Collingwood, March Break

As, for the last seven or eight years, I spent March Break with my grandson in Collingwood, Ontario while he skied. He has gone from taking the courses himself to coaching others this year.

Some years the ice in Collingwood harbour is thick and out as far as you can see into Georgian Bay. This year, by the end of my vist, no ice was visible at all. This means there is quite a variation in the waterfowl seen. Every day I go to the same spots to see what is happening.

It is always great to have the opportunity to photograph a bird I haven’t been able to work on before and this time it was an American Wigeon. He was pretty skittish but patience paid off. By that I mean sitting in my car-for-a-blind for several hours at a time until he came closer and closer and closer. Of course, the right light always helps.

Lots of places to explore in the area even if you are not a skier or boater.

Here at home the ice went out on my little lake last Wednesday! Snow all gone and that is a bit scary. We could pay for this weather yet and the birds that arrive early could be without food if it turns cold again. I’ll be having my first spring omellette this weekend with fresh chives from my garden. Always a treat! Enjoy!

The best part is getting any animal doing something other than just sitting there.

Although Mute Swans are not native to North America they thrive in some areas. They are quite agressive and take over nest spots of native birds. Collingwood harbour has been supporting them for a few years and I have counted twenty-two at one time. Before courting season begins they congregate in an area that doesn’t freeze over the winter and a photographer could get close-ups of their eyes if you wished. Their dislays are beautiful and their white feathers can be a challenge to obtain detail.

Sometimes getting wider views can be a challenge.

I added a bit of processing with Nik software with this one.

Large numbers of Canada Geese and Mallards like the fact that there is open water in the winter and many people feed them as well. This is a good place for close-up studies and they use some of the surrounding fields for feeding after the snow disappears.

Spring is here already and the ice went out on my little lake last Tuesday. The snow is all gone which is a bit scary. Great for us but may not be so good for early birds arrivals. An Eastern Phoebe put in an appearance on Wednesday and sang from several perches yesterday. A return of cold weather will not be good for them. Enjoy spring and hope you are able to watch flowers blooming. I will be having my first spring omellette this weekend with fresh chives from my garden. Always a spring treat!

All the images in this and all my blogs are the Copyright of Eleanor Kee Wellman and may not be used for any purpose without my written permission.
All the images in this blog post were taken with a Canon 7D, 500 mm + 1.4 convertor, beanbag with car-as-blind.

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