Ottawa is blessed with a wide variety of habitats and natural and man-made environments. You can find wetlands, rivers, lakes, ponds, forests and farm land. This allows many species of wildlife to abound here.
All year round the flora and fauna found around Ottawa is a photographer’s delight. Spring and fall migrations along the Ottawa River, are great times for spotting waterfowl and shorebirds. Summer affords the photographer access to a multitude of songbirds, insects, reptiles, amphibians and many beautiful flowering plants. In the autumn the forests are resplendent with fall colours and October and November is the rutting season for the region’s numerous white-tail deer.
While the number of birds species decreases in winter that season brings its own special subjects including a wide variety boreal bird species such as Grosbeaks, Bohemian Waxwings, Redpolls etc. ‘Winter’ owls like Snowys and Great Grays as well as some hawk species are often attracted to Ottawa’s fields and farmlands.
In the last 15 years I have seen the number of nature photographers around the capital region grow exponentially. Camera equipment can capture images and behaviour that would be challenging for professional photographers in the days of film. Social media has also pushed the almost immediate sharing of images on the Internet to new heights.
Like all things these developments have brought both pros and cons. It is often a pleasure to share nature experiences with others. More and more people are experiencing wildlife at a new level not just a fleeting sight of an animal as it darts into the woods.
At the same time many good photo locations can be overrun with photographers particularly if a rare bird is sighted. Some photographers rush to be the first to post an image just for the virtual accolades. I often go to less popular locals to discover new things and enjoy nature at it’s own pace.
In Ottawa we are blessed with an abundance of natural treasures. Showing concern for your wildlife subjects, fellow photographers, birders and others enjoying the outdoors will allow everyone an opportunity to share in its wonders.
Stephen J Stephen