More birds, more blessings


It is a cold, frosty morning here. It is nice to think of spring, which, really, is only a few weeks away. I will be glad to bid goodbye to winter, especially this year. Here are a few reminders of what’s in store for us in the months ahead – perhaps not these exact birds – these were taken in Newfoundland by a friend who has graciously agreed to allowing me to use them here. There will be more birds, and more blessings as the days roll by into spring. For today, I will do my best to count the blessings this day brings and look forward to the arrival of our feathered friends. I hope these photographs cheer you, as they do me.

Pine Grosbeak (Male) – Photo by Kathy Marche
Red-breasted nuthatch – Kathy Marche photo
Red-breasted Nuthatch 2 – Kathy Marche photo
Ruby-crowned Kinglet – Kathy Marche photo
Savannah Sparrow – Kathy Marche photo
Swamp Sparrow – Kathy Marche photo
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher – Kathy Marche photo
Yellow Throat – Kathy Marche photo

To walk in the woods and see such beauty and hear such song is a blessing. If you like bird watching and happen to travel to Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada I hope you chance to see some of these little beauties. My sincere thanks once again to Kathy Marche for her generosity in sharing these lovely photographs.

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The blessings of birds


The blessings of birds are many from their importance to ecosystems to the joys they bring with their songs. Here is another installment of photographs to help cheer your day. As always I am grateful to Kathy Marche, the photographer and the soul with a big heart. Thanks again, Kathy.

American Goldfinch – Kathy Marche photo




American Redstart – Photo by Kathy Marche








Black-backed Woodpecker – Kathy Marche photo
Black-bellied Plover – Photo by Kathy Marche
Cedar Waxwing – Kathy Marche photo
Common Yellowthroat – photo by Kathy Marche
Downy Woodpecker – Kathy Marche photo
Golden-crowned Kinglet – Kathy Marche photo
Hairy Woodpecker – photo by Kathy Marche
Kildeer – photo by Kathy Marche
Lincoln Sparrow – Kathy Marche photo

Northern Three-toed Woodpecker – Kathy Marche photo
Olive-sided Flycatcher – Kathy Marche photo
Pine Grosbeak – Kathy Marche photo

If you ever visit the province of Newfoundland & Labrador you may want to take a walk on the many trails through the woods – you’ll be glad you did!

Sun on Snow


There is a beauty to winter, however much I dislike the cold – and this past week has been brutally cold! Yet, seeing the sun rise on my way to work is a sight I am blessed to see, and I would battle the cold for such a view. The evening sunsets are also beautiful as the sun turns the snow on the hills a delicious shade of pink. These are a couple of photos I took with my phone trying to capture the magic, the majesty, and the wonder….

The sunset was spectacular and even made the parking lot at work a place of beauty

Even though the winter is cold the sun promises warmer days ahead and I am grateful

Winter’s Songsters


Winter can seem so unbearably long, especially when the temperatures dip to -40 Celsius and sometimes lower in this neck of the woods. In the early morn it can be as cold as -50s with the windchill factored in. It has not been fun driving to work in an ice haze, which is similar to a thick fog. Added to this is the frozen exhaust fumes from vehicles in front of me as I drove white-knuckled to work. These cold snaps do not last long – usually not more than a few days.

I joke that I cannot think straight because I am experiencing brain freeze (is that really a thing? It feels like it might be). At any rate, my friend Kathy enjoys winter. She is an avid skier and an outdoor enthusiast through all the seasons. Her collection of winter nature photos are every bit as wonderful as those she’s captured at any other time of year. She very kindly consented for me to use her photographs on my blog. This is the second installment. If you visit the island of Newfoundland in Canada you, too, may see some of the birds featured here. Without further ado here are some of the images captured by nature photographer, Kathy Marche.

Visitors to bird feeders include Redpolls – Kathy Marche photo
This little Redpoll must have been foraging for seed under the snow – Kathy Marche photo
What a treat to see Goldfinches in winter. – Kathy Marche photo
White-rumped Sandpipers like the seashore. – Kathy Marche photo
Black-capped Chick-a-dees can be seen at all times of the year. – Kathy Marche photo

The Boreal chick-a-dee is also a frequent visitor – Kathy Marche photo
Siskin in the snow — such a pretty little bird! – Kathy Marche photo
Newfoundlanders are always happy to see the return of the American Robin – one of the first signs of Spring! – Kathy Marche photo
Blue Jays stay year round. – Kathy Marche photo
While their cry is not exactly music to the ears, Blue Jays are quite pretty birds. – Kathy Marche photo
Snow bunting – so aptly named! – Kathy Marche photo
Another shot of a Snow Bunting – love the color in its cheeks! – Kathy Marche photo
This Willow Ptarmigan is well disguised to avoid predators, my friend has a good eye! – photo by Kathy Marche

Once again, sincere thanks to Kathy Marche for allowing me to showcase some of her beautiful photographs here. I hope you enjoy them.

