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A Spring Outing

March 24th, 2014 No comments

A Spring Outing

Graeme wanted to get out on the trail to obtain some high speed shots of birds in flight with his Sony NEX-FS700 with SELP18200 lens.The easiest place to do that is on the many trails in the National Capital Commission’s Greenbelt where the Chickadees and Nuthatches are quite happy to come in close and personal to obtain a sunflower seed or two from outstretched hands. Graeme was shooting at 1080p and either 240fps or 480fps. I on the other hand was shooting with my Nikon D300 and a 70-300 f2.8 lens. I restricted myself to 1 frame at a time. My finger can’t click at 480fps LOL. I hadn’t been out on the trails much this winter, so was a willing participant and offered him a hand – actually offered to hold out my hand with an offering of sunflower seeds.  The temperature has continued to be rather chilly so winter clothing was a necessity and outstretched hands can become uncomfortably cold rather quickly.

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It was a Sunday, so the birds had already seen plenty of outstretched hands offering all sorts of bird seed. All along the trails, there were small piles of seed left behind by hikers and skiiers sharing the trails with the birds and the squirrels. After leaving a few seeds scattered among the snow-covered branches of the cedars alongside one portion of the trail, so that Graeme would have plenty of winged visitors to photograph, I headed further along the Sarsaparilla Trail to see if there was anything else that might catch my attention.

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There had been reports of a Barred Owl in the area and others had seen a Porcupine sleeping in the higher branches of the trees, but I saw neither. Often, when I walk along this trail, I will be greeted by a Blue Jay or two, but this particular day, the Chickadees were my only companions. There were signs that a Pileated Woodpecker had recently been hard at work, but as this large woodpecker tends to be a bit wary of humans. I suspect that this particular woodpecker had taken a few days off from its labours to avoid the weekend crowds of humans.

014_9211-Chickadee  014_9214-viewing-platform

014_9218-Pileated-holesWhen we arrived back at the parking lot, we found that someone had left a copious supply of seeds and peanuts at that spot, so we stopped again to watch the Chickadees and Red Squirrels return time after time for another bit of food to add to their cache. As we were about to leave, a Red-Breasted Nuthatch joined in and returned a few times.

014_9221-Chickadee 014_9222-Chickadee

014_9224-r-b--nuthatchOur next stop was the Bird Rescue center.  Although the sunshine was sufficient to melt some of the snow on the roof, it was still quite chilly when not in the sunshine.

014_9231Icicles-After that stop, we headed over to the Old Quarry Trail, hoping to see a White-tailed Deer or two. We saw only one doe this time around, and she was a bit skittish and raised her tail in alarm as the X/C skiiers passed by. The Chickadees and Red Squirrels were happy to entertain us, though, and in addition to a few Red-breasted Nuthatches, our more common feathered friends were also joined by one White-breasted Nuthatch. The sky was blue and the sun angle was warming, so I was able to tolerate standing with my hand out for quite a lengthy period of time, as about 20 Chickadees swooped in, one after another, to pick out their favourite seeds. Red Squirrels watched on waiting for their opportunity to run in and get something to eat.

014_9245-w-b-nuthatch  014_9253-red-squirrel 014_9256-Red-SquirrelTwo years earlier, the temperature was significantly warmer and snow had all melted away.  Not this year, though!!!  Nice to be able to interact with the birds and mammals we find along the trails and provide them with a few more seeds to help them get through the winter.

Visiting the Chickadees on Old Quarry Trail, Kanata, Ontario

November 9th, 2012 No comments

Visiting the Chickadees on Old Quarry Trail, Kanata, Ontario

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A short walk in Ottawa’s Greenbelt

September 14th, 2012 No comments

A short walk in Ottawa’s Greenbelt

My purpose for being out the trail today was to try out Graeme’s Nikon D70s which he had internally modified a few years ago to use as a dedicated IR camera. I was also carrying along my normal D300 equipped with my much older 55mm Macro lens. This post just includes some of the images that I took with the regular camera. For a look at the IR images from the modified D90, see here: IR Photography.

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IR Photography

September 13th, 2012 2 comments

IR Photography

A few years ago, Graeme converted his Nikon D70S to an dedicated IR camera and has produced some interesting results using the camera. Today, I decided to take the camera out for a short walk through some nearby fields and trails. Rather interesting how the shots turn out so differently in IR compared to full spectrum.

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Old Quarry Trail deer – August 2012

August 15th, 2012 No comments

Old Quarry Trail deer – August 2012

I hadn’t been out for a walk on the Old Quarry Trail in Kanata, Ontario for awhile so it was nice to be able to walk there again today and find some of the deer that I knew from past visits Read more…

Mer Bleue – A Summer Visit

July 17th, 2012 No comments

Mer Bleue – A Summer Visit

We had a few tasks that needed to be attended to in the east end of the city but had them out of the way earlier than expected and ended up having a bit of breakfast in the Orleans Mall. Not gourmet breakfast but we didn’t want much! Read more…

Am I on the right track? :-)

April 20th, 2012 1 comment

Am I on the right track? 🙂


April 18, 2012 – The winds, that I discussed in an earlier post , have now headed east and the sky is blue, so off I go again to photograph the Magnolias at the Experimental Farm.

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Wind! Wildlife! Hockey!

April 16th, 2012 1 comment

Wind!Lots of Wind! Wildlife! Hockey!
I didn’t have much exciting planned this afternoon when I opened the door and headed out to my car with my camera equipment. I thought that I might like to head to the Experimental Farm and photograph the Magnolias and other flowering trees. Then the wind and heat hit me right in the face. +26C or higher and wind gusts forecast in the 60kph- 90kph range! Read more…

A Little Outing – Shirley’s Bay, Dick Bell Park, Andrew Hadyn Park, Mud Lake, Old Quarry Trail

March 30th, 2012 No comments

Shirley’s Bay, Dick Bell Park, Andrew Hadyn Park, Mud Lake, Old Quarry Trail

March 25, 2002 – The weather wasn’t as nice and warm as it had been in recent weeks but I decided that I needed some fresh air and exercise so convinced Graeme to come along and off we went on a circuit of some of the local area parks.

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Kanata, Ontario heat wave – +27C – March 20th, 2012

March 20th, 2012 1 comment

Kanata, Ontario heat wave – +27C – March 20th, 2012

Not sure what the official high temperature for the day might have been but at one point the thermometer in my car indicated that the outside temperature was +27C. In Lethbridge Alberta, the Women’s World Curling Championships are being played with whirling snow not far away while here in Ontario shorts are being worn instead of winter jackets.

My crocuses are flowering away ahead of schedule. Green shoots for my other Spring-flowering bulbs like tulips and daffodils are popping up everywhere.
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