Subscribe to Blog
January February March April May June July August September October November December (2)
January (8) February (7) March (4) April (3) May June July August September October November December

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

Peregrine Falcon 600Peregrine Falcon 600 Peregrine Falcon 601Peregrine Falcon 601 Peregrine Falcon 602Peregrine Falcon 602 Peregrine Falcon 603Peregrine Falcon 603

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

Horned Lark 457Horned Lark 457

Horned Lark 450Horned Lark 450 Horned Lark 451Horned Lark 451 Horned Lark 452Horned Lark 452 Horned Lark 453Horned Lark 453 Horned Lark 454Horned Lark 454 Horned Lark 455Horned Lark 455 Horned Lark 456Horned Lark 456


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

Peregrine Falcon 450Peregrine Falcon 450 Peregrine Falcon 451Peregrine Falcon 451 Peregrine Falcon 452Peregrine Falcon 452 Peregrine Falcon 453Peregrine Falcon 453 Peregrine Falcon 454Peregrine Falcon 454 Peregrine Falcon 455Peregrine Falcon 455

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

Broad-winged Hawk 150Broad-winged Hawk 150 End of 2023 Scenes 100 copyEnd of 2023 Scenes 100 copy End of 2023 Scenes 101End of 2023 Scenes 101 End of 2023 Scenes 102End of 2023 Scenes 102 End of 2023 Scenes 103End of 2023 Scenes 103 End of 2023 Scenes 104End of 2023 Scenes 104 End of 2023 Scenes 105End of 2023 Scenes 105 End of 2023 Scenes 106End of 2023 Scenes 106 End of 2023 Scenes 107End of 2023 Scenes 107 End of 2023 Scenes 108End of 2023 Scenes 108 End of 2023 Scenes 109End of 2023 Scenes 109 End of 2023 Scenes 110End of 2023 Scenes 110 End of 2023 Scenes 111End of 2023 Scenes 111 End of 2023 Scenes 112End of 2023 Scenes 112 End of 2023 Scenes 113End of 2023 Scenes 113 End of 2023 Scenes 114End of 2023 Scenes 114 End of 2023 Scenes 115End of 2023 Scenes 115 End of 2023 Scenes 116End of 2023 Scenes 116 End of 2023 Scenes 117End of 2023 Scenes 117 End of 2023 Scenes 118End of 2023 Scenes 118

Waterfowl Patrol at the Head of St. Margaret's Bay

December 30, 2023

Laura and I toured the head of St. Margaret's Bay to check out the open ocean waterfowl and what opportunities and locations there are for winter waterfowl photography. The opportunities look promising. I left my big telephoto lens at home, (1200mm at 61mp) on this trip and used my walk about telephoto lens, (800mm at 25mp). I should get much better quality photos later this winter. I didn't photograph the dabbling ducks on this trip.

The photos shown herein are severe crops since the birds are diving off in deep water.


Common Loon

Red-breasted Merganser

Hooded Merganser

Horned Grebe

Red-breasted Merganser

Red-necked Grebe

Surf Scoter

White-winged Scoter

Christmas Morning at the Bedford Basin

December 30, 2023

On Christmas Morning I snapped these photographs of haze and fog over the head of the Bedford Basin. The Bedford Basin was a major staging area for convoys getting ready to cross the Atlantic Ocean during World War II.

Head of Bedford Basin on Christmas Morning

Christmas Morning Bedford Basin 100Christmas Morning Bedford Basin 100 Christmas Morning Bedford Basin 101Christmas Morning Bedford Basin 101 Christmas Morning Bedford Basin 103Christmas Morning Bedford Basin 103 Christmas Morning Bedford Basin 104Christmas Morning Bedford Basin 104 Christmas Morning Bedford Basin 105Christmas Morning Bedford Basin 105 Christmas Morning Bedford Basin 106Christmas Morning Bedford Basin 106 Christmas Morning Bedford Basin 107Christmas Morning Bedford Basin 107 Christmas Morning Bedford Basin 108Christmas Morning Bedford Basin 108

Nova Scotia's Second December Gale

December 30, 2023

We had another major gale, force 8, with hurricane strength gusts. Unfortunately the coastline was mostly fogged in so I had few opportunities for good shots. Another annoying issue in Nova Scotia is the shortage of good ocean views where one can safely park away from traffic.

