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Anne Elliott / 18,269 items

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Having problems uploading my photos to Flickr this morning! A few days ago, I posted a photo of this gorgeous Globe Artichoke, in landscape format. I found it so hard to decide what shape to post it in, as cropping to a square would have meant cutting off a lot of the glorious bokeh background. So, today, I'm posting another shot taken the same day, but making it square, for a closer look. Also took a number of photos with the grass behind it, creating a plain green background. However, a plain background really looks very boring compared to this colourful richness.

Tags:   Calgary Alberta Canada Calgary Zoo nature garden flora flower flowers Thistle Globe Artichoke Artichoke Cynara cardunculus var. scolymus Asteraceae Cynareae Cynara edible bud triangular scales involucral bracts introduced bokeh colourful macro close-up beauty in nature Panasonic DMC-FZ200 DMC-FZ200 FZ200 Lumix point-and-shoot P1030253 FZ200 annkelliott beautiful_expression #GreatNature

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Enough wind to ruffle the pretty feathers of this male American Kestrel. Seen at the Coaldale Bird of Prey Centre, near Lethbridge, southern Alberta. I only ever see these birds perched at a great distance in the wild, so I enjoyed seeing them up close on this visit, to see what they really look like. Very attractive, small birds of prey.

Tags:   Alberta Canada Coaldale Coaldale Bird of Prey Centre near Lethbridge nature ornithology avian bird birds fauna captive rehabilitation male feathers details one bird no people image digital square square format portrait close-up perched perching Panasonic DMC-FZ28 FZ28 Lumix P1070477 FZ28 annkelliott falcon bird of prey Birdshare beautiful_expression NaturesFinest SuperShot SpecAnimal Excellence AvianExcellence American Kestrel

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This weekend is Canada's 150th birthday! Canada Day is tomorrow, 1 July 2017. Happy Birthday, Canada!!! Such a great country to live in and I am so thankful to be here and to have spent the last 39 years in Alberta. There will be celebrations all over the place and lots of people on the roads. Please drive carefully, everyone!

"The blue-gray tanager (Thraupis episcopus) is a medium-sized South American songbird of the tanager family, Thraupidae. On Trinidad and Tobago, this bird is called blue jean.

The blue-gray tanager is 16–18 cm (6.3–7.1 in) long and weighs 30–40 g (1.1–1.4 oz). Adults have a light bluish head and underparts, with darker blue upperparts and a shoulder patch colored a different hue of blue. The bill is short and quite thick. Sexes are similar, but the immature is much duller in plumage.

The breeding habitat is open woodland, cultivated areas and gardens. The blue-gray tanager lives mainly on fruit, but will also take some nectar and insects. This is a common, restless, noisy and confiding species, usually found in pairs, but sometimes small groups. It thrives around human habitation, and will take some cultivated fruit like papayas (Carica papaya)." From Wikipedia.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue-gray_tanager

We saw Blue-gray Tanagers on both Trinidad and Tobago. This one was seen and photographed at the Asa Wright Nature Centre on the island of Trinidad, on 16 March 2017 (our first day there after arriving from Tobago).

This is a video that I found on YouTube, taken by Rigdon Currie and Trish Johnson, at many of the same places we visited on Trinidad and Tobago. Not my video, but it made me feel like I was right there still. Posting the link here again, so that I won't lose it.

youtu.be/BBifhf99f_M

I also came across the following 27-minute YouTube video of the flora and fauna of Trinidad, filmed by John Patrick Smith in February 2015.

youtu.be/6HHBm9MIxnk

This adventure was only the second holiday of any kind, anywhere, that I have had in something like 30 or 35 years! The other holiday was a wonderful, one-week trip with my great friends from England, Linda and Tony, when we went down south to Yellowstone National Park and the Grand Tetons in September 2012. I have had maybe half a dozen weekends away, including to Waterton Lakes National Park in Alberta, which have helped keep me going.

