2012 in pictures

As promised, or was that threatened, here are my personal favourite photos taken by me in 2012. I present them in no particular order, mainly because I find that the new WordPress template for inserting photos doesn’t let me see the obvious place to put text associated with the photo. You, being clever people, will be able to read the text first then figure out which photo I’m talking about.

Immature Black-crowned Night-Herons – digiscoped. My digiscoping skills are low to awful and so I was quite pleased with this one. Most of the problem revolves around the fact that I bounced the camera off a hard floor so the zoom is temperamental. I also hand hold only so shake creeps in. I could probably think of other excuses but…

Great and Double-crested Cormorant side by side – Canon 100-400mm zoom lens (big camera). I just like the way I accidentally got this view. It was from a moving boat and the birds perched all around were in the process of having a panic attack as seabirds are often wont to do. This close with this comparison they are easy to tell apart but try that with lone birds at 600+m and you are tested somewhat and anyone who says otherwise is deluding themselves.

Greater Sheawater  – big camera. I took a million shots of these on two trips out to sea off the east coast but I would say I like less than ten of them. This one has some action in it and for that I just find it appealing.

Buff-breasted Sandpiper – digiscoped. Not a perfect image but certainly a perfect bird even with a limp. After taking this photo the bird flushed to an adjacent open area and I sat and waited with the big camera while it pottered closer. All the while it approached it was very active and nervous. I had a mind’s eye of getting one of those great buff-breast photos that you see from time to time, perfect focus and lighting but, alas, the flock flushed when perhaps 30m away and closing and it was not to be. The fact that this digishot is my favourite over all of the shots taken with the big camera is  what keeps me trying with the digiscoping.

Rose-breasted Grosbeak – big camera. I just like the chunkiness of this shot.

Eastern Bluebird – big camera. I finally got my local bluebirds to relax by parking and waiting. A pair fed along a fence line and gradually worked their way along, this male coming closest. Not perfect but what a bird. Sad to think that their area, Chemin Fief, is to be developed with however many hundred new dwellings and the bacon slicer of humanity steals another bit of the World from the rest of the animals, bit by bit one sliver at a time.

Sandhill Crane – big camera. I love these big birds, their voices warm your bones every time and this beauty, on a rather grey day but when I was out with a couple form the UK (and Wales) performed so well. Yes, the lighting could be better but I was happy with it.

Ovenbird – big camera. Our friends Peter and Andrea have a Love Shack out in New York State where they can escape for the odd weekend. We dropped in (invited) and Andrea and I took a walk, she wanting to try to take photos of birds. The woods were quiet around the site but I played a snatch of Ovenbird song and whoomph, this bird came in and spent a couple of minutes walking around, doing a bit of singing and just generally strutting his stuff. These boys usually take a bit of picking out when they are singing from the depths but this one was a show off. After a couple of minutes it became clear why. We had inadvertently chanced on the boundary of a territory and a second bird came along, both then told each other where the line was. The use of playback had set them off doing something they would do regularly anyway and the long days and plenty of local insects meant that we had not intruded into their lives too much. It was worth it and Andrea got a photo too.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird – big camera. Even though we have lived in North America since 2003 I still marvel at the presence of these tiny birds. This year we went overboard with nectar feeders and the autumn saw several birds present most days. Late afternoon was most active and the lazy option of sitting on the deck with a cool drink and snapping the birds as they buzzed in. I just like the movement in this one.

Rusty Blackbird – big camera. I just like the colour tones on this one and the fact that it is the best shot I’ve managed of one so far. I actually like the ‘black’ birds, even though they empty the feeders in minutes. The rusties are the more elusive ones here until autumn when they can be everywhere. Sometimes in spring I find a local choir of males and one day I’ll get a crisp shot of one.

White-throated Sparrow – big camera. I whistled this one in and it sang away at me thinking I was looking at his bird.

Eastern Screech-Owl – big camera. I just love the setting for this. The owl and its location became something of an open secret, largely to the generosity of its finder in sharing. I have no doubt many visitors to its stump enjoyed it as much as I did and, really, that is what it is all about.

Rough-legged Hawk – big camera. We see these all winter around us but they rarely come close. Usually, when you pass one on a utility pole they don’t give you a second chance but this one did and I was grateful.

Alder Flycatcher – big camera. Not a remarkable photo but not terrible either. This bird had been in skirmishes with another around some phragmites. I waited, it landed and I got it, simple. I just like the detail.

So there are the bird photos. In truth I could probably come up with any number of photos but these will do. I’ll do something similar on the dragonfly blog when I get a moment but for now I hope you enjoy these.

DSCN5260 grzbk IMG_0002 IMG_0943 IMG_1151 IMG_2510 IMG_2850 IMG_3292 IMG_3826 IMG_4313 IMG_5204 IMG_5700 IMG_6106 IMG_8258

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