I had to hit a few bird spots and had a fabulous couple days photographing at Famousa Slough…a wetland in the middle of a residential area. It was filled with Snowy egrets, black-crowned night herons, blue herons, pelicans, starlings…
…and to my surprise and delight a couple young osprey….I knew their call well! I sat and watched them learn to fish for their lunch as I enjoyed mine. READY… SET… GO!!!!Another adventure was a trip to La Jolla, famous for the sea lions and they didn’t disappoint…
…and another day, took a long walk along the mouth of the San Diego river to see more birds and a few reptiles…
There were so many places…I need to go back and explore some more!! A little outside my normal one hour distance, but had to share the highlights of my trip down south…
Our young Osprey has been out practicing. One day on the way home, I spotted her on the top of the Church…just a short distance from the nest. It was a beautiful blue sky behind her and I watched the young one prepping for flight. First a tapping and flexing of her claws…Then she did these head bobs…back and forth…and with each head bob she would move her body in different directions…I am thinking to see how everything worked together…
She had an itch…check out the size of those claws!!..and finally she was ready to launch….She was tentative and almost had a look of fear as she left her perch on the top of the cross…probably saying a little prayer as she took off…
but a few pumps later, she was soaring…
I kept watching as she flew down to the river… she would drop a wing and veer towards the ground…perhaps practicing what she was doing on the top of the cross…or maybe it was how she was taught to fish…either way it was fascinating to watch!! When she was taking off…I too said a little prayer…wanting her to have a successful flight so she is prepared to head off south for the winter…
Young Osprey at the Cochrane Toyota nest
Several “Nature in My Backyard” pieces are on display at the Final Touch Studio Gallery in Cochrane, Alberta…
8 x 8 Baby Wren Metallic Finish Canvas Rustic Wood Frame
8 x 10 Mountain Bluebird Canvas Lustre Finish Rustic Wood Frame
…along with the current “Nature in My Backyard” Card Collections!
Seasonal Favorites – 4 Card Set $25.00
Close to Home – 5 Card Set $30.00
Backyard Birds – 5 Card Set $30.00
This Saturday, August 12, 2017, the “Nature in my Backyard” series of cards(above)…
…prints and framed art will be displayed during the upcoming Art Walk at the Cochrane clubhouse! Canvas framed in rustic wood, prints framed in various sizes and card collections are available for viewing/sale….
This event posted on the upcoming events page, will run on the second Saturday of each month (August, September and October) from 9:30 – 1:00 pm in conjunction with the Cochrane Farmers Market. Come by, say hello and check out the new photography from my recent “Nature in My Backyard” adventures!!
The “Nature in my Backyard” series of cards, prints and framed art will be displayed during the upcoming Art Walk at the Cochrane clubhouse! Canvas framed in rustic wood, prints framed in various sizes and card collections are available for viewing/sale of the following:
Mountain bluebirds, owls, moose, coyotes, northern flickers, wild Alberta horses, big horn sheep, osprey, baby wrens, golden eagle, finches and more..
Nest on the Bow
This event will run on the second Saturday of each month (July, August, September and October) from 9:30 – 1:00 pm in conjunction with the Cochrane Farmers Market. Come by, say hello and check out the new photography from my recent “Nature in My Backyard” adventures!!
We are fortunate to live on the beautiful Bow River here in Cochrane! There is always activity on the river …Osprey sitting in trees looking for fish… and then diving in for the catch…
Songbirds hanging out in the same trees……dropping down to the river to take a bath…
then drying off…
…watched by me and this Brewer’s Blackbird female……admiring the courage to take a dip in the very cold river…my kayak is still in the garage…it will probably be another month before I will take the plunge!!
What a great week! So many new things to see…starting with the promised picture of Kate, the returning Osprey! The pair has been very busy at the nest (if you know what I mean)…A few birds that I have not had the privilege to see in the Cochrane area before…(although I am sure they were always here, but it was before I was looking)
Western Meadowlark spotted on our Camera Club Outing
What an amazing song!!
Eurasian-collared Dove on Township Rd 280
Coot at Lochend Lake
Dark-eyed Junco at Paddy Flat’s
The Tree Swallows have returned and they are getting settled in as neighbours to the Mountain Bluebirds…both were spotted on our Camera Club Outing this past Saturday on one of the detours (previous blog) I added to our trip!! (everyone was very excited!!)
The hawks have returned to the area…there are so many soaring everywhere you go these days!
…and the muskrat babies are venturing out on their own!!This week we have had snow the past 2 days….waiting for the sun and warm weather to return so the adventures can continue!!
I would like to say thank you to the Cochrane Times! The “Times” is very supportive in featuring local artists, like myself, (this link is to the article written by Patrick Price) providing great exposure to our community on what we have to offer. Each year, the “Times”publishes an annual calendar, which is another way for photographers to submit their work and have it viewed by the public. I was fortunate to have one of my photos selected this year for the Cochrane Calendar. The photo is called “bringing in lunch” taken at our local osprey nest in the Cochrane Toyota Dealership lot…and one of my favorite moments last year!
Osprey bringing in lunch
My first blog was about this osprey family and represented the launch of my Photo Solutions website…
Both local papers were represented at the Seniors on the Bow Art Show that took place on January 14th this year. I had the pleasure of meeting and chatting with Warren Harbeck, who does a local column in the Cochrane Eagle. He took this great photo of me as I started on my adventure sharing “Nature in my Backyard”! Thank you Warren for allowing me to share this photo!!
As an emerging nature photographer, capturing special moments in our town, it is great to have this support!
The Osprey’s, known as William & Kate, annually nest atop a telephone pole at the Cochrane Toyota Dealership. I was fascinated that the Osprey’s were not bothered by the activity of people below them…and how many people actually didn’t notice all the activity above them!
I spent many a day watching William & Kate getting the nest ready for the young. There was always a flurry of activity. The chicks were born about a week apart and the age difference was quite noticeable. Like most families with children, there was a bit of sibling rivalry. William or Kate would bring in a fish and the oldest chick would dominate the feast. I guess that is also part of nature. There was plenty of fish on a daily basis and both chicks grew and flourished. At times it was hard to tell who was the adult and who was the child, but I learned (after doing much research on these amazing birds) that the young have reddish, or orange-tinted eyes…quite a contrast and easy to distinguish from the bright yellow eyes of the adults.
Another trick I learned after many missed photo opportunities, were some signs that helped to anticipate the arrival of a meal. The young osprey starts calling. When the calling is constant, if usually means that a fish is coming shortly…so be ready!
One day, at the end of August, I stopped by the nest to see if there was any action. The youngest sibling was alone in the nest and squawking to tell mom and dad that she was hungry. The constant call meant that lunch was coming and sure enough, William (dad) dropped off a fish!
This was the start of my photos above! Dad didn’t stick around long…actually almost got pushed out of the nest by the very aggressive youngster. All the squawking, brought her older brother back to the nest! He was very patient, but she let him know that it was her lunch….protecting it with her wings. He made a flew loops around the area, getting different vantage points…waiting for the opportune moment. In a flash, he dropped in, snatched the fish and took off with the prize! It reminded me of the many occasions I witnessed this same behavior with my own 2 children!! The memories put a smile on my face…I laughed to myself that I happened to be there… at the right time…to watch and was successful in capturing this special moment.
Sibling rivalry caught in action!