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Surf Scoter

February 28, 2024

I was lucky enough to find these Surf Scoters close enough to shore to photograph however definition is seriously lacking due to hand holding my 1200mm lens and camera coupled with the excitement of the opportunity.

Surf Scoter

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Some Winter Scenes

February 24, 2024

Some Winter Scenes in Nova Scotia

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Ordinary Things Seen in a Different Light

February 19, 2024

A container ship becomes a work of art if seen from a different perspective.

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Red-shouldered Hawk

February 18, 2024

The "runway model" hawk, the Red-shouldered Hawk, posed for me in good frontal light and minimal focus trashing branches. It sat intelligently facing the warming sun with its back protected from the wind by the forest. How smart? Any small mammal running across the field it faced is an easy target for this patient hawk.

Red-shouldered Hawk

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Turkey Vulture

February 13, 2024

I rounded the curve just outside of Sambro heading towards Grand Lake when I spotted a Turkey Vulture in display mode. I don't often see this and even when I do see them in display being close enough for decent photographs is rare.

Someone had tossed a dozen or so fish onto the ice so a feast was to be had for two Turkey Vultures, five Bald Eagles and bunches of gulls, ravens and crows.

Turkey Vulture

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After a Snow Day in Nova Scotia

February 05, 2024

I toured the Sambro loop in search of winter photos. It was a pleasant day and the light was excellent. While I type this another three day winter storm has just visited Nova Scotia, depositing up to 150cm of snow in the north of the province to 50cm-ish of snow in much of the rest of the province. To add to this weather event the snow was blown around by 60-80 kph winds creating lofty drifts in some locations. I will venture forth tomorrow to capture some photos of this latest weather event.

After a Snow Day in Nova Scotia

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Diving Birds of Nova Scotia

February 05, 2024

During my recent circuit of the Sambro Loop I photographed a few diving birds. They are usually far off shore so the images require severe editing and enlarging. Sometimes one is in the right place as they surface and the photographer is not spotted. Nova Scotia diving birds are wary due to the Nova Scotia habit of killing them for sport. I never understood the need to kill diving birds since their flesh is necessarily fishy tasting and not in a pleasant way so I have been told.


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Common Goldeneye

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Common Merganser

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Red-necked Grebe

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Hooded Merganser

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Sandhill Cranes

January 21, 2024

I photographed these Sandhill Cranes a couple of days ago west of Kentville. These cranes are very late but appear to be adjusting well to the cold weather as long as the corn continues to be easy to reach.

I had an opportunity to catch the three cranes flying as they passed low over my car but alas my lens had too much power and there was no time to change lenses. It is easy to understand why some photographers have two cameras at the ready.

Sandhill Cranes

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HMCS Max Bernays

January 20, 2024

There was no planning here. I was driving the Sambro Loop past Portuguese Cove when I spotted the HMCS Max Bernays heading to sea past Chebucto Head so I drove down to Duncan's Cove where I photographed it. It was just luck.

HMCS Max Bernays

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
HMCS Max Bernays (foreground), with HMCS Margaret Brooke (astern)
Name Max Bernays
Namesake Max Bernays
Builder Irving Shipbuilding, Halifax, Nova Scotia
Laid down 5 December 2018
Launched 23 October 2021
Homeport Esquimalt (planned)[1]
Identification IMO number4702527
Motto Interriti impetus (Latin for 'Undaunted by fire') alludes to Max Bernays’ heroism under enemy fire. The translation also conveys the idea of “fire” as a reference to the flames surrounding Bernays during the ordeal.
Status Sea trials
General characteristics
Type Harry DeWolf-class offshore patrol vessel
Displacement 6,615 t (6,511 long tons)
Length 103.6 m (339 ft 11 in)
Beam 19.0 m (62 ft 4 in)
Draught 5.7 m (18 ft 8 in)[2]
Ice class Polar Class 5
Installed power 4 × MAN 6L32/44CR (4 × 3.6 MW)[2]
Propulsion Diesel-electric; two shafts (2 × 4.5 MW)[4]
  • 17 kn (31 km/h; 20 mph) (open water)
  • 3 kn (5.6 km/h; 3.5 mph) in 1 m (3 ft 3 in) ice[7]
Range 6,800 nmi (12,600 km; 7,800 mi) at 14 kn (26 km/h; 16 mph)[3]
Boats & landing
craft carried
Complement 65
Aircraft carried Sikorsky CH-148 Cyclone or other helicopters/CU-176 Gargoyle UAV
Aviation facilities Hangar and flight deck

Max Bernays (AOPV 432) is the third Harry DeWolf-class offshore patrol vessel for the Royal Canadian Navy. The class was derived from the Arctic Offshore Patrol Ship project as part of the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy and is primarily designed for the patrol and support of Canada's Arctic regions.

