Mark's Blog

An Arabian Adventure

on October 14, 2013

As mentioned in a previous blog I have taken a job move that brings my wife and I to the UAE (United Arab Emirates), initially for a two year contract that already looks to be extending into a much longer stay.  I also find myself in a photo rich environment with much more to it than meets the eye and I will look forward to building a portfolio of images over time. 

Kingfishers have long since fascinated me and I try to photograph them whenever the opportunity arises. In this case I made a special point of trying to go photograph the european kingfisher during a visit to the UK en route to the UAE. 

I am about to embark on a career change that takes me away from the pristine wilderness of the Canadian Rockies and into the Arabian Desert scene of the UAE for a 2 year initial contract. As a result I had a few things on my photography bucket list on this side of the world that I was keen to do as it would likely be some time before an opportunity arose to photograph scenery or wildlife like this again. So en Route to the Arabian Gulf I touched base with a few friends and detoured through Arizona, Utah and the UK... 

Summer storms rolled across the sky barking loud claps of thunder while intermittently dispersed with a few bright flashes of lightening now and then as I sat beside a pond in a treed depression out west. I was photographing Cedar and Bohemian Waxwings taking advantage of the insect hatch that was occurring. They'd fly out across the open water grab an insect and fly back to a fence wire or twig to eat or rest. Waxwings are my favourite "LBJ" and I never cease to be impressed by their feather detail although they are uncommon at this time of year. I knew I was going to get wet or worse still risk being a lightening conductor as I sat holding this big metal lens but I knew I had a small window of opportunity to get some images and I was going to make the most of it.  

Red Necked Grebes

on July 06, 2013

As spring evening settles over the small Alberta pond i'm sitting at, the enthusiastic laughing calls of the red necked grebes add a wonderful dimension to the still evening air as they mix with the songs of red winged blackbirds and the croaking of frogs. So it was, my spring and summer would be taken up studying a couple of pairs of this fascinating bird....

The Netherlands

on July 06, 2013

Having lived in the UK for the first 30 years of my life I did get to travel to several European countries, sometimes several times over the years but the Netherlands was never one of those countries I managed to get to visit until now....  

Ferruginous Hawks

on July 05, 2013

It's early summer now and most of the raptors have fledged with exception to a few of the larger hawks like the red tail, Swainsons and Ferruginous Hawks

I've been studying this particular Ferruginous nest and only one of the two chicks have made it to pre-fledgling stage so far. 

It's been a late spring and summer and the wet weather is welcome but set back much of the breeding cycles of our bird life this spring. It's mid June and the Mountain Blue birds are busy feeding young....

Recent Posts

  • Red and Black Grouse March 30, 2014
    The Red Grouse (lagopus, Lagopus Scotica) is not an unfamiliar game bird species to me and I… more
  • Houbara Bustards In The UAE March 04, 2014
    The Houbara bustard of the arabian gulf has long synonymously been associated with the arabian falconry tradition… more
  • The Al Ain Air show February 05, 2014
    I've never photographed an air show before but it has been something i'd wanted to try when… more