Six birding/photographer friends and I decided that we would take this exciting trip together (from 12-21 March 2017), spending the first two or three days on the island of Tobago and then the rest of the time at the Asa Wright Nature Centre on the nearby, much larger island of Trinidad. We decided to take a complete package, so everything was included - flights (we were so very lucky to get Black Friday prices, which were 50% off!), accommodation at both places, all our food, and the various walks and day trips that we could choose from. Two of my friends, Anne B. and Brenda, saw to all the planning of flights and accommodations, which was so very much appreciated by the rest of us. I could never have done all this myself!

What a time we had, seeing so many beautiful and interesting things - and, of course, everything was a lifer for me. Some of these friends had visited Costa Rica before, so may have been familiar with a few of the birds. There was a lot more to see on the much bigger island of Trinidad, so we were glad that we chose Tobago to visit first and then spend a longer time at Asa Wright. It was wonderful to be right by the sea, though, at the Blue Waters Inn on the island of Tobago. Just gorgeous.

The Asa Wright Nature Centre, on Trinidad, is such an amazing place! We stayed in cabins up or down hill from the main building. Really, one doesn't need to travel away from the Centre for birding, as so many different species visit the Hummingbird feeders and fruit tables that are right by the huge, open veranda, as well as the plants and trees in this rain forest high up a mountainous road. The drive up and down this narrow, twisting, pot-holed road was an adventure in itself! Never would I ever do this drive myself - we had a guide who drove us everywhere in a mini-bus. I had read so many accounts of this road, lol! There was enough room for two vehicles to pass each other, and the honking of horns was almost continuous - either to warn any vehicle that might be coming fast around the next bend or as a sign that drivers knew each other. The drive along this road, from the coast up the mountain to Asa Wright, took just over an hour each way.

Even after three months, I still miss the great food that was provided every single day at Asa Wright and even the Rum Punch that appeared each evening. I never drink at all, so I wasn't sure if I would even try the Punch - glad I did, though, as it was delicious and refreshing. Breakfast, lunch and dinner were all served buffet-style, with a great variety of dishes from which to choose. To me, pure luxury. So very, very grateful to have been invited to be part of this amazing adventure.

Tags:   Trinidad island Caribbean West Indies Asa Wright Nature Centre nature wildlife ornithology avian bird birds tropical neotropical Blue-gray Tanager Thraupis episcopus Thraupidae front/side view perched branch tree bokeh rain forest outdoor 16 March 2017 FZ200 FZ200#4 annkelliott Anne Elliott © Anne Elliott 2017 © All Rights Reserved

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Last night, I posted a few extra photos taken on our hike downhill from the Asa Wright Nature Centre main building to the Dunstan Cave, to see the very special Oilbirds. This outing was one of the highlights of our holiday. One that I wasn't sure I'd be able to manage, after reading endless accounts and descriptions of how difficult the trail was. In the end, I decided I would go, as I was sure we would see things on the way, even if I wasn't able to do the whole hike. As it turned out, the hike could have been a lot more difficult, so I was really glad I went after all.

This morning, I am adding just one photo, as I ran out of steam last night to look for and edit two more. Though I am not a fan of taking feeder shots, I will gladly take anything I can get. It wasn't always easy to get a photo of this colourful Yellow Oriole. In the background is a little Purple Honeycreeper male, waiting its turn to fill up with nectar from the feeder. Apparently, the Yellow Orioles build a 40 cm-long hanging basket, suspended from the end of a branch. Males and females are similar, with the female slightly duller. Given the brightness of the bird in my photo, I would think this has to be a male.

"Although it does have black in its plumage, the Yellow Oriole derives its common name from the large extent of yellow in its plumage relative to all other orioles, with its black restricted to the tail, a narrow yellow bib, and the wings. The Yellow Oriole is a common resident in lowlands below 500 m in northern South America and adjoining Caribbean islands from northeastern Colombia to the mouth of the Amazon. It occurs in a variety of open forest habitats such as deciduous woodland, scrub, and in urban areas. This is the only icterid in its range with the combination of an all yellow back and white wing bars." From Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Neotropical Birds.

neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/portal/species/overview?p_p...

