For the Birds

I am spending quiet times at the pond, given that Max is injured.  He’s at the end of the umbilical leash, quiet, but cranky about my dawdling at the pond’s edge and making only one circle of the water…stopping frequently to gaze at various species.

I’m learning to use my camera bit by bit, but really have a lot to learn.  Honestly, the most amazing things I’ve seen recently are rarely photographed because I’m either too slow or I really don’t care.  I get wrapped up in the moment.

I’m learning how much light has to do with photography.  I always knew it…light and, more importantly, dark are essential to painting and the establishment of contrast, but to photography, even more so.  I think there needs to be a degree of drama and also narrative in a good photograph.  I dawdle so much because I’m looking for those sorts of stories.

I’ve been watching the American Coots a lot lately, just because of the shear numbers of them at Frank’s Flats.  Here’s Audubon’s version offered up by the Toronto Public Library.

aud-plate-239 Toronto Public Library American Coot Audubon, John James, 1785-1851I haven’t taken a single photograph of the coots, but I’m very caught up in the drama that surrounds these strangely disproportionate birds.  They are constantly picking fights with other water fowl, same species or not.  Wild chases erupt most times when they are around.  Also, they get extremely amorous, sticking their beaks into the water and fanning out their rear feathers, all the while, shaking their butts.  Most amazing, are their young!  Long strings of eight, nine and ten ducklings following mamas and then day after day…fewer and fewer in number; likely good pickings for crows, magpies and other like-spirited birds.  But the most amazing is the physical appearance of the baby coots!

Rob English of Birds Calgary took this photograph in July of 2011. What’s NOT to love about these goofy red headed little guys?

Photo Credit: Rob English Birds Calgary 2011

Photo Credit: Rob English Birds Calgary 2011

I don’t even know what these birds are called…just a sec…I’ll look.  Uh huh…a Savannah Sparrow, or as Audubon would have us know it, a Savannah Finch.

Savanah Finch_090706110723 AudubonMy capture this evening…

©Kathleen Moors  Photo Credit Please

©Kathleen Moors Photo Credit Please

and…more animated, but perhaps less focused (and heck if I know).  These are so petite and so delicate…it makes me wonder about the complexity of my Father-Jesus-Spirit God that these creatures are so ‘wonderfully’ made.

©Kathleen Moors Photo Credit Please

©Kathleen Moors Photo Credit Please

I checked in on Mr. and Mrs. Osprey.  I have no idea how to accomplish a photograph of a bird in flight, but if ever there is one that should be properly captured flying, it is an osprey.  The male has been such a diligent partner and I have seen him feed mama daily.  I’m getting the feeling that she has wee ones because today her behaviour at the nest was very different.  Or, perhaps she just found a fish dropped in front of her.  Not certain.  These photographs are always taken a great distance away and I’m not getting the best quality as a result.  I find that photos early in the morning, while aiming west, are the best.  I’m so grateful that I have had opportunity to watch this nesting from the very first stick that was dragged across the width of all lanes on 22X.

Osprey by Audubon: Toronto Public Library

Osprey by Audubon: Toronto Public Library

©Kathleen Moors

©Kathleen Moors

Dad was a long way off, but always faithful to his duties.  Bare tree branches were filled with crows and magpies.  They frequently hang out with him, as they like to have such a great fisherman as their very best friend.

©Kathleen Moors

©Kathleen Moors

http://columbiawireless.ca/?fb_ref=Default

This guy…some type of hawk and his buddies find lamp posts to perch upon, no matter how busy the neighbouring road or high way.  At a moment’s notice, they dive down and I’ve seen them carrying all sorts of rodents.  He was marching about in the tall grass at one point.  I’m not certain his specific variety, but I wouldn’t be messing with those talons, if I was a mouse.  This character seems to have a thing for numbers. I think this may be a Harlan’s Red-Tailed Hawk, but my Dad will confirm once he checks out this post. (Hmmm…thinking it’s a Swainson’s Hawk…YUPPER!  Forget everything I said about a Red-Tailed Hawk!)  John James Audubon referred to the Swainson’s Hawk as being a Common Buzzard.

Swainson's Hawk (common buzzard)

Audubon: Harlan's Red-Tailed Hawk

Audubon: Harlan’s Red-Tailed Hawk

©Kathleen Moors

©Kathleen Moors

Kath's Canon June 19, 2015 Garden Frank's Flats Birds Super 3s 145

©Kathleen Moors

Hmmm…I was going to bash out tile tonight and it’s already eight in the evening.  The spaghetti squash is done.  It’s time for me to get going. (Nah…one more!)

I met up with this guy at one location and stood quite a distance away.  His antics stepping in and around the water were fabulous, but of course, I was watching and not shooting.  A very fuzzy capture of a Black Crowned Night Heron.

Audubon: Black Crowned Night Heron

Audubon: Black Crowned Night Heron

©Kathleen Moors

©Kathleen Moors

In the meantime, in the neighbourhood, the magpies squawk at the feral cats…the sparrows continue their romance in the vent across from my kitchen window,  the robins go bob bob bob along, tugging long worms out of the grass after every rainfall and one beautiful song bird visits a large back yard tree on the alley every morning. I delight in nature…in what grows.  I am grateful that I am able to enjoy such wonders.

One thought on “For the Birds

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