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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Floating boardwalk across Bowley Pond
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.
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
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.
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 eating carrot offered by visitor to Parc Omega
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:
Boars and Alpine Ibex
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.
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.
Posted in On the road with kadi, Quebec, Wildlife
Tagged Accessibility, Arctic Wolves, Bison, Black Bears, Boars, Canada Goose, Canon 7D, Canon SX50, Coyotes, Deer, Geese, Gosling, Goslings, Ibex, moose, Parc Omega, Photography Tips, Timber Wolves
Arctic Wolf lying in the grass
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 – visible from elevated boardwalk
There is a pack of timber wolves at Parc Omega as well. They are only visible from the elevated boardwalk.
Coyotes at Parc Omega
A pack of Coyotes lives in the park. They are located along the car driving route.
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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.
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.
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.
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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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 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.
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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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.
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.
Close up of Canada Goose Gosling
I think that they are very cute!
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 at Parc Omega
This photo shows how vast the prairie area is where the Bison live.
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.
Baby Boar playing with hay
I though this baby boar was very cute!
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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