Is this going to be a great year for winter photography?

As fall turns into winter, our thoughts often turn to traveling to warmer climates to escape the snow and ice.  Strangely, I am finding myself looking forward to winter so that I can take advantage of the new photographic opportunities.  In September, Ron Pittaway publishes a Winter Finch forecast which predicts the movements of northern species of birds and whether or not we in the south will see them.  You can read this years forecast here http://www.ofo.ca/site/page/view/articles.winterfinches  We have already been seeing many finches in Central Ontario including Evening and Pine Grosbeaks, Pine Siskins, Redpolls and Crossbills.  One of my favourite birds to photograph, the Bohemian Waxwing, has already been seen locally which is 2 months earlier than normal.

The winter movements of other birds such as owls, are much harder to predict.  I know that everyone is hoping for another owl irruption such as the one in 1996 by the Great Grey Owl or in 2008, 2011/12 by the Snowy Owl.  One of the great things about being at the market every Saturday is that I get to talk nature with other naturalists about their sightings.  This past Saturday, a client told me about an owl she had seen locally so I ventured out on Sunday and I was successful in locating a Barred Owl not more than a 15 minute walk from my house.  I hope it hangs around for a while.

Click on the image for a larger size.

I maintain bird feeders each winter that are strategically located for photography and observation.  Yesterday morning, we had another great surprise, a first time visitor, a Red-bellied Woodpecker!  He is eating sunflower seeds and still trying to find his place in the pecking order at the feeder, pun intended!  We watched as he cautiously and patiently ate without offending the European Starlings.  I hope he hangs around for a while too, I can picture him on a nice-snow covered branch!

Click on the image for a larger size.

Thanks for stopping by.

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  1. By Finches and perches on March 5, 2013 at 7:35 pm

    […] iframe.height(height); } As I posed the question back in November, “is this going to be a great year for winter photography?”  I made reference to the Winter finch forecast.  As it turns out, we have seen a variety of […]