Nova Scotia's Second December Gale

Nova Scotia's Second Gale 100Nova Scotia's Second Gale 100 Nova Scotia's Second Gale 101Nova Scotia's Second Gale 101 Nova Scotia's Second Gale 102Nova Scotia's Second Gale 102 Nova Scotia's Second Gale 103Nova Scotia's Second Gale 103 Nova Scotia's Second Gale 104Nova Scotia's Second Gale 104 Nova Scotia's Second Gale 105Nova Scotia's Second Gale 105 Nova Scotia's Second Gale 106Nova Scotia's Second Gale 106 Nova Scotia's Second Gale 107Nova Scotia's Second Gale 107 Nova Scotia's Second Gale 108Nova Scotia's Second Gale 108 Nova Scotia's Second Gale 109Nova Scotia's Second Gale 109 Nova Scotia's Second Gale 110Nova Scotia's Second Gale 110 Nova Scotia's Second Gale 111Nova Scotia's Second Gale 111 Nova Scotia's Second Gale 112Nova Scotia's Second Gale 112 Nova Scotia's Second Gale 113Nova Scotia's Second Gale 113 Nova Scotia's Second Gale 114Nova Scotia's Second Gale 114 Nova Scotia's Second Gale 115Nova Scotia's Second Gale 115 Nova Scotia's Second Gale 116Nova Scotia's Second Gale 116 Nova Scotia's Second Gale 117Nova Scotia's Second Gale 117 Nova Scotia's Second Gale 118Nova Scotia's Second Gale 118 Nova Scotia's Second Gale 119Nova Scotia's Second Gale 119 Nova Scotia's Second Gale 120Nova Scotia's Second Gale 120 Nova Scotia's Second Gale 121Nova Scotia's Second Gale 121 Nova Scotia's Second Gale 122Nova Scotia's Second Gale 122 Nova Scotia's Second Gale 123Nova Scotia's Second Gale 123 Nova Scotia's Second Gale 124Nova Scotia's Second Gale 124

Long-tailed Duck and Black Guillemot

December 23, 2023

Winter photography is here. I've shot one winter gale and the second one is in the hopper. With the woodlands mostly empty of easy to find birds and other wildlife the ocean beckons me now with its wild weather and sea birds. The woodlands await the first heavy snow always a joy but one has to get to the scenic places before the foot prints and tire tracks spoil the show.

I lucked out today when I found two pairs of Long-tailed Ducks, an elegant bird with a inane name. Sea ducks are tricky to photograph since they seldom come close to shore and long distance photography over water is usually a disaster due to fog, haze and waves.

Long-tailed Duck

Long-tailled Duck 106Long-tailled Duck 106

Black Guillemot

Black Guillemot 100Black Guillemot 100 Black Guillemot 101Black Guillemot 101 Black Guillemot 102Black Guillemot 102 Black Guillemot 103Black Guillemot 103 Long-tailled Duck 100Long-tailled Duck 100 Long-tailled Duck 101Long-tailled Duck 101 Long-tailled Duck 102Long-tailled Duck 102 Long-tailled Duck 103Long-tailled Duck 103 Long-tailled Duck 104Long-tailled Duck 104 Long-tailled Duck 105Long-tailled Duck 105

Nova Scotia Coast in a Gale

December 13, 2023  •  Leave a Comment

I toured the eastern shore of Nova Scotia during a December gale from Martinique Beach Provincial Park, to East Chezzetcook, West Chezzetcook, Lawrencetown Beach, Conrad's Beach, Cole Harbour and finally finishing at Peggy's Cove.

The highlight of the tour was meeting a gathering of Common Mergansers, the largest such gatherings I have ever witnessed. No doubt they were sheltering away from the coastal surf.

