Category Archives: On the road with kadi

Travels with kadi

Falling in love with Hummingbirds

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Hummingbird at the feeder – ISO 800; f 5.6; 1/320

Many of my friends have had hummingbird feeders at different points in their lives    They would put a feeder out and be over joyed when a hummingbird would visit regularly.  I would nod my head and agree that hummingbirds were amazing – but not being a bird person, in many ways I did not see the point.

This summer, in New Brunswick,  I had the opportunity to watch families of hummingbirds over a period of time.  I found them fascinating.  There were 15 or 16 hummingbirds that were living in two trees and feeding from two hummingbird feeders.  They visited the feeders most frequently  in the early morning and evening.  Often, all of the feeding stations would be busy, and other hummingbirds  hovered about the feeder waiting their turn.

The feeder had to be replenished often with that many birds feeding from it.  Sometimes one of the hummingbirds would hover looking through the kitchen window – as if he was saying “what is taking so long”, when they were waiting for a refill.

It was fascinating to read about them on-line.  One of the best sites that I found was World of Hummingbirds  I learned that when hummingbirds  migrate for the winter the males leave first and then are followed a few weeks later by the females.  That is exactly what happened.  There was a greater drain than usual on the feeder in the first part of august and then suddenly the males were gone.  A few weeks later the females left too.  I read on-line that you should leave the feeder out for a few weeks – even when you think that all the hummingbirds have left as sometimes there are stragglers going through.  They could be hummingbirds that got a late start or a bird that was born late in the season and is only just ready to start the long journey south.  Today I was amazed to see two hummingbirds at the feeder when there had been none all week.  I was glad that we could help them along the way.  I look forward to their return in the spring.

photography tips

Taking pictures of hummingbirds was a photography challenge for me.  They are so small and fast and flit from one spot to another.  I was lucky that there were so many hummingbirds that were gathered in the one area.  I used a tripod with a ball head  This provided stability for my camera and yet let me move the camera to follow the action. I also used a fast shutter speed and a higher ISO setting.  I like  the feeling of motion  when I capture  the blur of the wing as in the picture above .

Canada Geese – Raising their families on the lakes of NB

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Canada Geese swimming in the rushes

It was evening and we were  enjoying the peace and tranquility of canoeing on one of one of the many lakes in south western New Brunswick.  We spotted a dozen geese.  They were swimming  in the rushes near the side of the lake.

 

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Gander keeping a watchful eye

A gander was keeping a watchful eye out for any danger and the goslings were herded into the thicker rushes by the adults that swam around the edges. We stayed and watched them for about half an hour.  Then, as the light was fading we reluctantly headed for home.

photography tips

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Adult geese swimming near the edges of the rushes

One of the challenges in this situation was getting close enough to take a photo.  We allowed the canoe to float closer and closer to the geese.  We only used the paddles to guide the canoe and were very careful not to splash.  I was using my Canon SX50HS – the 50 times optical zoom (24-1200mm) was just what was needed in this situation. The other challenge was the geese were constantly moving.  I used a fast shutter speed 1/1250 and the High Speed Burst which maximizes the chances of getting a good shot.  After you have done all that – a lot of times it is a matter of patience and more than a little luck.

PEI National Park – Greenwich Dunes Trail

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Floating boardwalk across Bowley Pond

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Expanse of the floating boardwalk across the wetlands

The Greenwich Dunes Trail in one of three hiking trails that start approximately  1 km west of  the Interpretive Centre for the Greenwich section of the Prince Edward Island National Park.  It is a fairly wide trail that is hard packed with a slight grade.  The Greenwich Dunes Trail turns and heads through the forest and then follows a  floating boardwalk across a natural wetland to the spectacular dunes beyond.

I stopped for a few moments while crossing the floating boardwalk and heard the sounds of the many birds that inhabit the wetland.  We headed up the path on the land side of the dunes.  When we reached the top and looked at the dunes, the beach and the ocean beyond it was enough to take my breath away.

 Accessibility

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Challenging climb to the top of the dunes

The start of the trail is accessible for those who are used to travelling on uneven surfaces .  The trail very quickly gets difficult for those using a wheel chair, walker or wheeling a stroller.  The end of the trail results in quite a climb up and over the dunes and is not accessible

 

 PHotography tips

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Rabbit cavorting on the Greenwich Dunes Trail

Two rabbits were playing on the path quite a distance ahead of where we were walking.  They were leaping back and forth across the path – in and out of the brush.  The long zoom on my Canon SX50HS allowed me to get this picture of one of the rabbits.

When taking photos of the  floating boardwalk, the dunes and the wetlands I have found that it is very important to think about perspective.  I try standing on one of the benches along the boardwalk to get a panoramic view  or lying on the boardwalk to get a different look of the curve.  I am much  happier with my photos when I think about perspective.

Parc Omega – Montebello, Quebec

Moose

Moose on the road at the beginning of the driving route through Parc Omega

A few days ago I had the great privilege to visit Parc Omega with my son David.  I was amazed at the natural surroundings, the animals and infrastructure in the park.  Parc Omega is 1500 acres in size with 12 km of driving roads and numerous walking paths.  There is a Park House with snacks, souvenirs, washrooms and a wonderful outdoor deck with tables and chairs.  Outside there are many picnic tables. It is almost half way between Montreal and Ottawa. Please click on the link to access directions on how to get to Parc Omega.

Elk - munching on carrott

Elk eating carrot offered by visitor to Parc Omega

Moose eating carrott

Moose munching on carrot provided by David.

