Archive

Archive for the ‘Sarsaparilla Trail’ Category

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.

014_9206-Graeme

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.

014_9207-shadow 014_9208-trail

014_9215-leaves

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.

More Chickadee Feeding on the Sarsaparilla Trail

December 26th, 2011 No comments

More Chickadee Feeding on the Sarsaparilla Trail

The amount of snow that we received on Christmas Day was not spectacular but definitely enough to turn everything white! Read more…

Negotiating the Sarsaparilla and Jack Pine Trails

December 22nd, 2011 3 comments

Negotiating the Sarsaparilla and Jack Pine Trails

The freezing rain stopped at about midnight and the day started off with some blue sky and temperatures slightly above freezing.  This meant that walking the trails would be a bit of a challenge. Read more…

Sarsaparilla Trail and the Chickadees (again :-))

November 5th, 2011 No comments

Sarsaparilla Trail and the Chickadees (again :-))
It was a perfect Fall day with temperatures above freezing, a beautiful blue sky overhead and little or no wind so I took a few minutes away from the computer to go out on the Sarsaparilla Trail in Ottawa’s National Capital Commission Greenbelt. The parking lot was full. That is always a good indication that the birds will be well fed as families and individuals stop at various locations along the trail to offer up a handful of seeds for the accommodating Chickadees.
Read more…

Chickadees and More: Sarsaparilla Trail, Ottawa

October 16th, 2011 No comments

Chickadees and More: Sarsaparilla Trail, Ottawa

Recent rains and high winds have stripped many of the trees of their Autumn colours. That hasn’t stopped people coming out to the Sarsaparilla Trail in Ottawa’s Greenbelt and sticking out their hands for the Chickadees to come a’calling.

Read more…

Trying out the repaired 80-200 f2.8

September 9th, 2011 2 comments

I haven’t been out on the woodland trails much this summer (soccer injuries, international travel, other family commitments, etc), so when I received my 80-200mm f2.8 back from Nikon’s repair depot, that was all that I needed as a reason to head out to the close-by Sarsaparilla Trail with a bag of sun flower seeds in my hand to visit the local wildlife that I hadn’t visited since early in the Spring. It was a bit late in the day and the lighting in the woods was a bit tricky for photography but it wasn’t long before I had the Chickadees eating out of my hand, the chipmunks scurrying among the leaves at my feet to find the dropped seeds, a red squirrel coming to the handful of seeds placed on the nearby log, and the Blue Jay patiently waiting in the branches overhead hoping that I would leave a few seeds behind for him as well. A female Downy Woodpecker thumped methodically at the trunk of a nearby tree and a White-Breasted Nuthatch flew by a few times but not within camera range. Glad I had a reason for a walk in the woods. It was nice to get away from steel and concrete again if only for a short period of time.


Read more…

Ottawa Greenbelt Trails – Sarsaparilla Trail

April 2nd, 2011 No comments

After dropping off my father following our earlier outing to Ashton, Ontario, I decided that a stop at nearby Sarsaparilla Trail might yield some photo opportunities. I rather hoped that I might get some nice shots of the white-breasted nuthatches and the red-breasted nuthatches that are frequently in the same area as the Chickadees. Instead, I found a female Hairy Woodpecker hammering away on an old paper birch.
Read more…

Chickadees and more Chickadees

February 26th, 2011 No comments

My brother flew in from Vancouver with his dog, Gilbert, last night for a visit with my father. After we stopped for a bit of lunch, my father suggested that he was up for a bit of a walk to feed the chickadees and maybe see the deer on Ottawa’s Greenbelt trails. So, without further prodding, off the three of us went to look for the Chickadees. The Chickadees and I have been seeing a lot of each other this week :-).
Read more…

Feeding those Chickadees and Nuthatches again – Sarsaparilla Trail, Ottawa

February 24th, 2011 No comments

My cycling partner was in town today so off we went to the Greenbelt Trails in search of Ottawa’s ferocious chickadees that attack the visitors’ hands in search of nourishment. They don’t really attack, but I always tell visitors that! Adds a bit to the suspense of the moment when the hand is outstretched waiting for something to happen.


Read more…

Chickadees and More – Sarsaparilla Trail – Bell’s Corners, Ottawa

December 4th, 2010 No comments

Chickadees and More – Sarsaparilla Trail – Bell’s Corners, Ottawa

The Chickadees were hungry today and quickly cleaned out my supply of black sunflower seeds. Didn’t take long before two fellows came along the trail and these two fellows were even nicer than I was – their seeds were already shelled :-).


Read more…

%d bloggers like this: