I look forward to Ron Pittaway’s Winter Finch Forecast each year in anticipation of winter photography opportunities here in central Ontario. When seed crops are poor in the north, Finches and other winter boreal inhabitants will move south to take advantage of seed crops here. Last year was an irruptive year for the Common Redpoll and I was able to get many great images including several shots for the 2014 calendar. This years forecast is predicting that most Finches will remain in their normal feeding area since seed crops are generally above average to excellent. I can’t help but notice that most seed bearing trees are flush with fruit this year in our area as well.
Back in late August while I was under my blind waiting for a Hummingbird shot, I noticed that American Robins were busily feeding in my next-door neighbour’s Mountain Ash tree that is in his front yard. The American Robin is a member of the Thrush family and feeds on insects, earthworms and fruit including the Mountain Ash. Since the American Robin has a warm orange breast, I thought a nice image could be created if I was able to get a shot with the Robin in close proximity to a cluster of orange Mountain Ash berries. As I surveyed the tree from underneath, there were plenty of obstructions such as leaves and twigs. I also thought that if I took an image from that vantage point it would be a typical image with an upwards view. I then hatched the idea of using my neighbours roof as a photography platform. With his permission, I positioned myself at the same height as the feeding Robins. I was only able to get a few pictures that day including the one that follows this paragraph but I knew I would be going back up on that roof one day.
After the market was over today and I was unloading the car, I couldn’t help but notice a large number of American Robins were feeding on the Mountain Ash again, this time with regular frequency. I spoke to my neighbour again and with all the proper cautions in place, I was once again at eye level with the feeding Robins. I captured many images and the ones below are a few of my favourites.
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