Parc Omega is a “safari” style wildlife park – everyone must stay in their cars.  Many of the animals roam freely – moose, and deer will come right up to your car to get a carrot.  Bags of carrots are sold on site but you can bring them more cheaply yourself.  You will need about one bag of carrots for every person in the car.  David and I had three bags and they were all gone by the end of the day.

There are also many walking trails including the Old Farm and an elevated boardwalk that looks down into an area for timber wolves on one side and bears on the other.

Please click on the link to view pictures of the different animals found at Parc Omega:

Arctic WolfWolves

 

Bison walking on road

Bison

 

DeerDeer

 

Canada GoosenGoselingGeese

 

Two bearsBears

 

Wart Hog BabyBoars and Alpine Ibex

 

ACCESSIBILITY

Most of Parc Omega is accessible to all.  You drive through the park in your own vehicle.  The Park House is accessible as are the washrooms.  The elevated boardwalk to one area with bears and timber wolves is not accessible – there are stairs and steep grades.  Most of the walking paths are not wheelchair accessible.  There is a hay wagon that goes back to the old farm and  golf carts that can be rented to drive  to the old farm.

PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS

I bought a new camera before going to Parc Omega – a Canon SX50.  I chose it for it’s long zoom – 50x Optical zoom .  My son and I used the Canon  SX50 and my regular camera a Canon 7 D during the day.  One of the advantages of the Canon SX50 is that there were no lenses to change and the photographer is quickly able to respond to the rapidly changing scenery at the park.  One minute you might want to focus on something close up and the next something interesting would be happening far away.

Parc Omega – Arctic Wolves, Timber Wolves and Coyotes

Arctic Wolf

Arctic Wolf lying in the grass

Arctic Wolf Habitat

Arctic Wolf habitat at Parc Omega

I have to admit that I have a soft spot for Arctic Wolves.  There is something about them that fascinates me.  It did my heart good to see the wonderful habitat that these Arctic Wolves live in at Parc Omega.  I have attempted to give you an idea of the vastness and natural setting of their habitat but really the photo does not do it justice

 

 

 

 

 

 

TIMBER WOLF

Timber Wolf – visible from elevated boardwalk

There is a pack of timber wolves at Parc Omega as well.  They are only visible from the elevated boardwalk.

 

 

 

 

Two Coyotes

Coyotes at Parc Omega

A pack of Coyotes lives in the park.  They are located along the car driving route.

 

 

 

 

 

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Parc Omega – Black Bears

Two bears

Two Black Bears visible from the driving route

Black Bears live at Parc Omega in two locations – along the driving route and on one side of the elevated boardwalk.

 

 

 

BEAR CUB

Black Bear Cub born in February

 

Cubs were born in February.  It was difficult to get a good look at them because of the long grass.

 

 

 

 

 

Part of bear habitat at Parc Omega

Black Bear habitat at Parc Omega

This photo will give you an idea of the type of habitat the Black Bears live in at Parc Omega.  Again it really does not do it justice.

 

 

 

 

Bear playing

Black Bear playing with another bear under the wooden platform.

Usually when I have visited a zoo, black bears are sleeping or looking pretty listless.  At Parc Omega I actually saw black bears playing!

 

 

 

 

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Parc Omega – Deer

Deer

Whitetail Deer along walking path at Parc Omega

Many types of deer live at Parc Omega including Elk, Red Deer, Whitetail Deer and Fallow Deer.  They roam the park at will.  The more adventurous deer will come up to the car and take a carrot from you.  The more timid deer eagerly eat one thrown to them from the window of the car.

David feeding carrotts to Deer

David feeding carrots to a deer

 

This Whitetail Deer was along a walking path.  Parc Omega was eagerly awaiting the birth of a few fawns. She looked like she was expecting.   My son David offered her a carrot which she gladly accepted.

 

 

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Deer walking along the car path at Parc Omega

I like this picture of a deer taken at Parc Omega.  It looks like a female who is still shedding her winter coat.  I am not sure what type she is.

 

 

 

 

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Parc Omega – Canada Geese and Goslings

Goose Family

Mother Canada Goose and baby goslings.

Parc Omega attracts many birds.  One of my favourites is the Canada Goose.  I was thrilled to spot this mother and goslings between the Parc Omega driving route and the water.

 

 

Goseling

Canada Goose Gosling

I don’t know exactly  how old they are but the goslings are still covered with down and don’t have their feathers.  In the wild goslings are born in May so they can’t be more than a few weeks old.

 

 

Canada GoosenGoseling

Close up of Canada Goose Gosling

I think that they are very cute!

Parc Omega – Bison

Bison walking on road

Bison walking on the road at Parc Omega

A herd of Bison live at Parc Omega.  When Bison were first introduced into the park, the herd was released and they wandered the park for a while until they settled on  a prairie area with water as their new home.

 

Bison Herd

Bison herd at Parc Omega

 

This photo shows how vast the prairie area is where the Bison live.

Parc Omega – Boars and Ibex

Wart hog eating from food traugh

This boar was eating from one of the many food stations accessible to the moose, deer, ibex and boar throughout the park.

There are many Boars who roam around Parc Omega sharing the space with the moose and deer.  They loved it when we threw them a carrot from the car window.

 

 

Wart Hog Baby

Baby Boar playing with hay

 

 

I though this baby boar was very cute!

 

 

 

 

 

Alpine Ibex

Alpine Ibex eating from food trough.

 

This Alpine Ibex was standing on one of the food troughs and eating out of it at the same time.

 

 

 

 

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