Sunday, January 1, 2012

Frosty Days On the Vermilon River. A Post to MWT.

The weather has warmed right up to around -5C, bringing with it it's own strange happenings. I got to the River in the milder weather, but you can see how overcast it is.

While the preceding photo looks northwest, this photo is the far bank. The white forefront in both cases is the River. But don't be fooled in the wide areas of the River, there is an ice skim, but the River never really freezes.

The far bank up closer. Adjusting for white balance is really hard, as the greatest brightness is the snow. These photos are almost sepia in tone.

The River looking south. In all the shots the ridge is blanked with a cold fog.

And it's creating a frost on the trees. This shot was taken yesterday.

The frost was even heavier last night as this shot of frost on a juniper shows.

The birds, in this case, a Redpoll, look even more spectacular in the frost, and it just shows how hardy these little birds are.

This Goldfinch is all puffed up against the cold.

The Goldfinch flock together with the Redpolls, driven by the quest for food. 

Although they're in their non-breeding winter colours they're still bright against the snow and the grey skies.

I started shooting the Redpolls on the far side of the River, But now I have my very own flock. Last year, they moved out of the Boreal to seek food moving even into the U.S. I don't think this is an irruption year, but I think, they're moving into the area as winter dwellers because of the food supply.

The Redpolls, the Chickadees and the Goldfinch, I think are pound for pound the most hardy birds in the forest. Although, someone yesterday told me the Eagles who have settled into the local landfill sight have not migrated either, and NWO Birds are reporting Eagles up around Lake Superior. 

It could be global warming and the re-generating of this forest.

 Redpolls are both easy and difficult to photograph as they're flighty and the whole flock moves when one does. On the other hand the flock is large, about fifty birds, so it's easy to get lucky. This is a male and female, the male having the red breast. It's amazing how vividly red the head patch and the breast feathers are. 

The Redpolls are not even bothered by the Jays who are quite aggressive when it comes to food.

Blue Jays certainly enliven the colour scheme also.

The Jays are all puffed up against the wind.

This is of course Huegy in making sure he gets his share.

 The sight of the Crows foraging in the snow is quite humorous as they sink a little too deep every so often, despite the fact that they're good walkers.

This is the one photo showing any sun, because it was shot earlier. A Post to MWT @ and Scenic Sunday @  Happy New Year Everyone!!


  1. Winter frost provides a great medium to photograph. Wonderful!

    May 20-12 provide you and Boomer plenty of photographic opportunities, happiness and good health.

  2. i just love your redpolls! and (you know) i adore those squirrels, too! but, brrr! those landscapes/riverscapes look cold! :)

  3. I can't get enough of the squirrels and beautiful birds. The landscape with the river looks great.
    Give Boomer a hug from me and I wish you two a fantastic healthy 2012.
    gr. Marijke

  4. Wonderful images of your lovely birds Gary.

    re: Marbury Hall. It was neglected during the 50's and 60's while owned by ICI. Damp and with the woodwork ridden with dry rot the local council took it over and demolished it.
    The whole structure is buried in the cellers... so it's still on site.

  5. Such beautiful winter shots, Gary!
    Happy 2012 to you and Boomer!

  6. Wonderful shots of all the beautiful birds and the squirrel, love them.
    Happy New Year!

  7. Beautiful shots of the snow! And those tiny birds must be freezing. Nice detail on the redpolls. I've never seen them here.

  8. Beautiful pics. My SS is up too.

    Happy New Year.

  9. Wonderful shots of the winter wonderland. It's fun watching birds in the snow. Happy New Year!

  10. Warmed up to -5, eh? Regular heatwave! Neat shots of the fluffed up birds!

  11. you got a lot of frost. Nice shots. :)

  12. It really looks cold there, I love your Redpolls! Great shots!

  13. Wonderful photos from Snowy River and impressive shooting birds, magnificent.

  14. No wonder the sun came out for that cute squirrel shot!
    Good for you for having so many birds close at hand.
    Hardly global warming but certainly a seasonal variation with so many birds deciding to over-winter in the area.

    Hope you and Boomer did not drink too much seeing in the New Year. I'd hate to see Boomer with a sore head!

  15. Hi Gary

    Your shots of the Redpolls are great I had forgotten what beautiful birds they are.


  16. Amazing shots! Love the icicles on the juniper bush! Best wishes for a great year.

  17. Oh Gary...what a lovely set of photos...and you've got snowwwww...I want snow!!!!
    Here is Portugal we have snow only in "Serra da Estrela". Sometimes it snows here, in the town...but the last time was 2 yers ago...

    Nice shots, man!


  18. Such a delight seeing these characters weather the snowy season so beautifully! Love those little Red Polls and poor old man crow does seem to be having a hard time! And finally, the cutest squirrel! Great series of photos!

  19. I love this blog already with its beautiful bird photos and landscapes too. You are so far removed from where I live that it all so interesting. Back soon.

  20. Jays and Crows are superb. I mean all your photos are superb, but I love these ones most:)