John Chardine

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Date: 21 January, 2012, Time: 1528h. Model: Canon EOS-1D Mark IV. Lens: EF400mm f/4 DO IS USM +1.4x, @ 560 mm. Program: Aperture Priority. ISO 1600, 1/320s, f/7.1. Exp. comp.: +0.3. Flash: no flash. Hand held. No noise reduction done on this image. It really shows how well the Canon 1D mark IV performs in low light and relatively high ISO.

When all else fails

Published January 21st, 2012

You can always rely on the amazing Black-capped Chickadee to provide almost endless photographic entertainment when there's not much else around. This is our provincial bird in New Brunswick and is actually a photographic challenge with its black and white plumage and fast antics. They are common and can be very tame so these make up for it to some extent. This one reacted very strongly to a playback of a Downy Woodpecker, more I think because it was a novel sound at that moment.

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Thin pickings

Published January 19th, 2012

I try to make one or more images everyday, but in the winter it can be tough to be a bird photographer in Canada! This winter in the east it's particularly difficult because we have virtually no snow on the ground right now so the birds are dispersed over the landscape and not concentrated at food sources such as feeders.

The other day I went out to the nearby Tantramar Marsh to see if a Rough-legged Hawk, Northern Harrier, Short-eared Owl or Snowy Owl might come close enough to be photographed. No such luck but on the way back home I spotted this Ring-necked Pheasant in a corn stubble field. They are quite skittish birds, being hunted in many places (not locally though), and it didn't take long before this male exploded off the field and made a characteristic short flight away from me. I managed to grab several hand-held images with the Canon 400mm f4 DO lens from the car as this happened. Pheasants are not often photographed in flight.

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