On Tuesday of this week, they were coming to their usual field along New Scotland Line, which they had been using for at least a week. Often they were a kilometre or more back from the road, but every once in awhile, at some point in the day, they would come fairly close....sometimes less than 100 metres from the road. They did this on the second time that I stopped that day. Just as I pulled off the road, I noted several groups of them headed straight for me, and some landed as close as about 80 metres! Unfortunately, it was a dull, snowy, drizzly day, and even at that relatively close distance, the images were not as clear as I would like. But you have to take what you get.
And when they got close enough, and I looked at some of the images more closely on the computer, I realized I had captured some of the Ross's Geese as well as some Snow X Ross's hybrids.
|Snows and Ross's and Canadas|
Of course unless you see things really clearly and from the best angle, not all of those characteristics are necessarily visible. A photo only shows that singular fraction of a moment in time when the shutter clicked, and you can't get multiple angles from one photo. To make things even more complicated, Ross's Geese hybridize with Snow Geese, so any or all of those characteristics can be more like one species than the other.
Unfortunately these images which were taken on that snowy, drizzly day are less than clear. But they do seem to fit a decent version of a Ross's
But that was earlier this week, and with the arrival of very cold weather again, it is a different story out there. A trip today, under brighter and clearer conditions was in order. The bay is mostly frozen. The swans were still around, but widely scattered along the far edges of the ice. The Snow Geese were all packed in to a tight group, but a long way out. This group was at least a kilometre away from the closest viewing point at the end of the LTVCA trail. I counted 142 Snow Geese, although there likely were a few Ross's and hybrids mixed in, but too far away to tell.
A side note: late last fall, I was experiencing some auto-focus problems with my Canon 7D2, which sometimes resulted in it stopping to focus altogether. It was only by turning the camera off, taking the battery out, waiting a few minutes and putting things back that it worked the way it was supposed to, at least temporarily. So in early January, it was sent in for repairs under warranty. I got it back last week, only to discover that it now failed to show any information in the viewfinder regarding ISO, shutter speed, f/stop, etc. So back it went to the repair facility. I got it back yesterday (Wednesday), so it was a quick turn-around, and today I wanted to try it out. It seems like everything is back the way it should be, but I now need to go through the Auto Focus Micro Adjustment, which is a really useful way to fine-tune the focus and match the individual camera to each lens. Going through the AFMA steps will be done soon!
|Tundra Swans in flight, Snow Geese on the ice|
I included a trip to Erieau, thinking that the increase in ice cover would concentrate ducks in the harbour area. There were a few American Coot hanging in there, with 17 seen. The numbers have been dwindling over the last little while. It is a far cry from the ~4000 that were there in late December! With the arrival of even more cold weather in the next few days, who knows how many of these few will survive!
And now, I'm off to AFMA my camera.