Thursday 8 October 2020

Watching Hawks

I had the pleasure of doing some raptor surveys for work this past week, down in Haldimand County.  I took the opportunity to practice shooting these challenging subjects with the new camera!  Below are a few that turned out alright.  All of them are fairly heavily cropped, so not the sharpest, but a good start anyways!

Red-tailed Hawk - quite a pale individual!

There were quite a few Peregrine Falcons around this week.  I enjoyed watching them zip past, occasionally taking a swipe at starlings and other hapless birds.
Peregrine Falcon

Cooper's Hawk

Several Bald Eagles were also around, including this juvenile bird, with a pesky crow escort.

Same bird as above

Bald Eagle and American Crow

Turkey Vulture

The most exciting moment came when a male American Kestrel whizzed by like lightning, with a Merlin in hot pursuit! I scarcely had time to grab my camera.  My first photo below is out of focus, but shows the Merlin above diving at the kestrel, which has flipped upside down to meet the attacking bird. 

The Merlin chased the kestrel over the tree tops and out of site, and I thought this was the last I would see of these two small falcons.

However, moments later the Merlin returned and was being pursued by both the male and now a female kestrel!  As seen below, the larger Merlin again turned the tables and chased the female.  Eventually the Merlin disembarked and disappeared into the setting sun.

Below is my favourite shot.  Merlins are one of my favourite birds to watch.  They are very active and busy, always stirring up trouble!

Friday 2 October 2020

Elora Gorge Fall Photo Shoot

This morning I got up early and zipped over to the Elora Gorge to hike around and take some photos.  I feel very fortunate to have such a nice area nearby to explore.  On early mornings and late in the season, it is a quiet area to wander around in, despite sitting within the town of Elora!  I think I was a hair early for really good fall colours, although much of the gorge is rimmed by cedars, so I'm not sure how much better it will get.

The rocks are slick down along the river, and you certainly need to watch your step!  Just last week 2 people had to be rescued from the gorge for an accident near the river.

Staircase to the underworld of the gorge