Well, looking out the window today, I do see small signs of Spring’s arrival and I can’t wait for the tulips, crocuses and other spring flowers to burst into flower. As a gardener and a photographer, it is my favourite season! That is why I was feeling a bit down when we were still getting snow in March and many of the days were still cold and windy. I was tired of taking photos of barren landscapes…everything seemed to be brown. I needed to see some colour and life!
At the beginning of March, following my visit to Second Marsh, I was bitten by the “bug”….taking photos of birds. Photographing flowers has some challenges but I was not accustomed to “shooting” subjects that rarely remain in one spot for long. As well, tree branches commonly obscure the bird or owl and water fowl tend to be such a distance away that they appear as tiny specks in my longest lens at 280 mm. And then, where to go
I started asking club members for the best spots in Durham to see birds and especially owls, and the common reply was Thickson’s Woods (Whitby) and Hall’s Rd. (Ajax). On March 4th, I set out for Hall’s Rd. and when I drove down toward Lake Ontario, I could see a number of people on the east side of the road with tripods set up. I stopped the car, grabbed my camera and tripod and joined them. On a tree, a few yards away, was a barred owl! It was so beautiful and a co-operative subject as it remained almost motionless for at least 40 minutes. Suddenly it dove down to the ground and back up into another tree. Looking more closely, I realized the owl had a vole which he quicly devoured in 4 bites. I even took a few shots of that process…not so pretty but reality, I guess. The other photographers willingly helped me with different camera settings to get better results from behind my lens. So, as well as “meeting” the well-known Hall’s Rd. owl, I met many people who have an amazing passion and knowledge about birds and photography. Many of them show their photos on www.pixel-shooters.com . During March, I visited Thickson’s Woods, Lynde Shores and Hall’s Rd. numerous times. Every time I went out, I met at least one more person who made an impression on me. One of these people, Joe Noordman, has names for many of the birds on Hall’s Rd…..”Jack” the blue jay who will eat peanuts in the shell right from his hand and “Stubby”, a shy chickadee who apparently was attacked by a hawk that damaged his tail and one leg, who will eat small pieces of peanuts from his hand . Check out www.joenoordman.smugmug.com. to see his amazing photographs. Thanks, Joe for your help and encouragement!
I will attach a slideshow of some of my better shots taken on my frequent March outings.
I would think that photographing birds would be a greater challenge than flowers. They don’t exactly stay still and pose for you.
You are right! Mind you, the owl along Hall’s Road does seem to “pose” but perhaps he’s such a good hunter that he is undisturbed by the many people who come to see him. Hope you are still enjoying your photography!