Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Grouse , Kestrels and more...

Its been a great Spring so far, kind of long in coming, but now the weather seems to have gotten a lot warmer, I've been going out at every opportunity.
Plants are growing , butterflies are now winging their way across our backyard and the sound of birdsong is all around us.
My species list for the year is already nearing 150 and there's still more to come !

Here are some recent images taken on various trips in the countryside :

Sharp-tailed Grouse - This was taken on a magical morning last week at a local lek where there were around 30 of these Grouse, all trying to win the prize of a female mate. The two Males in this photo ran at each other like battering rams!



American Kestrel - On a recent drive I must have seen over 30 of these birds, mostly Males and only a few females. In the first photo I caught one just before it took off:




Yellow-bellied Sapsucker - this male was near Blackstrap Lake:



Wilson's Snipe - This newly arrived shorebird was foraging along an old highway slough:



Killdeer - Taken along the same stretch of highway:



Ruffed Grouse - I'm more used to seeing these up North, so its always a pleasure when you find one at a provincial park only half an hours drive away. The male here was drumming on this log to attract a mate:



Red Squirrel - This little guy was chattering away on a low branch at Pike Lake :

16 comments:

kjpweb said...

Excellent and a great variety - most of them I haven't seen in the wild yet - though I'm working on it!
Keep 'em coming!
Cheers, Klaus

Bird Girl said...

Nick, that first shot is a prize winner! You could sell that for sure with such action that only few are privy to. Bravo! Kestrels are my favorite and gee..this guy almost looks tame - how do you get so close to him?

Bird Girl said...

Oops..forgot to tell you how amazing that grouse picture is as well -- and drumming for his mate - unbelievable!
I see now that the first kestrel is a male and the second a female - I'm jealous!!!

The Birdlady said...

Nick, it's impossible to have a favorite - they are all stunning!

Nick S said...

Many thanks guys. I still have alot more to post yet. I'm slowly catching up :-)
The Kestrels were probably 25 feet out on the fenceposts, so providing they stayed still which 9 times out of 10 they didn't , you could get lucky with a shot.

Stacey Huston said...

A magical morning indeed! thanks for sharing!

Jotter Jan said...

Phenomenal photography as usual!!! Nick...you just make me want to lay my camera down!

Nick S said...

Don't you dare lay your camera down ! :-)

Rocky M said...

Nick my friend you are on a roll!To capture such a challenging species like the Kestrel...amazing.The Sharp Tailed Grouse dance is something I haven't even had the privelege to witness let alone a photo.The Ruffed Grouse shot is absolutely beautiful.How on earth does one find one of these? We have to start calling you the bird whisperer.lol

Take care,
Rocky

Nick S said...

Thanks Rocky :-) That day was amazing for Kestrels as they were on a migratory route and were pretty much every few k or so . Some flew and some would stay, but must flew lol.

I heard the Ruffed Grouse drumming before I saw it. They tend to give themselves away when they do that :-)
Saying that, they are amazingly camouflaged and you won't always see one even if its right by the road !

John Theberge said...

I enjoy visiting your blog, your photos are truely inspiring.

Shellmo said...

Wow - the picture of the grouse battling was a 1st for me. All your photos on this post are fantastic.

Nick S said...

Thanks guys !

Aunt "B's" Backyard said...

Nick, 'You're the Man'!
Price-winning from the very beginning!!

Sandpiper said...

What a fantastic variety! I would love to see some of these things someday. The action in the first picture is amazing! All wonderful pictures.

Nick S said...

Many thanks again:-)