Monday, December 12, 2011

New Views and Old Views (Night Moon,Winter Scenes, Blue Jays, Bohemian Waxwings, Canada Geese, Goldfinch, Redpolls and a Fox) of The Vermilon River. A Post to WBW.

Most of the photos in today's post were taken earlier in the week after our first snow fall that stayed. It is cold about-14C, perhaps 10 above F. That's why the frost is still on the trees, and it is overcast as shown in the first photo. The light is weak, and that's probably being kind.

We're hiking the west side of the River on the abandoned Railway track. If you want a view of the trail go back to the previous post. The hike is an easy one because the ties and old tracks are gone and the trail borders the River.  The first photo is trail end at the old abandoned bridge abutments. Opposite a section of the rapids.

This photo is of the Island that bisects the rapids. Remember this is not a game preserve or park; we're on our own and could go farther into the wilderness.

You can see the effect of the grey light on the Blue Jay's plumage. 

The grey light is even more obvious on his tail feathers which are bright, but not shimmering as they would normally be.

Again his colours are muted.

The Bohemian Waxwing was shot on a bright day, and it's obvious.

This is a Female Common Goldeneye Duck, the first that I've ever seen. I was lucky to catch her as there's lots of floating ice in the River.

Apparently, they move towards rivers or lakes with open water, and are therefore slow to migrate. They're excellent divers, diving up to 12 feet to feed. She did exactly that once I got some shots and I couldn't see where she surfaced.

These may be the last of the Geese, although some may still be moving in from the far north.

 The Redpolls are here now. I'm always amazed by how hardy these little fellows are.
These are both Male Common Redpolls.

This little guy really had something, and was enjoying it.

Living in virtually in the forest always makes feeding the birds a bit risky. Bears in the spring when they're starving, and in the fall, when they're trying to put on weight, will go after the seed or suet. Similarly other four legged creatures will do the same as well as hunt the birds or squirrels that feed there. I caught this fox last night helping himself. This was about 2 A.M. I shot him through the window. The light is from a parking lot sodium vapour light, which I guess accounts for the reddish colour. I just cranked up the ISO to 1600. This is the first time, I've even considered night photography.

The strange quick weather changes have been mirrored in the full moon which is bright but surrounded by a halo. After moon one and three we got snow. After moon two we got a warming effect, with wet flurries, and deep grey skies. A Post to WBW @


  1. those waters look dark and cold! glad to see you've still got some waterfowl sticking around, for now. and you stuck the squirrel in the middle this time. trying to trip me up! :)

  2. Great photos - fascinating scenery - but Oh it does look so very cold! Where you have to adjust your camera and compensate for the gray day and lack of light I have to do the opposite - decrease the sensitivity so I don't blow out all the highlites with the bright sunlight!

  3. The redpolls will always be favorites of mine. Great captures of the jays and the other birds. The sky and moon is pretty. Wonderful series!

  4. Love the redpolls. Gorgeous little birds. :)

  5. You live in such an amazing place for wildlife..I have to bring in the bird and suet feeders or a raccoon just walks off with it..We have had the occasional black bear which the police promptly shot causing an uproar as they are young males passing through..I have seen fox, mink and coyote and people wonder where their outdoor cats disappear to....

  6. Great post Gary, and a fantastic selection.
    I love your Blue Jays, and the Redpolls are little beauties.

  7. Great photos Gary!
    The Blue Jay is beautiful even with the muted tones. And the Redpoll is a gorgeous little round bird with the lovely bright red. I have nevere seen a Redpoll before.
    You are blessed with so much wildlife to photograph!

  8. What a great post Gary. There are some really great pictures here but the 2:00AM fox is magic straight out of the camera!
    Yeah, I guess a lump of suet would taste good to a starving bear That is a extra worry I'm glad I don't have!
    Cheers to you Sir...

  9. Great shots! the little redpoll is fantastic, as is your night shot!

  10. Another excellent post Gary. Certainly sounds cold where you are. Nice catch with the Fox and glad that you saw your first Goldeneye.

  11. Hi Gary

    A very cool post I loved the fox.

    Hi to Boomer.


  12. Wonderful photos, Gary! I like the colors in the jay and waxwing. Your moon shots are great!

  13. Excellant choices Gary. I've never seen a Goldeneye. You have lots of ice in your area. We're dealing with lots of rain!

  14. "Your" blue jay is so much prettier than the two kinds we have in Oregon, even in muted light. I don't think there are any here in FL, at least where we are. Someone once told me that the redpoll is one of the most common birds, but I have only seen them a couple of times, in Texas during migration. Thanks for the 2 a.m. picture of the fox! Something I wouldn't have seen even if I lived there!

  15. Redpolls and chickadees are little bits of nothing-- It amazes me how they can stand the cold. Nice series of images!