Photographing “Lifer” Species

Every Thursday or Friday Ron Tozer posts an update on the wildlife species being seen in Algonquin Park. January and February updates included the information that one of the park naturalists had put out a large suet feeder along the Spruce Bog Trail. Boreal Chickadees and American Martens were coming in for the feast.

I have been going to Algonquin Park every winter for years hoping to see and photograph these species. On my second visit this winter I managed to get both!

Boreal Chickadees don’t usually come into feeders but there were few seeds for them in the forest and at least three have been regulars at the suet cage.

They are fast and a challenge to photograph.

American Martens have been raiding the suet feeders at the Visitors Centre for years. One time when I was still doing video (before 1997) I had the opportunity to attempt to photograph a marten from inside the Centre from a window in the lower level offices. A marten came in and stole all the suet from the feeder and I don’t think I even got a decent picture of it. Suet was hard to come by for Ron, at the time, and he was quite upset about the theft.

Two martens were seen while I was there this time. I did get a few images which made these particular encounters even more special.

After I arrived at the Spruce Bog Trail a man and woman came in with video and still camera gear. I had a pretty good idea who they were but was able to confirm their identity without too much gushing. Janet and John Foster were my heroes long before I began using video. I had hundreds of tapes of the many programs they had done. I envied their abilities and their access to so many wonderful places to see so many animals. My fantasy was that I would meet somone who was as interested in photography as I was and we would spend most of our time together travelling to see amazing animals all over the world. Well, to say the least, things didn’t just work out that way but I have been to some very exciting places and been able to photograph some pretty amazing wildlife. Just being able to drive to Algonquin Park to see two species new to me makes life pretty exciting.

Last Saturday was the opening reception of my new show at the Chapel Gallery in Bracebridge. Lots of work with great rewards. Many friends stopped by for a visit for which I am most thankful. Lots of fun and quite busy at times.

This week I settled down to try to photograph the Common Redpolls that have dropped in on their way back North. They do make a dull day much brighter.

All the images in this blog are the sole property of Eleanor Kee Wellman and may not be used for any purpose with out the written permission of the photography.
All the above images were taken using my Canon 7D and 100-400 lens, handheld.