Tricia is a nature photographer and blogger, as well as an outdoor enthusiast. She is currently on the board for Lambton Wildlife and the Lambton Wildlife webmaster.
Last year I attended the Birding Course put on by Lambton Wildlife over the course of several weeks. Many presenters shared their wisdom and experience on identifying, locating, and photographing birds, as well as the equipment and references needed to succeed as a birder.
The last part of the event was a morning walk through Canatara Park on a beautiful morning, April 30th, 2016. Many of the course attendees showed up with their binoculars and their new found enthusiasm to identify birds by sight and sound.
Last spring I purchased a 600mm lens and headed out to Canatara Park to see what birds I could spot, and to see if I could actually photograph any of them. To be honest, I wanted to see whether or not I was going to enjoy a longer lens.
I’m not a birder, although I love them and wish I could identify more species than I can. I have often captured the birds visiting my feeders in the winter, but that’s always been for fun and to document the species.
Here are some of the shots I took on April 20th, 2016. Other than basic editing I didn’t do any major cropping to make the birds appear larger in the frame, which is always an option, if I have captured a sharp enough image.
I thought it was a pretty decent first try with a new lens, especially since I took them all handheld. Do yourself a favour, if you are shooting with a long lens, use a tripod or at least a monopod to get the sharpest images. Having some support will also save your arm some strain because long lenses are quite heavy and somewhat awkward!
At the end of April, earlier this year, I had the opportunity to volunteer with Carl and Rachel, the operators of the Native Territories Avian Research Project (NTARP). Several members of Lambton Wildlife attended and volunteered during the two day bird banding session. They were at Canatara Park for the first time and they spent two full days, on two separate weekends, banding the local and migrating species.
The Eastern Hog-nosed snake is a threatened species in Ontario. During a fall hike recently in the Pinery, we spotted this young one lying in the leaves along the edge of a trail. We photographed it and then showed it to the Naturalists at the Visitor’s Centre. They asked us to fill out a ‘Species At Risk’ form and to upload an image to their site.