Design and description

The Harry DeWolf-class offshore patrol vessels are designed for use in the Arctic regions of Canada for patrol and support within Canada's exclusive economic zone. The vessel is 103.6 m (339 ft 11 in) long overall with a beam of 19.0 m (62 ft 4 in). The ship will have a displacement of 6,615 metric tons (6,511 long tons). The ship has an enclosed foredeck that protects machinery and work spaces from Arctic climates. The vessel will be powered by a diesel-electric system composed of four 3.6-megawatt (4,800 hp) MAN 6L32/44CR[2] four-stroke medium-speed diesel generators and two electric propulsion motors rated at 4.5 megawatts (6,000 hp) driving two shafts. Max Bernays will be capable of 17 knots (31 km/h; 20 mph) in open water and 3 knots (5.6 km/h; 3.5 mph) in 1-metre (3 ft 3 in) first-year sea ice. The ship will also equipped with a bow thruster to aid during manoeuvres and docking procedures without requiring tugboat assistance. The ship will have a range of 6,800 nautical miles (12,600 km; 7,800 mi) and an endurance of 120 days. Max Bernays will be equipped with fin stabilizers to decrease roll in open water but can be retracted during icebreaking.[8][4][9]

Max Bernays will be able to deploy with multiple payloads, including shipping containers, underwater survey equipment or landing craft. Payload operations are aided by a 20-metric-ton (20-long-ton; 22-short-ton) crane for loading and unloading. The ship is equipped with a vehicle bay which can hold pickup trucks, all-terrain vehicles and snowmobiles. The ship will also have two 8.5-metre (27 ft 11 in) multi-role rescue boats capable of over 35 knots (65 km/h; 40 mph). The ship will be armed with one BAE Mk 38 25 mm (0.98 in) gun and two M2 Browning machine guns. The patrol ship has an onboard hangar and flight deck for helicopters up to the size of a Sikorsky CH-148 Cyclone. Max Bernays will have a complement of 65 and accommodation for 85[8][4][9] or 87.[10]

Construction and career

The patrol vessel's keel was laid down on 5 December 2018 by Irving Shipbuilding at Halifax, Nova Scotia.[11] The ship was launched on 23 October 2021, and was delivered to the Royal Canadian Navy 2 September 2022.[12] The naming ceremony was conducted on 29 May 2022 in conjunction with that for sister ship Margaret Brooke.[13] The ship began sea trials in July 2022.[14]

The ship was delivered to the RCN in September 2022 for post-acceptance trials and it was indicated that she would be the first vessel of her class to be based in the Pacific region, starting in 2023.[15][16]


Common Loons Crabbing

January 19, 2024

I was lucky enough when driving by Ketch Harbour, Nova Scotia, to spot this pair of Common Loons crabbing. I stopped and snapped a few photos before they moved further off shore.

Common Loons Crabbing

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Sharp-shinned Hawk

January 16, 2024

The Sharp-shinned Hawk is a nasty bird. Surely the raptors of the Jurassic Parks movies were modelled after this Accipiter, a true hawk with all the nasty characteristics as portrayed in the movies.

Sharp-shinned Hawk

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Peregrine Falcon, Second Sighting

January 16, 2024

These photos of the Peregrine Falcon near Canning, Nova Scotia, are an exercise in editing. The original RAW images show the falcons as all black since they were backlit by the sun brightening the sky through thin cloud.

Peregrine Falcon

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Horned Lark

January 16, 2024

Horned Larks are tricky to photograph as they hop between the plowed hummocks at Grand-Pré National Historic Site, Nova Scotia. The fields the Horned Larks work are below sea level, the sea being held back by the dykes build by the Acadians, the original settlers of this area.

These little titans are hardy birds toughing out the winters here with us in Nova Scotia. I visited their vast nesting grounds on Newfoundland, mostly open grassy fields. They were singing away their bright nesting songs and popping up to view on occasion.

Horned Lark

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Peregrine Falcon

January 06, 2024

What better way is there to start the 2024 nature photography year then photographs of the world's fastest bird, the Peregrine Falcon?

Peregrine Falcon

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Broad-winged Hawk and Last Photos of 2023

January 01, 2024

I ventured out after a light snowfall in search of memories. One of my favourite winter subjects is architecture and of course wildlife. I did find a Broad-winged Hawk. The hawk looked like a witches broom since it was so far away but the broad wings and loping flight gave it away.

I spent all my time in West Hants County which is a pain to get around in due to the many destroyed bridges thanks to our tropical monsoon adventure in the fall.

Broad-winged Hawk

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