there always seems to be something new to photograph, even if it’s from a different angle or even a different stage of something’s growth.

Flower

Flower

Of course, not everything I shoot with my macro lens is something up close or small. Sometimes I try to sneak up on a bird that’s balanced on a skinny branch.

Bird Silhouette

Bird Silhouette

Who then promptly flies away. Still it makes for an interesting image, don’t you think?

Jack Go To Bed at Noon

Do you ever wonder why some plants have the strangest names? There’s this interesting plant I keep seeing in the meadow behind the school. And it turns out it has a very strange name.

Jack Go to Bed at Noon

Jack Go to Bed at Noon

In my research to find out what I had photographed in the field, I found the name: Jack Go To Bed at Noon. The reason it’s called that is that this flower closes itself at noon, except on cloudy days. It does go by another name as well: Meadow Goatsbeard.

Jack Go To Bead At Noon Open

Jack Go To Bead At Noon at Seed Stage

The reason for that name is because when the flower goes to seed it apparently reminded someone of a goat’s beard. Can you think of a strange name from a flower you’ve come across? Let me know in the comments.

Robin

Robin

As I headed home a robin came to bid me farewell. Well, that’s what I like to think it did. 😀

Buttercups and Rockets

As I walked through the catwalk from my street to the creek path I was surprised by a little bird that decided to do some acrobatics in the tree beside me.

Just Hanging Around

Just Hanging Around

I have been unable to figure out what type of bird this is. I thought it might be a sparrow but its yellow beak is throwing me off. I couldn’t see the colouring on it’s back so I can only go by it’s beak and head stripes. I still think its a sparrow of some sort but in scouring my books I have had no luck in figuring it out. If you know, please tell me.

 After this pleasant surprise, I stuck to my regular shots of flowers.

Dames Rocket

Dames Rocket

This first bunch is of the pretty little Dames Rocket. They grow everywhere and they grow fairly tall.

Then I found this little buttercup.

Creeping Buttercup

Creeping Buttercup

A nice haul for today’s neighbourhood walk. Some new flowers and a spunky little bird. I wonder what tomorrow will bring?

From My Backyard

I didn’t get out for my walk today but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t anything to photograph. This grackle has a family it’s feeding hidden away in the branches in my neighbour’s evergreen. 

Grackle

Grackle

Our backyards are full of interesting critters if we pay attention.