Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Birders Gone Wild

Starting at 2am on May 20th myself along with John Haselmayer and Mark Weircinski will be partipting in the annual Baillie Birdathon. Yes, this may sound a bit crazy to some of you, but this is a birding geeks Olympics. Aside from wanting to break our record of 174 species (which we would love to break), this birdathon supports the conservation of Canada’s birds. Our funds will support both Bird Sutdies Canada (BSC) and the Bruce Peninsula Bird Observatory (BPBO).

This 24 hour bridathon day includes a crazy day of driving all over the Bruce Peninsula searching forests, fields, and wetlands for migrants and breeding birds. We won’t be sleeping and won’t be eating healthy – it will be a day full of junk food and caffeine drinks. And for me personally a lot of oreos! Any bets in how many I will consume?

For those who are really interested in how this crazy day ends, please join the three of us on Saturady May 28th for our ‘Birders Gone Wild on the Bruce’ presentation – apart of the Huron Fringe Birding Festival (http://bit.ly/iTdIVb). In addition to our adventures the presentation will also include my bird photography. That’s one downside to this birdathon, there won’t be time for photos – which is hard as a bird photographer!

Don’t worry if you can’t make it I will be sure to post our results on here!

Please support our Team Bruce Peninsula on our crazy adventure and raise funds for our Canadian Birds. It’s easy to do! You can make a pledge by clicking here, which will direct you to the birdathon website. 

Friday, May 13, 2011

It’s on the Newsstands!!

Be sure to pick up the Canadian Geographic Collector’s Edition – Best National Parks Pictures 2011. This is the issue that features my photo of Banff National Park, Moraine Lake on the cover – once again thank you to all who voted! This issue is full of great photographs of our National parks, marine areas and historic sites by many talented photographers.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Spring migrants photographed from my car

Many spring migrants are arriving back in Ontario to take up seasonal residence in their breeding territories. To say that I'm elated is an understatement! All year I dream about spring and summer. It's my favorite time of year with endless things to photograph and never enough time to fit it all in.

One of my spring rituals is to cruise up and down the backroads of the Bruce Peninsula, photographing birds in the meadows and wet fields. I keep my telephoto lens setup ready on the passenger seat and use a beanbag to shoot directly from the car window. Beanbags are a rock solid platform to shoot from. If you turn your car off (to prevent engine vibrations) and use good technique,  it's fairly easy to get sharp photos even at high magnifications.

Birds and animals are often less afraid of a vehicle than a person on foot, so by driving slowly and being patient you can get quite close for frame-filling photos.  Here are a couple photos taken by this method in the past week. 

Upland Sandpiper. Canon EOS 1D mk IV, EF 500/4 lens & 2x teleconvertor.

Northern Shoveler. Canon EOS 1D mk IV, EF 500/4 lens and 2x teleconvertor. 

Shooting from my van with a 300mm lens supported by a "Blubb" beanbag.