Thursday, July 7, 2011

Churchill-the finale

As promised here is the final installment from my trip to Churchill Manitoba. Our interactions with the birds were absolutely phenomenal, by moving slow and low even with our group size we were able to get close to the birds. The Lapland LongspursLapland Longspur _ROT5658 NIKON D3S June 16, 2011 were present for a few days because there was a north wind holding them from migrating further north. They were hanging around the granary ponds and the railroad tracks up by the granary. The pictures were taken by laying on the ground in between the sets of railroad tracks, at present there were no trains running up to the granary.
Following the same techniques we were able to get close to the common eiders and view the eider sitting on her nest. Common Eider on nest _ROT6508 NIKON D3S June 18, 2011Eiders taking off D7K_0781 NIKON D7000 June 21, 2011The same technique was used for the long-tailed ducks. Long Tailed Ducks _ROT5214 NIKON D3S June 16, 2011
A Bonaparte skull just sat on her nest and ignored us. Bonaparrte's Gull on Nest _ROT5243 NIKON D3S June 16, 2011The semi--palmated plover was nesting at the tern colony and utilize the "broken-winged display" to keep us away from the nest.Semi-palmated Plover brocken wing display D7K_7382 NIKON D7000 June 18, 2011Semi-palmated Plover brocken wing display Semipalmated Plover Broken wing display_D7K_7380 NIKON D7000 June 18, 2011 The broken winged display is also utilized by killdeer's and some other shorebirds.



The female Willow Ptarmigan in some ways is a prettier bird than the male.Willow Ptamigen female _ROT5051 NIKON D3S June 16, 2011
We visited the parasitic Jaeger a number of times and it always put on a great flight display for us. The bird that was flying was on a mound a distance away from the bird that was nesting.Parasitic Jaeger flight _ROT6548 NIKON D3S June 18, 2011Parasitic Jaeger flight D7K_7485 NIKON D7000 June 18, 2011Parasitic Jaeger Flight D7K_8921 NIKON D7000 June 19, 2011
The pine grosbeakPine Grosbeak D7K_8749 NIKON D7000 June 19, 2011 and lesser yellowlegs were hard birds to photograph since the sun was right behind them and there was no way of getting a picture with a side lit bird or a front lit bird. Because the lesser yellowlegs Lesser Yelowlegs high key D7K_8796 NIKON D7000 June 19, 2011was jumping up onto tops of spruces with the sun right behind it, I made the picture a high key.




Churchill "was also the site of the Churchill Rocket Research Range  part of Canadian-AmericOIld rocket Launch Building D7K_0793 NIKON D7000 June 21, 2011an atmospheric research. Its first rocket was launched in 1956, and it continued to host launches for research until closing in 1984. The site of the former rocket range now hosts the Churchill Northern Studies Centre, a facility for Arctic research. " This is a picture of one of the old rocket launch buildings.



Old ship and plane wrecks at Churchill are left where they occurred.Old ship wreck Old Shipwreck-D7K_0818 NIKON D7000 June 21, 2011
In October and November many people come to Churchill to see the polar bears and they are driven around in tundra buggies.Polar Bear Bus D7K_1174 NIKON D7000 June 21, 2011
The easiest way to come to visit Churchill is by air.Our Plane D7K_9958 NIKON D7000 June 20, 2011