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Supermoon Rise and Sunset in Smoke

September 30, 2023

I had hoped to photograph Saturn and the Harvest Supermoon but alas stars were not visible through the smoke of the northern wild fires.

First up was the sunset since it would set before the moon would rise above the horizon. I shot the sun at Peggy's Cove at normal exposure and one stop underexposed. The results were somewhat spooky.

Second up was the moon rise but as usual the horizon was obscured but the moon finally rose above it and shone bright but very orange-red in the twilight.

Note how the bands on the sun changed colour as the refraction adjusted to the depth of smoke the sun had to shine through.

Sun Setting at Peggy's Cove Through Wild Fire Smoke

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The Harvest Supermoon Shining Through Wildfire Smoke

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Yellow-rumped Warbler and Friends

September 29, 2023

I encountered Yellow-rumped Warblers (25+) and other species at Duncan's Cove and at Sandy Cove's Beach area (25+). The bunch at Duncan's Cove were on the east side of the road so of course the images were backlit and mostly unusable. This was a mixed warbler flock with Ruby-crowned Kinglets. The Yellow-rumped Warblers at Duncan's Cove were in the shrubbery near the water and also backlit but thanks to the ridge behind them the image quality was improved. So far I have not found a Solitary Sandpiper at Sandy Cove's beach. I usually find them here every year but perhaps they are late this year.

Yellow-rumped Warbler

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Cedar Waxwing

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American Goldfinch

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Great Blue Heron

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Song Sparrow

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Yellow-rumped Warbler

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Eastern Bluebird and Eastern Phoebe

September 25, 2023

I photographed the Eastern Bluebird and Eastern Phoebe from a long distance so the images are severely cropped. Both of these species were engaged in flycatching, a lucrative pastime when working pasture lands especially when horses are present. The location is on private property and a long ways up the driveway. Permission as always must be obtained when accessing private property. There was an Eastern Kingbird present as well.

Eastern Bluebird

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Eastern Phoebe

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Eclectic Mix of Recent Photographs

September 23, 2023

I'd hoped to photograph three cruise ships departing at my favourite look-off at Chebucto Head but alas the clouds and dusk allowed only one to be photographed and that was just as it was leaving the harbour by Duncan's Cove.

Birds, butterflies and dragonflies continue to be scarce. This is the worst year I can recall of the last 23 years in Nova Scotia.

Black-and-White Warbler

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Black-tipped Darner, a Strikingly Beautiful Dragonfly

Black-tipped Darner Dragonfly 100Black-tipped Darner Dragonfly 100 Black-tipped Darner Dragonfly 101Black-tipped Darner Dragonfly 101

Great Blue Heron

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The Sailboats were Cruising at Dusk

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Silver Cloud Just Off Duncan's Cove

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Song Sparrow

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Sport Fisher Rushing Home

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White-tailed Deer With Three Spotless Fawns, so Probably Early Spring Births

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White-breasted Nuthatch

September 19, 2023

The White-breasted Nuthatch forages for goodies under the bark of trees by going down the tree, ostensibly to find stuff the Brown Creepers and Red-breasted Nuthatches have missed in their upward foraging. Most migrate but some overwinter especially if they can find a reliable food source such as sunflower seeds.

White-breasted Nuthatch

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Monarch Butterfly and Meadowhawk Dragonfly

September 19, 2023

I'm not your "go to" guy for dragonfly identification. Indeed even the experts have to net them for closer inspection, a somewhat creepy practise.

As I expected Monarch Butterflies are becoming easier to find in September. They are among the most cooperative in posing for photographs. I have had a poor year for butterfly photography with even common butterflies such as Canadian Tiger Swallowtail and Painted Lady as yet unseen.

Meadowhawk Dragonfly

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Monarch Butterfly

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Shoreline Tour after Post Tropical Storm Lee

September 19, 2023

After Post Tropical Storm Lee passed I took a tour of the coastline from Tantallon to Peggy's Cove thence to Sambro Harbour, Sandy Cove Beach, Duncan's Cove and the harbour shore from Portuguese Cove to Sir Sanford Fleming Park. The wind had subsided and so had the sea so the surf was hardly more than that I'd expect from a moderate noreaster. There was very little damage or fallen trees. The worst of the storm was on the west side of Nova Scotia after it made landfall at Long Island and Brier Island.

Common Yellowthroat at Sandy Cove Road

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The Village at Peggy's Cove

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The Gulls Rode Out the Storm on the Rock Bluffs Near Peggy's Cove

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The Coastal Surf

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Peggy's Cove Light

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The Fishing Fleet and Pleasure Craft were Snugged Against the Dock at Sambro Harbour

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Common Eider, First Summer Male

September 16, 2023

This first summer Common Eider male duck had me befuddled for a time primarily due to the yellow on the bill. I wrestled between Common Eider and White-winged Scoter for a time but the lack of field marks for a White-winged Scoter had it removed as a possibility.

