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All photographs by David Lilly

Winter River Birds

This winter has been great for Bird photographer in Calgary. The weather is mild, lots of great light and not much snow.


Wandering around in the city parks I was able to find a lot of birds. As a matter of fact on the Christmas Bird Count 85 different birds were counted. A little above average.


We have a Harlequin Duck that has made the Bow River his home for the winter. Of course we have a variety of regular winter birds.


Nikon D 500 withe a Nikon 200 - 500mm lens

A Beautiful Merlin

I was checking some sites today for Short-eared Owls.


As I drove around I came across this Merlin on a fence post. I expected the bird to fly in a short time, but it stayed on the pole for some time. I took as many photos as needed and waited for bird to fly. I finally flew but as I expected directly away from me and no-chance of a flight photo.


At least the light was perfect - directly behind me. Although, it was sunny with the low angle of the sun in winter it was an excellent lighted pose.


I under exposed as not to burn out the highlights.


Nikon 500 with a 200 - 500mm lens.

Female Northern Flicker in the Winter

I could not believe my luck today - a Female Northern Flicker happily posed for me.


After posing for a couple of minutes she did something strange. She flew down on the ice and was looking for insects on the ice and the cracks in the ice.


The light was perfect, the background was perfect and my camera settings was perfect.


When all the elements come together it makes for a great day in the field.


Nikon D 500 with a 200 - 500mm lens.

More Winter Birds

We bird Photographers never know what we will see when we venture out for bird photography.


Today, I observed two Ravens cleaning each other or a courtship ritual.


The Common Goldeneye, Hairy Woodpeckers and the Common Merganser are always easy to photograph in the Bow River.


Nikon D 500 with a 200 - 500mm lens.