Macro-Season About to Start

I am looking forward to my official start of macro season. Looking around in nature for beautiful patterns and colour combinations is rewarding. Here a few sample shots taken on my trip to Tadoussac.

I use my Nikon D500 mounted with the TAMRON SP 90mm F2.8 Di Macro VC USD F017N Macro lens.

Featured Image:

Exploring Tadoussac

Pinecone Captured at Pointe de l’Islet Tadoussac on 25 May 2018 by Karl-Heinz Müller

Disclaimer: Products and services of all brands mentioned in this post have been purchased by myself and they are not mentioned here because I recommend them but solely because at the moment when I acquired them they looked to me as the best option for the available budget.

New Words: Pinecone – Tannzapfen, Lichen – Flechte

On Land & In Water – The Mammals – Tadoussac

It was no suprise to see squirrels, they are everywhere, and beluga whales, frequently to be seen from the coast at Tadoussac. Minke Whales and Grey Seals are already more rare. Minke whales can be seen from the beach though but because of their colour difficult to spot.

Finally, the Porcupine was a complete surprise. I saw it on a hike to the dunes about 5km from Tadoussac.

Featured Image: My favorite of these photos. Three Grey Seals relaxing a bit up the fjord of Saguenay

Grey Seal (Halichoerus grypus)

The Little Ones – Tadoussac

It was a joy to walk around in the woods and look out for all the busy small birds collecting food after their long migratory voyage. Some more colourful than others, some better hidden than others.

I saw these 7 within a few hours. Four of them, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Magnolia Warbler, Cape May Warbler and Palm Warbler are all birds of pages 208/209 of my indispensable guide “Le Guide des Oiseaux du Quebec et des Maritimes” which I use to id then back at the hotel.

Back to Tadoussac

I visited Tadoussac in 2013 with the main goal to see some whales. I returned this year in the hope to get more photos and not only of whales. It’s early into the season and there are still snow patches here and there. Temperatures are reasonable though and migratory birds have arrived.

Here the link to my previous post about Tadoussac

It was a very fortunate day today, with many birds species I see the first time. I also saw a few belugas and a porcupine.

Featured Photo: Ruby-crowned Kinglet, difficult to spot and even more difficult to photograph. It hides within the bushes most of the time and flies fast and erratically.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet (Regulus calendula)

 

Drama in the Pond

Great Blue Herons is the largest bird you can see in the parks around Montreal. Dominating the pond with its size, this bird is an excellent hunter, patiently waiting or moving slowly along the border to spot careless frogs or fishes.

Here a short clip showing you how a the heron catches and swallows a fish, recorded in Rapids Park Lachine, April 2018.

Featured Photo:

Taken in Rapids Park Lachine, Montreal, April 2018, showing you a close up of a Great Blue Heron with its catch, a frog, most probably a Wood Frog.

Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)

PS: This shot has been selected for Flickr “Explore”:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/khmuller/26827450727/

Special – Gulls

I already planned a special about gulls a while ago, when I was exploring Newfoundland but always postponed to write about the subject. Gulls are not that popular birds. They are raptors and scavengers, noisy but also elegant, versatile flyers and beautiful to watch when circling along the beach or rivers.

Around Montreal, I was able to identify three different species. Herring gulls have been more of a lucky catch as they look very similar to the a bit smaller Ring-billed Gull with the difference that they have a red spot instead of the black ring on the bill. Herring gulls are often seen within other gulls. Thus when you see a larger bird within a flock of Ring-billed gulls, it may be a herring gull.

More photos of gulls?

Featured Image:

My first photo of a gull taken in Park Lafontaine, Montreal

Chouette à Voir – Nice to See

It was my second visit of Chouette à voir, this time thanks to better light conditions, I tried to get some close up shots of the different bird of prey species.

Chouette à voir is a place maintained by UQROP [Union québécoise de réhabilitation des oiseaux de proie]. At this location, there are installations where birds can recover after having been treated by a veterinaire before they are released again. When you visit this place you may be witness of such a release and if you win the auction you may be even be the person to release the bird.

In Quebec, Canada, by law, if you see a injured or dead bird of prey, you have to report it to the authorities.  Injured animals then are treated and kept in a rehabilitation center like UQROP until they can be released again. Although, some birds cannot be released anymore as they may not be able to survive in the wilderness due to the type of injury or because they got too used to humans. These individuals then serve as ambassadors for the organizations like UQROP and you can see them from close or even hold one for a short photo session.

If you plan to visit the place consult the web site of UQROP before you visit as Chouette à voir is not open every day.

Disclaimer: I haven’t received any compensation to write and publish about Chouette à voir or UQROP.

 

A White Eastern Grey Squirrel

This time of the year, photos of animals around Montreal are mostly chickadees and squirrels and they don’t do anything different than hanging around near the bird feeder and foraging. Difficult to get interesting shots.

White Eastern Grey Squirrel (Sciurus Carolinensis)

Thus, spotting a rare white Eastern Grey Squirrel is a highly welcomed change from the usual. This one was the first one I saw. More frequently, I spot another variant, the black Eastern Grey Squirrel. For you to compare a small gallery of all three.

I resist elaborating the underlying genetic mechanisms for these color variants. If you are interested you can consult these two resources:

I did it, a blog post about Eastern Grey Squirrel. Eagerly awaiting the end of winter for more interesting shots and videos ;)