Wind gusts up to 100kph sandblasting my face was a reminder of Nature's fury. I was almost blown over at Martinique Beach

West Chezzetcook

Wind Surfers at Play

December Gale 100December Gale 100 December Gale 101December Gale 101 December Gale 102December Gale 102 December Gale 103December Gale 103 December Gale 104December Gale 104 December Gale 105December Gale 105 December Gale 106December Gale 106 December Gale 107December Gale 107 December Gale 108December Gale 108 December Gale 109December Gale 109 December Gale 110December Gale 110 December Gale 111December Gale 111 December Gale 112December Gale 112 December Gale 113December Gale 113 December Gale 114December Gale 114 December Gale 115December Gale 115 December Gale 116December Gale 116 December Gale 117December Gale 117 December Gale 118December Gale 118 December Gale 119December Gale 119 December Gale 120December Gale 120 December Gale 121December Gale 121 December Gale 122December Gale 122 December Gale 123December Gale 123 December Gale 124December Gale 124 December Gale 125December Gale 125

Gathering of Common Mergansers

December Gale 126December Gale 126 December Gale 127December Gale 127 December Gale 128December Gale 128 December Gale 129December Gale 129 December Gale 130December Gale 130

Wind Surfers at West Chezzetcook

December Gale 131December Gale 131 December Gale 132December Gale 132 December Gale 133December Gale 133 December Gale 134December Gale 134 December Gale 135December Gale 135 December Gale 136December Gale 136 December Gale 137December Gale 137 December Gale 138December Gale 138 December Gale 139December Gale 139 December Gale 140December Gale 140 December Gale 141December Gale 141 December Gale 142December Gale 142 December Gale 143December Gale 143 December Gale 144December Gale 144 December Gale 145December Gale 145

Gulls Hunkered Down From the Wind

December Gale 146December Gale 146 December Gale 147December Gale 147 December Gale 148December Gale 148 December Gale 149December Gale 149 December Gale 150December Gale 150 December Gale 151December Gale 151 December Gale 152December Gale 152 December Gale 153December Gale 153 December Gale 154December Gale 154 December Gale 155December Gale 155 December Gale 156December Gale 156 December Gale 157December Gale 157

Peggy's Cove Light

December Gale 158December Gale 158 December Gale 159December Gale 159 December Gale 160December Gale 160 December Gale 161December Gale 161 December Gale 162December Gale 162 December Gale 163December Gale 163 December Gale 164December Gale 164 December Gale 165December Gale 165 December Gale 166December Gale 166 December Gale 167December Gale 167 December Gale 168December Gale 168 December Gale 169December Gale 169 December Gale 170December Gale 170

Red-shouldered Hawk

December 08, 2023  •  Leave a Comment

The Red-shouldered Hawk is now a Nova Scotia nesting bird and a year round resident. This example has returned from its summer time wanderings to over winter at the same nursery I photographed it at last year.

The personality of a bird is normally not a diagnostic tool but the personality differences between the Red-shouldered Hawk and the closely related Red-tailed Hawk is striking. The Red-tailed Hawk is a flighty bird flying away at the slightest provocation whereas the Red-shouldered Hawk will sit and look at you or ignore you as it scans the area for its next meal.

Red-shouldered Hawk

Black-headed Grosbeak

December 05, 2023

This rare bird almost turned into a tale of woe for me. I set up with a view of the feeder from the road expecting some distant photos. But wait! The Black-headed Grosbeak popped up in front of me in a multiflora tangle almost void of fruit. This intrepid forager found some of the last remaining offerings. This supplements the bird and the winter bird photographic opportunity. camera would not focus no matter what I did. I managed these photos using manual focus. Somewhere along the way I touched the wrong key or software button. This camera will be leaving my service since this should not happen,...ever.

This visit of the Black-headed Grosbeak is a 16th record for Nova Scotia and the first for December. In all likelihood it will stay all winter.

Black-headed Grosbeak

Black-headed Grosbeak 100Black-headed Grosbeak 100 Black-headed Grosbeak 101Black-headed Grosbeak 101 Black-headed Grosbeak 102Black-headed Grosbeak 102 Black-headed Grosbeak 103Black-headed Grosbeak 103


Black-headed Grosbeak 104Black-headed Grosbeak 104

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Black-headed grosbeak
Male in California, United States
Duration: 9 seconds.
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Cardinalidae
Genus: Pheucticus
P. melanocephalus
Binomial name
Pheucticus melanocephalus
(Swainson, 1827)

The black-headed grosbeak (Pheucticus melanocephalus) is a medium-sized, seed-eating bird in the family Cardinalidae. It is sometimes considered conspecific with the rose-breasted grosbeak (P. ludovicianus) with which it hybridizes on the American Great Plains.

