Thursday, January 28, 2010

Owls of Amherst Island

I was looking forward to going to Amherst Island last weekend, a place I had never been. And I wasn't disappointed. I stayed at a wonderful B&B, the Poplar Dell, which was very near Owl Woods, a portion of the Kingston Field Naturalists property. Thanks Susie for a great memory!

I found, with the help of others, a Boreal owl, a Saw-whet and a Barred owl. There were numberous other species which you could see from a distance, such as the 2-3 snowy owls.

And of course there are always chickadees, woodpeckers, and nuthatches around the feeders.

I wish to remind everyone who visits these woods, or photographs wildlife in general, to respect the animals and their needs. There were several people there with point and shoot cameras who walked right up (within 2 feet) of the roosting owls to take flash pictures. This is stressful to the birds. Please be respectful!

I hope to return in a couple of weeks and photograph the other owls and many hawks in the area.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Amherst Island Owls

This week I am ramping up to go to Amherst Island to photograph the owls that frequent there in the winter. I am getting excited as the have been several recent sightings of note.  There have been recent sightings of Boreal, long-earred, saw-whet, snowy and male Hooded Merganser mentioned by others, as well as lots of Mallards, Black Duck, Goldeneyes, Long-tailed Ducks, and Mergansers.

I'm afraid the weather forecast for rain will force me inside to the fireside and a glass of scotch.
Damn! Life is tough!

I hope to see some people I know there, and I hope to see some interesting birds.
My target is the snowy while hunting in the fields. I should be so lucky!

Anyway, good shooting my friends! Above all, have fun!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

January 10, 2010

Today Kate and I visited a few nearby birding areas. First stop was Lynde Shores Conservation Area in Whitby. This is a great place for kids, and we are two BIG KIDS!

Kate enjoyed feeling the birds pecking out of her hand.

From there we went to the nearest coffee shop to warm up! After that we went to Cranberry Marsh when several thousand Canada Geese were settling in for a rest. It seemed odd that they we sitting in the middle of a field but a local resident told us that there were coyotes in the woods that would come after them. Sitting in the middle of the field gave the geese a wide open area so they could see any danger coming a long way off.

We met a couple of very nice photographers while in Cranberry Marsh who told us about Thickson Woods, which was nearby, so off we went. We couldn't find anything there, but while there we learned that we were near, but not actually at the the Woods. Better luck next time!

Good shooting all!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Happy New Year!

Dear friends and fellow photographers!

This is my first entry of my blog, but certainly will not be my last. Do bear with me until the dust settles and we all get down to dealing with things of interest and I actually finish adding the content to my website.

I have been a photographic judge going on 20 years and I have seen the same issue every time I judge. My people have good 'seeing' ability yet they ignore the most fundamental aspect of photography: light. Many good subjects are chosen, but rarely does the maker take the time to get the best light for the subject.

This is not because they are in a hurry, but more often that they have an idea in their mind that isn't actaully in front of them. Let's all work on seeing light, understanding light and getting to the point of actually using light to create great images. It really is easier than you think. It also makes your images more enjoyable to capture and view later.

from left to right: Paul Hamel, Tanya Zakrison, Kate Kent, Kieran Hamel, Michelle Zakrison and Danielle Zakrison