Bob, following a Western Grebe on the far side of the Ottawa River.
I was out by the Ottawa River near home again on a morning walk, photographing the fall colour. I turned a corner on the shoreline and there was Bob and his bird scope on a tripod. For several days he and some birder colleagues had been tracking the movements of a Western Grebe which was visiting our part of the Ottawa River to feed before continuing its migration. My 70-300mm lens was at home but it wouldn’t have helped – the Western Grebe was about 100 metres from the opposite shoreline of the river. Bob allowed me to look through his scope and I was just able to make it out. However Bob told me that about eight of his colleagues were upstream on the Quebec shore waiting and hoping to get a closer look as it passed by along its preferred feeding route.
We talked for about 15 minutes, periodically scouting the nearby trees for other birds of interest. Bob clarified that he is not so much a bird watcher, but rather a bird lister. Somewhat analagous to the train spotters in the United Kingdom who collect engine numbers, Bob collects a list of birds that he’s seen. Bob is a retired federal government employee who worked in IT with Old Age Security Data. He now dedicates much of his retirement time to birding and compiles reports from local birders and summarizes them in a regular contribution to the Ontbirds archive.
This picture is #4 in my 100 Strangers Project. Find out more about the project and see pictures taken by other photographers at the 100 Strangers Flickr Group page.
It was time to try the autumn colours of the famous Gatineau Park. However, the colours were not up to their standards this year, or perhaps I was still too early. I’m wondering if the current warm spell and lack of cold nights has prolonged autumn and fooled the trees into abnormal behaviour. It seems the same thing happened last year and the Gatineau colours were not up to par. Hopefully they will still come on strong but just a bit late.
I went early to try to beat the swarms of tourists that usually appear. I had kite in the air but not the camera gear when two busloads arrived. I decided to wait and hope for a quieter time to finish putting the gear into action and instead concentrated on answering questions. Eventually the time came and these are the results. It wasn’t as rewarding a session as I had anticipated.
I suspect that Champlain Lookout just down the road and the favourite outlook in the park would have more visual appeal when viewed from the air. However the crowds there are generally worse plus it faces a bit more to the west and morning light is not quite as favourable. Maybe another day I’ll try at Champlain.
These low-level aerial images were taken from a camera suspended below a kite line (Kite Aerial Photography – KAP).
Aerial photograph of the Gatineau Hills and the Gatineau Parkway going from Huron Lookout to Champlain Lookout. The Ottawa River and the Ottawa River Valley are in the distance. This is in Quebec and Ontario is on the far side of the river.
Can you read the sign? It has a map of the great lakes that can be seen. Straight down. Aerial photograph of Huron Lookout parking area - Gatineau Park.
Aerial photograph of Huron Lookout - Gatineau Park.