For the first blog post of 2016, some photos from last year when I went to Canada. I’ve got lots of photos to share form my Canadian adventures… just ten at a time of course.
One of the things I was looking forward to seeing and photographing was some of the wildlife that inhabits Canada. On my list of wildlife to shoot, well photograph, was a whale, a moose, and a beaver. I managed two of three, but had to cheat a bit with both of those as you’ll see below. It’s disappointing to miss out on some of the wildlife I wanted to see so I guess I’ll just have to return to try again some time.
Most of the photos are from the Avalon Peninsula in Newfoundland where I spent the majority of my holiday.
I did a whale spotting boat tour with O’Brien’s Whale and Bird Tours from Bay Bulls. When I went, on an overcast day in September, it was just out of whale season and no whales appeared. But I did photograph some puffins and eagles in the wild. It was very cold out on the water so if you ever go be sure to take a big coat! Ironically when we got back to dry land the weather started to improve and quickly became warm and sunny.
I also visited Salmonier Nature Park which is a government run conservation park. The park is so vast that all the animals have lots of space which is always nice to see.
The day after visiting Westonbirt Arboretum (see blog post and photos here) I popped along to Cotswold Wildlife Park. The weather was much chillier than the previous day and it was interesting to see how the animals outside were coping with the weather. Some seemed to try hibernation and just slept, and others seemed to be active to keep warm.
The red pandas were particularly active. So much so that they’ll get their very own blog post as I had so many photos of them. Keep an eye out for that post coming soon!
For animals who were behind glass my Lens Skirt came into its own. It really helped to cut out the reflections from the glass and get clear shots. In the monkey enclosure the monkeys seemed intrigued by the Lens Skirt and came right up to the glass to take a look. Unfortunately they were too close for the lens I was using at the time.
For this visit I was using my backup camera body, an Olympus E-PL3, with my normal lenses. I’m very pleased with the photos I got from this body, and it goes to show much of the quality comes from the lens you use rather than the body. The two drawbacks for me were the lack of viewfinder (using just the camera screen was quite awkward at times) and the body was too small to get a good grip of.
The reason I had to use a backup body was that my Olympus OMD E-M1 and shiny new 25mm f1.8 lens were off for repair – the body was suffering from intermittent shutter lockups since fitting the new lens. This was really annoying as it happened on a weekend away and left me with very few photos. Luckily the E-M1 came with a Service Plus warranty and when I called about the issues I was having, Olympus picked up the camera and lens, zoomed it to Portugal for repair, and a few days later it was back in working order. Great service!
Over recent weeks I’ve been a regular visitor to Weston General Hospital, which seems to have become home to a family of ducks. A few weeks ago a some ducklings appeared, and for each of the last four Sundays I’ve managed to photograph them and see them grow up.
It’s been wonderful to see how quickly they’ve grown, I hope the photos below give you a sense of this.
I’m not sure when they’ll be big enough to fly away, I just hope they manage to avoid being served up as hospital food.
(Update for 1st June 2014 – I managed to make it for the fifth Sunday in a row – on the first anniversary on Just10Photos! – a new photo added at the bottom of the page.)