The 19 cm (7.5 in) long, 47 g (1.7 oz) black-headed grosbeak is a migratory bird, with nesting grounds from southwestern British Columbia, through the western half of the United States, into central Mexico. It occurs as a vagrant further south in Central America.


Photograph of female
The female of this species looks similar to the female of the rose-breasted grosbeak and is best separated on geographical range.


  • Length: 7.1–7.5 in (18–19 cm)
  • Weight: 1.2–1.7 oz (34–48 g)
  • Wingspan: 12.6 inches (32 cm)

The black-headed grosbeak is similar in size to a common starling. As per its name, the male has a black head, and black wings and tail with prominent white patches. Its breast is dark to tawny orange in color, and its belly is yellow. The female has a brown head, neck, and back with sparrow-like black streaks. She also has white streaks down the middle of her head, over her eyes, and on her cheeks. Her breast is white, and wings and tail are grayish-brown with two white wing bars and yellowish wing edges.


Nova Scotia's 2023 Premier Bird, the Grey-crowned Rosy Finch

December 02, 2023

I first photographed the Grey-crowned Rosy Finch January 23, 2023. It is Nova Scotia's first confirmed record. I was not satisfied with my edits from the original posting so I went back to my RAW images of last January and tried again. The finch was consuming sunflower seeds as it should to survive our nasty winter and these seeds do compromise the photos around the beak, but who cares?

Grey-crowned Rosy Finch

Grey-crowned Rosy Finch 352Grey-crowned Rosy Finch 352 Grey-crowned Rosy Finch 353Grey-crowned Rosy Finch 353 Grey-crowned Rosy Finch 355Grey-crowned Rosy Finch 355 Grey-crowned Rosy Finch 356Grey-crowned Rosy Finch 356 Grey-crowned Rosy Finch 357Grey-crowned Rosy Finch 357 Grey-crowned Rosy Finch 358Grey-crowned Rosy Finch 358 Grey-crowned Rosy Finch 359Grey-crowned Rosy Finch 359 Grey-crowned Rosy Finch 360Grey-crowned Rosy Finch 360

Sanderlings and Friends

November 22, 2023

There was a shorebird melee at Sandy Cove's Beach in Halifax. I found European Starlings (always present year round), Sanderlings, Semipalmated Sandpipers, Black Ducks, and one Bairds Sandpiper.

European Starlings


Black Ducks and Sanderlings

Sanderlings, Semipalmated Sandpipers and one Baird's Sandpiper

Yellow-breasted Chat

November 22, 2023

This beautiful Yellow-breasted Chat will try to overwinter in our merciless climate. I had one in my back yard for some time several years ago as I attempted to save it. I fed it grape jelly, suet, red grapes and peanut butter all combined in a mesh bag heated by flood lights so they would be constantly warm. The chat would even stand on the lights to warm up. Yet for all my effort it still vanished. It must have build up enough body fat to make a run for the Carolinas. I hope so.

Yellow-breasted Chat


Even More Sandhill Crane Photographs

November 22, 2023

The Sandhill Crane family continues to linger and feed in the corn field stubble. I have photographed them in previous years scratching away the snow to find the corn so they may stay awhile yet. The corn field stubble makes for the worst possible background to photograph these elegant birds.

Sandhill Cranes

Sandhill Crane 550Sandhill Crane 550 Sandhill Crane 551Sandhill Crane 551 Sandhill Crane 552Sandhill Crane 552 Sandhill Crane 770Sandhill Crane 770 Sandhill Crane 771Sandhill Crane 771 Sandhill Crane 772Sandhill Crane 772 Sandhill Crane 773Sandhill Crane 773 Sandhill Crane 774Sandhill Crane 774 Sandhill Crane 775Sandhill Crane 775 Sandhill Crane 776Sandhill Crane 776 Sandhill Crane 777Sandhill Crane 777 Sandhill Crane 778Sandhill Crane 778 Sandhill Crane 779Sandhill Crane 779 Sandhill Crane 780Sandhill Crane 780 Sandhill Crane 781Sandhill Crane 781 Sandhill Crane 782Sandhill Crane 782 Sandhill Crane 783Sandhill Crane 783 Sandhill Crane 784Sandhill Crane 784 Sandhill Crane 785Sandhill Crane 785 Sandhill Crane 786Sandhill Crane 786