Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Lac La Peche Birding

Ok, I've finally gotten around to doing an update ! I've been working and traveling , so have lots to catch up on...

Last week, my wife and I had our annual stay at the resort of Lac La Peche, a beautiful and quiet place to stay near the town of Blaine Lake, SK.

The weather for the first two days ended up being quite windy with cloudy skies, making birding fairly difficult. The wind was so strong at times, that all you could hear were the trees and not much else!

On the last day , things started looking and sounding much better, and I ended up getting some semi-decent photos, a few of which I'm quite proud of.

As far as species go, I also managed to snag another lifer. A vocal Willow Flycatcher was calling beside the lake on our first day. Luckily I heard him before the wind really got up !

Here are the photos. Click to see full size ...

Black & White Warbler - This is one of my favourite Warblers. I heard him singing on the last day and was able to eventually locate him and then get the shot. Finally, I have a photo of one I'm truly happy with :

Willow Flycatcher - Hearing it's " fitz bew " call, I found this fleetingly obliging bird close to the waters edge.

Le Conte's Sparrow - A sparrow I have wanted a decent photo of for a few years now. I spent over 2 hours sitting in a marsh getting bitten by horseflies for these shots. Sometimes its worth getting a few nips for the love of your craft :-)

Evening Grosbeak - Its always a treat to see this species during the summer, as I usually only get to see them up north during the winter.
The top portrait is of a young bird:

Merlin - I found this handsome falcon early one morning after a light rain. He was calling non stop. I don't think he enjoyed getting a soak :

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker - There were many juveniles around, but its the adult males that have the real pizazz :

Purple Finch - Speaking of resplendent males, here's a Purple Finch that was near our cabin on the last day :

House Wren - This Wren was giving me a hard time, so I got a couple of quick shots, choosing a decent angle with nothing behind him, then let him be :

Gray Catbird - I almost didn't see this Catbird at first, then suddenly he hopped onto this tree out in the open for me, and very kindly turned to pose :


Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Fantastic shots,every one of them.

Kelly said...

I would love to see a Le Conte's Sparrow. He is a very handsome bird--and you've taken such beautiful photos. Incredible. The Black and White is gorgeous.......and the Willow Flycatcher, stunning. I saw my first just a few weeks ago.

holdingmoments said...

Back with a bang mate. Every shot a winner in my book.
That Black & White Warbler has some amazing markings, for just two colours.

A great selection.

Jann said...

Fantastic photos! Your vacation sounds like it was wonderful overall. Congrats on the flycatcher lifer.

The Birdlady said...

Every single one is a masterpiece.

Rocky M said...

What can I say Nick..stunning images!
I was surprised that the Willow Flycatcher was a lifer for you but then I guess their range is more to the southern part of the province.

Keep up the great work !


Peggy said...

Nice series on vacation! Loved the Purple Finch, they sure don't get that purple down here! Congrats on the Lifer!

Dan Huber said...

Wonderful photos - love the black and white warbler


Shelley said...

Hi Nick - many fantastic photos in spite of your weather conditions! :-) I love the evening grosbeak - I usually get to see them in the autumn up at our cabin.

Nick S said...

Thanks for the nice words guys :-)

Mike said...

Absolutely stunning mate, the eye detail is spot on I can almost see your lense :) I defo need to get back into my bird pics.

Suzanne said...

Great shots, Nick. And so many of them, too! Quite a luxury.

I love moose and using your search couldn't find any pictures by you. I'd love to see one of your pictures if you have one. I really enjoy the critters you show as well as the birds.

Nick S said...

Cheers guys :-)
Suzanne ,I did get a Moose shot a few weeks back, I just haven't gotten round to that one yet for some reason !

Chris Petrak said...

Great photos Nick. Your close-up head of the LeConte's looks like it could be a young bird - hints of red at back of beak (don't know the tech term), but then I haven't seen one of those in 25 years and not close, so I'm not sure I can make the judgment. Thanks for your help with cameras - I'm off for seabirding tomorrow with new 50D & 100-400 lens.

Nick S said...

Good luck Chris and thanks.