This adventure was only the second holiday of any kind, anywhere, that I have had in something like 30 or 35 years! The other holiday was a wonderful, one-week trip with my great friends from England, Linda and Tony, when we went down south to Yellowstone National Park and the Grand Tetons in September 2012. I have had maybe half a dozen weekends away, including to Waterton National Park, which have helped keep me going.

Six birding/photographer friends and I decided that we would take this exciting trip together (from 12-21 March 2017), spending the first two or three days on the island of Tobago and then the rest of the time at the Asa Wright Nature Centre on the nearby, much larger island of Trinidad. We decided to take a complete package, so everything was included - flights (we were so very lucky to get Black Friday prices, which were 50% off!), accommodation at both places, all our food, and the various walks and day trips that we could choose from. Two of my friends, Anne B. and Brenda, saw to all the planning of flights and accommodations, which was so very much appreciated by the rest of us. I could never have done all this myself!

What a time we had, seeing so many beautiful and interesting things - and, of course, everything was a lifer for me. Some of these friends had visited Costa Rica before, so may have been familiar with a few of the birds. There was a lot more to see on Trinidad, so we were glad that we chose Tobago to visit first and then spend a longer time at Asa Wright. It was wonderful to be right by the sea, though, at the Blue Waters Inn on the island of Tobago. Just gorgeous.

The Asa Wright Nature Centre, on Trinidad, is such an amazing place! We stayed in cabins up or down hill from the main building. Really, one doesn't need to travel away from the Centre for birding, as so many different species visit the Hummingbird feeders and fruit tables that are right by the huge, open veranda, as well as the plants and trees in this rain forest high up a mountainous road. The drive up and down this narrow, twisting, pot-holed road was an adventure in itself! Never would I ever do this drive myself - we had a guide who drove us everywhere in a van/small bus. I had read so many accounts of this road, lol! There was just enough room for two vehicles to pass each other, and the honking of horns was almost continuous - either to warn any vehicle that might be coming fast around the next bend or as a sign that drivers knew each other. The drive along this road, from the coast to Asa Wright, took just over an hour each way.

Even after almost three months, I still miss the great food that was provided every single day at Asa Wright and even the Rum Punch that appeared each evening. I never drink at all, so I wasn't sure if I would even try the Punch - glad I did, though, as it was delicious and refreshing. Breakfast, lunch and dinner were all served buffet-style, with a great variety of dishes from which to choose. To me, pure luxury. So very, very grateful to have been invited to be part of this amazing adventure.

This is a video that I found on YouTube, taken by Rigdon Currie and Trish Johnson, at many of the same places we visited on Trinidad and Tobago. Not my video, but it made me feel like I was right there still. Posting the link here again, so that I won't lose it.

youtu.be/BBifhf99f_M

I also came across the following 27-minute YouTube video of the flora and fauna of Trinidad, filmed by John Patrick Smith in February 2015.

youtu.be/6HHBm9MIxnk

Tags:   Trinidad West Indies Caribbean Asa Wright Nature Centre nature wildlife ornithology neotropical avian bird birds Yellow Oriole Icterus nigrogularis Icteridae male yellow, black and white side view feeder Hummingbird feeder feeding Purple Honeycreeper male leaves foliage outdoor 16 March 2017 FZ200 FZ200#4 annkelliott Anne Elliott © Anne Elliott 2017 © All Rights Reserved

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HAPPY EASTER, everyone! Here, children are going to have to hunt for Easter eggs in the snow!

"The copper-rumped hummingbird (Amazilia tobaci) sometimes placed in the genus Saucerottia, is a small bird that breeds in Venezuela, Trinidad and Tobago, and has occurred as a vagrant on Grenada. It is a seasonal migrant in parts of Venezuela.

