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Click for moreJan 31, 2016 - Awesome Antigua

While Canada isn't having a very bad winter this year, it was still awesome to get away at the start of the year, and the location of choice was Antigua. Staying at The Verandah Resort, it was nice to go along with a local phrase 'sail fast, live slow'.

The resort itself was beautiful, and other parts of the island were gorgeous as well. On the resort itself there was a wide range of natural features including an abundance of plant life and birds.

Venturing away from the resort, a catamaran cruise was taken from St. Johns along the west coast to Cades Reef for some snorkeling. From the resort itself it was easy to walk to Devil's Bridge to see some wild crashing waves, and in the other direction was Long Bay, where there were vendors and more snorkeling.

At night in the resort was a loud sound that was a mix of crickets and tree frogs. After some hunting with a video light I caught some of the little guys with the camera, which was fun in itself. I also had some fun taking night shots of palm trees, I was pleased with the results.

All in all, this part of the Caribbean was a first for me, and I was very glad to have brought my cameras! I definitely expect to go back.

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Click for moreFeb 11, 2013 - Weekend Adventures

This past weekend I took an outing each day and enjoyed the locations visited.

Saturday was -20 with windchill and we had a huge snowfall in the days prior. Bundled up, a visit to the Humber Abroretum was made.

We wore snowshoes, which greatly helped us to to cover a lot more ground, and in a faster way compared to normal walking. It was early and the trails had not been worn in following the big snow, so it was a perfect day to bring the snowshoes out.

At Humber a few usual suspects were noticed, and despite trying, the Great Horned Owl due weren't noticed anywhere, but this wasn't despite looking.

On Sunday, I hunted for snowy owls but didn't have any success, but did manage to take some shots of the landscape around Caledon.

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Click for moreFeb 3, 2013 - A stranger calling can be a good thing!

When I find a good productive place to explore, I find myself returning over and over, each time looking in a different area.

This weekend, the sun was shining early on Sunday, so off I went. The destination was the Humber Arboretum, where I was pretty sure I'd find a Saw-Whet owl (and sure enough I did), and I was also hopeful I'd also find the Great Horned owls I've seen on previous visits.

Upon arrival, I checked out the usual spots for songbirds and smaller species, and wasn't disappointed. Within a few minutes I had seen white-breasted nuthatches, woodpeckers including the red-bellied woodpecker, and even managed to spot a doe walking by.

Trekking further away from my starting point, I noticed a lot of tiny cones in a tree, and heard some birds that sounded different than usual. These birds were feeding on the cones, and once I got closer I realized they were common redpolls, which I've been meaning to get more shots of lately.

Roaming around the forest for quite a while, I was unable to spot the Great Horned Owls. I was on my way out of the park when something interesting happened. I know from experience that when crows and small birds are making strange calls, they may be 'alarm-calling' to alert others of an intruder. I was hearing a very strange call, and so I sought out the source.

Eventually I found the strange caller. It was a Coopers Hawk high in a tree, squawking a blue streak. I went closer to where he was trying to get a clear shot of him, and that's when I noticed he was screaming about the Great Horned Owl in an adjacent tree! Needless to say I was excited to find the hawk, and even more excited to find the owl he was crying about.

If there's a lesson learned, it's that when you're looking for owls or other predators, pay close attention to the bevaviour of other birds. They may be trying to tell you something, and this is when you'll be happy you listened when a stranger called :)

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