Saturday, June 29, 2013

Computer background image offer - a point pelee scene

I'm not really sure if anyone ever takes one of these, but I'm still gonna do it... If you want, here's a "computer background image" offer - big enough to hopefully look decent...

This is the typical situation - this was the background on my own computer for several weeks, and I enjoyed it. I've now switched it, but then though to myself  "maybe someone else would enjoy it too?"

And voila....

PS - for those who don't know, it's the viewing platform at Sanctuary Pond at Pelee - on a very calm morning...

Friday, June 28, 2013

Herring Gull catches Perch

June update - when I first posted this, the "light box" photo-viewer thing wasn't working.... Now it is (I hope) - so I thought I'd re-post to do it some justice

(plus, it's easy blog material)

The post written back in March -


I put the answer to the "Mergie quiz" in the comments here:


Just did a quick convert here for some blog material... A Herring Gull catching a perch... I selected the "cool" images from the series, and just saved them at web size (all unedited full-frame originals)... I'm sure I'll pick out 2-3 that I really like from the series and put them on the HEGU page someday, but for now - blog material!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

One of my favourite photos of the spring - by far...

Probably not groundbreaking news or anything, but the below image is one of my favourite photos of 2013 thus far (a major highlight of my spring at Pelee as well)...

I've finally got around to editing my final copy... With all the photos on the "good part" of my website (not the blog in general) are edited tiff's saved at the highest possible resolution. Typically they're full frame (or nearly so) and are around 45-40mb as 8bit Tiff files. 

This is really handy for me, as when I get requests for photos - I already have the high res ready and just have to email the files. 

It also works against me sometimes, when I only have 900 pixel long image online. The full res images are about 4900 pixels on the longest size - which equates to a LOT more detail (and looking better) on my computer screen than the versions people see online... 

Anyways - part of what really makes me happy with the above image is that the file I have on my computer is 2800 pixels on the long side - which is really good for a passerine in flight (I was pretty shocked it turned out)... And why it's one of my favourites!


So anyways, just a little background info. I would be happier if the above image had the birds bill separated from the wing (instead of overlapping) -- but that's not the kind of thing one can control. 

Image spec's - 

Canon 1DM4 DSLR with the 600mm F4 lens (hand held) ... 1/2500, F 6.3, ISO 1250 


Uploaded here: 

I focused on getting passerines in flight this spring, and may have a few more to show in due time. Watch this space! 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Old OBRC Reports - REJECTED edition

Above link: the article to my Little Stint report submitted to the OBRC - that was rejected. I enjoyed writing it, and was P!$$3D when I got the comments back..

Ever happened to you?

I actually wrote some pretty bad reports leading into 2009 because I felt like I had wasted my time writing (and in the above case) researching - just to have it rejected.

Although obviously I got over it eventually :)


On a different note, here is a bird that I identified right away (well, once I made the ID) - in the field/at the time - and knew EXACTLY what I was looking at... Then my conclusions were (partially) rejected. What am I talking about?

Kamchatka Gull (siberian subspecies of the "Mew Gull" complex) from Nov 2009 -

Accepted as a "Mew Gull" only...

After being on the OBRC for a 3 year voting term, I kinda understand that you really just don't feel right about accepting some of these sightings without photos - no matter how much you believe (or don't believe) the person made the correct call...

Sort of a tough situation with trying to improve the P.R. side of the OBRC over the past year (keeping people happy who will potentially/eventually get a letter saying they disagreed with you) BUT - no one said life was easy..


Anyhoot. Just some fun on the blog!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

A little shameless self promotion.....

Back in the day, I thought blogs were for wierdos... Then I remembered that I'm a wierdo, and things have been flowing along ever since...

On a somewhat related thought:

I've never been one to have an interest in publishing things... Yet I've recently seen the rosy-side of the idea, and actually managed to have something published recently in Ontario Birds - an account of my Black-tailed Gull find in 2009. Actually kinda exciting. I've uploaded a pdf of the article (scanned) here:

I figured I'd start pretty basic, and accounts of unusual birds like this seemed pretty easy... You'll have to let me know what you think! And hopefully I'll have a few more in the future. Time will tell.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Insect Galleries finally updated

After an insane 2012 for insects, I finally made sure all my links are active on my Butterfly and Dragonfly index pages:


Red Saddlebags!


So fresh, so firey!

Sack'em Sachem!

One of the coolest ever! White-M!

Check out the links/pages for more pics!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

old photos of male Kirtland's Warblers!

After uploading said previous KIWA photos, I realized that my online page for KIWA pics had a LOT of females, but was light on the males. I went back through my collection and pulled our some old ones that (for some reason) never saw the light of the online world:

Makes me wonder why I didn't edit some of these before.....

The stupidly tame/cool bird from 2005 that many of us saw!

My least fav of the bunch.....

My first "Self found" KIWA and 300th self-found bird species for Ontario (2008)... Probably darn near as excited as I'll ever be while birding....

Anyways - now they're all uploaded to the proper species page

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Kirtland's Warbler photoshoot!

The Kirtland's Warblers I've had the chance to photograph in Ontario are surely some of the most enjoyable photo-experiences I've been a part of... They're just awesome...

This fantastic little lady was the one my Dad and I found at Pelee on May 18th of this year. We took some record shots upon discovery with the point-and-shoot, but I returned for the evening light armed with my 600mm....

While I didn't get anything tooo crazy, these were my favourites:

It's amazing what 700+ photos will turn into (6 online)....

Monday, June 17, 2013

Old OBRC reports! Mega's edition

I spent the time writing them - why not put a few online for all to see? This edition: some all-time favourite finds:

Neotropic Cormorant:

Black-tailed Gull:

Gives an illustration as to how my reports get a bit shorter when I have photos....

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Black-capped Chickadees from this spring...

Yes, I'm up to something.... As you may have noticed.... All in good time......

Many thanks to my Mom for helping me get a lot of these :)