I don't often see Common Eiders alone. This example was fishing close enough to shore to allow for decent photographs.

Common Eider, First Summer Male

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Canadian Navy Fleet Week 2023

September 12, 2023

Halifax International Fleet Week



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About the Event

Halifax International Fleet Week will showcase Halifax as Canada's defence and ocean hub with participation from Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) service members from across the country as well as the United States, Germany, England, and France.  Sailors will congregate in the historic garrison town from Sept. 7-10 to enjoy an extended weekend of camaraderie, sportsmanship, legendary maritime hospitality, and the ability to extend and demonstrate our international allyship. The week coincides with the RCN offshore exercise CUTLASS FURY 2023.

Parade of Ships

Cruise ships at Immigration

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Double-crested Cormorant

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Gear for Floating Wind Turbines

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HMCS Frederiction

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HMCS Charlottetown

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HMCS Glace Bay

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HMCS Max Bernays

HMCS Max Bernays 100HMCS Max Bernays 100 HMCS Max Bernays 101HMCS Max Bernays 101 HMCS Max Bernays 102HMCS Max Bernays 102 HMCS Max Bernays 103HMCS Max Bernays 103 HMCS Max Bernays 104HMCS Max Bernays 104 HMCS Max Bernays 105HMCS Max Bernays 105 HMCS Max Bernays 106HMCS Max Bernays 106

HMCS Moncton

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USNS William McLean

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USS James E. Williams

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USS Porter

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The Waterfront Boardwalk and Goody Stands

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Yellow-bellied Flycatcher and Least Flycatcher

September 06, 2023

Laura and I toured the Noel shore and stopped at Anthony Provincial Park for a picnic and while Laura picked the last remaining blackberries I hunted out the few remaining and probably migrating birds. I was delighted to find and photograph the Yellow-bellied Flycatcher and Least Flycatcher, both woodland birds. The warblers present did not pose for me.

Yellow-bellied Flycatcher

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Least Flycatcher

Least Flycatcher 100Least Flycatcher 100 Least Flycatcher 101Least Flycatcher 101 Least Flycatcher 102Least Flycatcher 102

Yellow Lady's Tresses Orchid

September 06, 2023

The Yellow Lady's Tresses Orchid is our latest orchid and flowers up to and sometimes past the first hard frost. The name stems from the yellow tongue of the flower. They like very dry and well drained ground.

Yellow Lady's Tresses Orchid

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Surf and Shorebirds at Martinique Beach

September 06, 2023

The waves at Martinique Beach can be enormous. The conditions depicted here and in my videos are not safe for surfing or swimming. I left my rubber boots in the car and they were nice and dry whereas my feet were soaked as I got caught by a large wave and yes they do get you by surprise.

Surf and Shorebirds at Martinique Beach

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Semipalmated Plover

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Towering very dangerous surf

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Shorebird Melee

Peeps 500Peeps 500 Semipalmated Plover 300Semipalmated Plover 300

Semipalmated Plover

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Semipalmated Sandpiper

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Videos of Shorebirds and Surf at Martinique Beach

September 06, 2023

I'm new at video so my work will be a little rough for a time. These videos are from my recent visit to Martinique Beach, in my opinion the most magnificent beach in Nova Scotia although I have certainly not visited them all.

In the spring look for Ipswich Sparrows behind the beach ridge and on the kelp heaps particularly at the east end of the beach. The spit beyond the beach is well known for Blackpoll Warblers, Swainson's Thrush and giant mosquitoes. In the fall after the beaches clear of humans and dogs thousands of shore birds will forage the full length of the beach.

Semipalmated Plovers and Monstrous Surf

Shorebirds and Turbulent Surf at Martinique Beach


Shorebirds, surfers and Surf Shorebirds and Surf at Martinique Beach Shorebirds Dodging the Surf at Martinique Beach

Common Merganser

September 06, 2023

The Common Merganser is the hardest of our three merganser species to photograph. They tend to be very vary of humans probably because we kill so many of them for sport. I have never understood the motive to kill sentient species of any kind. Perhaps some of us still live in caves.

Common Merganser

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Surf and Sunset at Peggy's Cove

September 05, 2023

Peggy's Cove is a great location for astrophotography, capturing the angry sea and sunsets, often on the same late day outing. It is also not too bad for Nova Scotia fishing port culture.

Surf and Sunset at Peggy's Cove

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