Thursday, 25 May 2023

Pelee Island

On the 2nd weekend in May I made the annual pilgrimage to the hallowed ground of Pelee Island to enjoy some excellent migration and R&R.  We were stationed at the 'Cedar House' right behind the (former) bakery on Sheridan's Point.  We were disappointed to learn that the bakery, a fixture of the island, has now closed permanently.  

Molly and Amy had a great time on the trails looking for snakes and salamanders and enjoying the spring wildflowers and beaches.  I spent some time trying out the new Fuji lens (150-600mm), and I was quite happy with how it performed.  A few of my favourite shots are below:

Palm Warbler

Black-throated Blue Warbler

Black-throated Blue Warbler

The first morning I was on the island I walked out to Fish Point and there was a decent reverse migration happening.  A few pelicans were also around.

American White Pelican

I always enjoy the reorientation flights, whereby birds that have overshot the night before attempt to correct things by flying back out across the lake.  This gives lots of opportunities to do some in flight photography.  Most of these birds were very high and as such the shots are heavily cropped.
Cliff Swallow

Baltimore Oriole

Baltimore Oriole

Baltimore Oriole

Blue Jay

Baltimore Oriole

Eastern Wood-Pewee

Orchard Oriole

Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Indigo Bunting

Orchard Oriole

Green Heron

Yellow Warbler missing tail feathers!


American Redstart

Common Yellowthroat


Ferry dock in early AM

Great Egret in the rain

A wild Amy enjoying the hammock

Bay-breasted Warbler

Wilson's Warbler

Cape May Warbler

Magnolia Warbler

Tunnel of trees on Sheridan Point road

Molly walking off into the sunset

Once again, we had an amazing time on the island.  More family memories to cherish.

Wednesday, 18 January 2023

The Bleak Mid-Winter

 We are currently in the bleak mid-winter, and although there is very little snow on the ground currently, that wasn't the case just a few weeks ago when the now infamous blizzard of '22 struck.

Grand River in mid-January

Our family was down with the in-laws in Stevensville for Christmas and the ferocious blizzard left us without power for nearly 3 days.  When all the flakes had settled, there was more snow than I have ever seen!

My plan to get out and bird the Niagara River was mostly ruined, but I was able to snap this photo of a pair of Bald Eagles that survived the blizzard just fine!  I am really enjoying the new 150-600mm fuji lens.  It is tack sharp even at maximum length and widest aperture.

Saturday, 20 August 2022

White Goat Wilderness Trip Report

 The past week I was graced with the opportunity to travel once again to the Canadian Rockies in search of wilderness, solitude and whatever the mountains would give me.  My travelling companion was Mountain Mike and we had a fantastic time!  As I am short on time these days, I have provided an abridged trip report that includes mostly my faviourite photos of the trip.  

We started our journey at the Nigel Creek Trailhead in Jasper National Park and hiked far into the wild and remote White Goat Wilderness for a 6 day journey.  

We woke at 3am local time and made our way 3.5hrs northwest of Calgary towards the trailhead.  A cotton candy sunrise blanketed the sky as we wound our way through the mountain roads.  Upon arriving at the trailhead we made our way towards Nigel Pass and then onwards to the Cataract Pass area and White Goat Wilderness beyond.

Nigel Pass area

Looking towards Cataract Pass

White-tailed Ptarmigan

Fledged White-tailed Ptarmigan

Campsite at the lake near Cataract Pass

Camp 1 at Cataract Pass - it is actually lake front 

Baird's Sandpipers

Cataract Pass

First look at Bighorn Sheep

Cresting Cataract Pass

Goodbye Jasper, hello White Goat Wilderness!

Cline Pass area

Least Sandpiper

Snow near our campsite

Campsite near Cline Pass area, note white tent in lower left

View down valley towards Brazeau River

Marmot eating flowers

Golden Eagle

Astrophotography - caught a shooting star in the mid-right!

Gray-crowned Rosy-Finches (adult and young)

Clark's Nutcracker

Climbing Cline Pass

Top of Cline Pass - 9,000+ft

Cline Pass- not sure why its called a pass, looks like only goats could pass this.

Cold Blue

American Dipper

Window on the West - after the rain

Least Sandpiper

Bighorn Sheep!

A long way down

They made it down - apparently for fun as they could have just walked around

Last night camping.  Valley paradise!

Bumble Bee at 1/8000th of a second.

Aurora Borealis intermingled with a late sunset and stars - 1230am

Bighorn Sheep kids

What an amazing trip!  I look forward to the next time I can get out again to spots that are still wild!