Violet Green Swallow resting on a branch after hours of swooping for bugs.
Swooping swallows ( Violet Green Swallow above ) Like a symphony of wings. (12 slides)
Barn Swallow at the pond .. Their erratic flight makes them quite tricky to photograph
Common Yellowthroat ... A marvellous maker of bird melodies, but I always find these tiny gems difficult to approach. Both these images heavily cropped... * click to enlarge*
Today was my second visit to this amazing little nest in the city! I spent 2-1/2 hours to take a handful of photos and this 5 minute video.
Mom was sitting on the nest when I arrived and 1.5 hours later she was still there... wow.. Then suddenly she decided to forage for food (which is generally a combination of tiny insects and nectar) She spent about 40 minutes foraging and at least 3 times during that period, I heard her wings, thought she was returning and clicked on the record button, but turned out she was just checking the nest. I shot about 25 minutes of just the nest on video before deciding to head home. Then as I was taking down my camera gear I heard her in the next yard. I quickly got the video going and just like that she arrived... but I was in plain view and she literally froze. She and I were both like the preverbal Deer in the Headlights... After several seconds I slipped away and out of her sight, but you won't see her feed the 2 youngsters until the 4-1/2 minute mark.
There are many sweet birds singing in the background and on this clip, I turned off the internal camera stabilizers and auto focus so the sound quality is better than the last one.
You can view this directly on youtube if you want a larger image by clicking on the youtube link on the bottom right of the video frame one you load it. Thank you for all of your comments and likes ... Its a real pleasure to be able to peek into these tiny lives and share these moments with you! I will try to bring you updates every 4 days or so ..
All the very best... TerryV
Can you spot the nest???
Momma Anna's feeds her newly hatched babies (2)
One hatched on April 24th the other April 25th ...
* sorry about the audio clicks.
I set up the camera on auto focus,(and the internal mic amplifies the sound) turned it on and walked away.
Set-up was about 20+ feet away using a 600 mm optics* and tripod... Thanks for looking.. watch this page for updates... TerryV
This is a dedicated Anna's female from my yard (not the Mom above) but just look at the wear on her breast feathers... She has no doubt done a lot of sitting on her brood and it does take a toll on the feathers! Cheers from Hummingbird Haven! TerryV
So this little guy is my magical visitor from around 6PM yesterday. I was out looking for birds to photograph , had stopped to watch a pair of Norther Harriers (one had found dinner and was sitting in a hay field) The other was gliding over the field searching. I stopped my vehicle and laid my camera gear across the roof to get a nice angled shot and from the corner of my eye I saw movement coming towards me from straight down the old road. I recognize the silently gliding form moving effortlessly about 8 inches above the road as a Coopers Hawk. It headed straight towards me and then tipped up his wings, flew across the vehicle hood and landed PLUNK right on my camera lens ... only inches away from my nose! I think he was as surprised as I was as we looked at one another for 3 seconds, then off he went and landed on this rock a short distance away! That incident felt like a pure gift from Nature telling me all was well!
Northern Harriers (with prey) also known as Marsh Hawks ... North Saanich beauties!
Ohh my! Yesterday evening's photo from North Saanich ... I was sitting quietly photographing Bufflehead Ducks from a distance and heard a disturbing sound. At first I thought it was an uprising from a number of seals that were all around the bay, basking at the surface, but then looked over and saw herons frantically flying and letting out loud cries. As is very common here, a Bald Eagle made 2 visits to the Heron rookery and removed young Herons from nests....
This about summed up my day and recent weeks.
Nature unfolding in front of us... Not always kind or pleasant.
What is currently happening with the human population seems to be a matter of intense debate.
The images were shot at a very long distance and are quite cropped out, but set the scene.
Thanks for looking... TerryV
A couple hours out in the country can do wonders for the soul of a nature enthusiast. The colours had faded a little by the time I made this little video clip, but if you watch and listen, you'll see Violet Green Swallows darting, maybe a Hummingbird zoom across and hear the melody of the Redwing Blackbirds calling to their mates! Thanks for looking... TerryV
Every day notice a lot of Hummingbird activity way way up in the maples (70 to 90 feet in the air) and todays images show Mr Anna's testing for nectar and insects.
above Male Anna's Hummingbird & below Female Anna's
Female Rufous above & below a Male Rufous Hummingbird
Above slide show of adult male Anna's Hummingbird showing his positioning readying himself for a death defying dive past a perched female, ending in a loud chirrrp as he lifts his tail at the bottom of the dive and pulls up to avoid crashing to the ground. He spots a female, flies to the 1st position, then zoooms higher (perhaps 100 - 125 feet) then flies downward in an act at tremendous speed (approx 60km/hr) all to impress her!
Afer 4 to 6 of these fantastic dives, he rests in a nearby maple tree! (below) whew!!!
In the sequence below, you will see this same Hummingbird at the highest point before diving .... If you watch closely he swivels his head around 90 degrees, prior to inverting his body, then at that moment I lose focus as he dives at 60km/ hr.
"Butterbutt" also known as Yellow Rumped Warbler forages in a Maple tree
A male Spotted Towhee sings a love song to his mate!
A pair of violet Green Swallows rest after many insect gathering swoops
Turkey Vultures have been back for a few weeks, like this one that soared overhead!
A very familliar sight throughout North America ... pair of Canada Geese in flight
Group of Ringneck ducks and a mating sequence
Mr Rufous Hummingbird (high atop a budding Maple) guards his turf.
Mr Annas Hummingbird way up in a Cherry tree watches carefully for incoming attacks by Mr Rufous... No, the 2 species do m=no like one another! Pleanty of turf battles ensuing right now!
A female Pine Siskin
Mr Anna's surveys his domain
A tiny adorable male Bushtit (slightly larger than a hummingbird)
He performs a lot of flaring of his gorget to attract the females attention prior to the dive
The actual dive is so rapid, I have never achieved a photo but will keep trying!
Thanks for looking ... Terry V
March 2018 .. I just received notice that my blog has been awarded a distinction of being one of the top 100 photography blogs in Canada.
* All images and content copyright Terry Venables and NaturalImagesCanada *