It was yet another spectacular sunrise at Portuguese Cove. I took these photos from my front deck at 24mm, the widest lens capability I currently have. I hope sometime in the not too distant future to purchase the Sony 12-24mm, full frame, lens and then photo stitching will no longer be required. One needs about 16mm to capture a full sunrise and also to capture a full 180 degree rainbow.
We would never own a home with a western exposure. Sunsets don't cut it like sunrises which act as nature's kick start to the day.
Portuguese Cove Sunrise
The Merlin is a mid sized falcon larger than the Kestrel and smaller than the Peregrine Falcon. It also tends to hunt more like an accipiter, sitting in trees and waiting for prey to appear within scoring range. It is also the tamest of our Nova Scotia falcons although my experience with the Gyrfalcon is limited.
Bald Eagles have a favorite tree in the Annapolis Valley but this display and congregation is larger than usual. Count them if you dare.
The Iceland Gull, primarily a winter visitor, is plentiful this time of year. I've seen dozens flocking together over the surf near our beaches. It is similar in appearance to the uncommon Glaucous Gull a much larger lookalike although their sizes nearly overlap so size is not usually diagnostic. A better determinant is the bill size. The Glaucous Gull has a bill just as large as the Great Black-backed Gull whereas the Iceland Gull's bill is more akin to the size of a Ring-billed Gull.
The Hooded Merganser is an elegant and photogenic duck if you can find one close enough to photograph. Its quite flighty probably due to hundreds of years of being slaughtered by humans, a rather sad commentary on our species.
It was snowing when I took these photographs so the photographic definition does suffer a bit.
I enjoyed the Sunrise at Herring Cove prior to my trip to the Annapolis Valley. The sunrises here are a recent discovery although Laura and I enjoy the sunrises every morning at our home in Portuguese Cove. The sun continues to move north and will be rising in the centre of Herring Cove in a couple of weeks.
Herring Cove Sunrise
The Horned Lark despite its diminutive size is a winter survivor in Nova Scotia. It moves in flocks and it is easily startled and put to wing. I've had difficulty photographing this bird just for that reason. It works the open ground around corn fields.
I've enjoyed listening to this wonderful singer on its nesting territory in Newfoundland. Hundreds will sing simultaneously. Yes it does have horns. The horns are small but still count.
There are usually Bald Eagles patrolling the icy surface of Grand Lake. They prey on gulls usually the young ones that rest alone. Its important to flock together and post sentry birds to alert the group when a Bald Eagle approaches. Bald Eagles use the same technique with sleeping ducks.
Bald Eagles on Grand Lake
The Red-tailed Hawk is a buteo spending most of its time soaring while looking for prey or sitting in a tree or on a hay bail. Its easy to identify at a distance due to its belly band which "shows" clearly especially on adults. Its a wary bird and will usually take flight when one approaches.
Laura and I found Short-eared Owls once again on our second trip to the Annapolis Valley. The Short-eared Owl blends well into its open country environment so it can be tricky to find. More than once we flushed it simply because we did not see it. I do not know if the Northern Harrier preys on this owl or whether its a bit too large to wrestle. Northern Harriers are always cruising around open ground also looking for small mammals and birds.