Alberta Birds


Here I go again with photos of birds – this time all photographs were taken in Alberta, Canada. Some breeds are very common, others were a complete surprise and a lovely treat. Taken over a couple of years in various places in the province, and in all seasons. I love birds!!!!

The magpie is a common sight to see and can be mischievous. I’ve heard tales too of it’s thievery. One person told me of a magpie stealing burgers off the grill…this one was visiting the back deck last winter.
I do not know what breed this is. While I thoroughly enjoy watching and photographing birds, I am far from being an expert. This little guys was eating the berries from the tree in the yard. Thankfully there were some to keep our feathered friends alive through the cold winter months.
March brought quite a few different birds to the yard. this Cedar Waxwing pair were a delight to see – they provided many hours of entertainment.
This woodland Grouse spent more than a week in the yard – perhaps it was hiding from predators?
The little juncos were so fund to watch – there was a flock of them taking advantage of the birdseed that others had dropped on the ground….
I think this one is called an Ovenbird – please correct me if I’m wrong. At any rate it sure brought smiles of delight to my face….
I never knew how pretty the song was of the Red-winged Blackbird. I spent many joyous hours listening to their songs….
The Redpoll is a common sight in these parts of Alberta – such pretty little birds and a blessing to have them visit the yard and grace the branches of the tree in the front yard…
A Fox Sparrow? Not sure if I am correct or not, but these common, but very cheerful little birds are a joy to observe….

This woodpecker carved quite a decent-sized hole in the tree and made sure we knew who the carpenter was
this guy made a stopover in the yard…he didn’t stay long but his plumage was beautiful…I’d hoped to see him again and capture better images….sadly it was not to be
The purple sheen and shiny black of this common Grackle is so pretty – but their cry is not!
I was so excited to see the Gray Jays…my first sight of them….notoriously difficult to capture a decent image though…they are so swift of wing!!!

In the spring there were quite a few water fowl visiting a nearby green space…the plumage was so vibrant and the eyes really are red – quite a sight to see
It’s always sheer delight to me to watch hawks soaring overhead, but, again, very difficult to photograph – most of the time they are so far above me and my zoom lens is not strong enough to catch them….still, pure pleasure to watch and to listen to their cries…

If you enjoy nature and are a bird watcher, I’ve learned that Lac La Biche, Alberta, is one of the best spots in the country for bird watching. I am hoping to take a trip there this summer to see what I can see – and hopefully capture new (to me) breeds with my camera…. hope you have enjoyed these. Cheers!

Birds – notoriously difficult to photograph


I took the following photos in various locales in Newfoundland. On a cold winter day it’s fun to revisit these places in my mind and relive the moments. Mostly I remember how difficult it was to capture images of these very quick little creatures.

A common chick-a-dee, on of my favorite feathered friends – they can be found most everywhere across the country and are such a joy to watch
Foraging for food
This loon was sitting on the beach and seemed to be injured. It took me a good part of the day searching for help for it. Loons are usually seen floating on the ocean waters – not often seen otherwise. It’s wonderful to watch them fishing and, of course, their bird call is definitely distinctive.
Osprey a.k.a. fish hawks are making a come back along the coasts of the island of Newfoundland. In the tiny community of St. George’s a nest was made to help entice them. This one was circling her nest and the photo is heavily cropped as she was way up in the sky and did not want to be photographed!
There was actually a pair of Osprey flying above the nest – not sure if this is the male or female.
This little guy seemed to be scolding me – wanting to be left alone. I obliged, but not before snapping off a few shots…
On the Burgeo highway we chanced to see these beauties – they were quite friendly – I was standing just a couple of feet away from the bush where several birds were perched.
A beautiful sunny day – I loved my visit with these bright and cherry birds
I found it amazing how these little fellows could perch and hold onto a blade of grass and just sit there as it swayed in the breeze
Crows and Ravens are known for their intelligence, and it is amazing to witness their interaction with one another. they may not look or sound pretty, but they are amazing birds.

Canadian Snowbirds Air Show


As many of you may know, I love to take photographs – it’s one of my favorite pastimes. A few years ago I was fortunate to see the Canadian Snowbirds put on a show in Stephenville, NL. It was a cold, rainy day in June, but the pilots did their utmost to make it a day for the crowds that came to see them. I thought you might like seeing a few of the photographs I managed to capture that day.

On the tarmac at Stephenville International airport
The formations were awesome
Up, up and away
Awesome sight to see
This was a bit scary to watch – fantastic precision on the part of the pilots
Seconds after crossing in mid-air
My heart was in my throat as we watched the tricks and aerobatics above us
So proud…