This hummingbird inhabits open country, gardens and cultivation. The female copper-rumped hummingbird lays its eggs in a tiny cup nest on a low branch, or sometimes wires or clotheslines. Incubation takes 16–17 days, and fledging another 19-23, and there may be up to three broods in a season. It is the predominant species of hummingbird in Trinidad and Tobago.

The copper-rumped hummingbird is 8.6 cm long and weighs 4.7 g. The bill is fairly long, straight and mostly black with some pink on the lower mandible. The adult has copper-green upperparts, becoming copper-bronze on the rump. The head and underparts are bright green, the thighs are white and the tail and legs are black. The sexes are similar.

The subspecies which breeds in Trinidad, A. t. erythronota, is smaller and has more bronzing on the upperparts than the nominate A. t. tobaci of Tobago.

The food of this hummingbird is nectar, taken from a wide variety of flowers, and some small insects. Copper-rumped hummingbirds perch conspicuously and defend their territories aggressively against other hummingbirds, bees, and larger bird species; this is especially during mating season, which is early in the year." From Wikipedia.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copper-rumped_hummingbird

This adventure was only the second holiday (or was it actually my third?) of any kind, anywhere, that I have had in something like 30 or 35 years! The other holiday was a wonderful, one-week trip with my great friends from England, Linda and Tony, when we went down south to Yellowstone National Park and the Grand Tetons in September 2012. I have had maybe half a dozen weekends away, including to Waterton National Park, which have helped keep me going.

Six birding/photographer friends and I decided that we would take this exciting trip together (from 12-21 March 2017), spending the first two or three days on the island of Tobago and then the rest of the time at the Asa Wright Nature Centre on the nearby, much larger island of Trinidad. We decided to take a complete package, so everything was included - flights (we were so very lucky to get Black Friday prices, which were 50% off!), accommodation at both places, all our food, and the various walks and day trips that we could choose from. Two of my friends, Anne B. and Brenda, saw to all the planning of flights and accommodations, which was so very much appreciated by the rest of us. I could never have done all this myself!

What a time we had, seeing so many beautiful and interesting things - and, of course, everything was a lifer for me. Some of these friends had visited Costa Rica before, so were familiar with some of the birds. There was a lot more to see on Trinidad, so we were glad that we chose Tobago to visit first and then spend a longer time at Asa Wright. It was wonderful to be right by the sea, though, at the Blue Waters Inn on the island of Tobago. Just gorgeous.

The Asa Wright Nature Centre, on Trinidad, is such an amazing place! We stayed in cabins up or down hill from the main building. Really, one doesn't need to travel away from the Centre for birding, as so many different species visit the Hummingbird feeders that are right by the huge, open veranda, and the trees of the rain forest high up a mountainous road. The drive up and down this narrow, twisting, pot-holed road was an adventure in itself! Never would I ever do this drive myself - we had a guide who drove us everywhere in a van/small bus. I had read many accounts of this road, lol! There was just enough room for two vehicles to squeeze past each other, and the honking of horns was almost continuous - either to warn any vehicle that might be coming fast around the next bend or as a sign that drivers knew each other. The drive along this road, from the coast to Asa Wright, took just over an hour each way.

Even after more than three weeks, I still miss the great food that was provided every single day at Asa Wright and the Rum Punch that appeared each evening. I never drink at all, so I wasn't sure if I would even try the Punch - glad I did, though, as it was delicious and refreshing. Breakfast, lunch and dinner were all served buffet-style, with a great variety of dishes from which to choose. To me, pure luxury. So very, very grateful to have been invited to be part of this amazing adventure.

Tags:   Trinidad island Caribbean West Indies Asa Wright Nature Centre nature ornithology avian bird birds Hummingbird Copper-rumped Hummingbird Amazilia tobac sexes similar back/side view perched branch plant pink flower bokeh close-up front/side view rain forest outdoor 16 March 2017 FZ200 FZ200#4 annkelliott Anne Elliott © Anne Elliott 2017 © All Rights Reserved


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