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Even in winter, Sarnia is a great place to watch nature

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Journal Staff

It’s been a good winter for nature photographer Ronny D’Haene.

Readers may remember an image he shared last month of a coyote and bald eagles scrapping over food on the St. Clair River ice.

Red-bellied woodpeckera, like this one in Canatara Park on March 6, are year-round residents in Sarnia.
Ronny D’Haene

Or a shot he took of a confused row of pigeons, and another of water rolling like quicksilver from a loon’s back.

Today, we present more of D’Haene’s work. He encountered each of the critters seen here after Jan. 1 in the immediate Sarnia area.

“For me, it’s all about chasing the shot,” said the 61-year-old Sarnia father of five. “I like chasing that next shot, the one I haven’t taken yet.”

Asked for advice on taking better nature shots, he offered two tips:

One, be aware of what’s behind your subject. Then, if possible, move around yourself or wait until it moves to get the background right.

And two, know your camera and its settings inside out.

“Whatever camera you use, read the manual and practice on easy things. That way, when you’re out in the field and see something you really want you can actually capture it.”



After emerging from the water, an American mink warily crosses the steel footbridge over Talfourd Creek, near the Shell Canada refinery in Corunna on Feb. 22.
Ronny D’Haene
A bald eagle hitches a ride on an ice floe on the St. Clair River, one of at least six eagles Sarnia-area residents have seen hunting for fish and ducks on the river this winter.
Ronny D’Haene
A muskrat, which are active year-round, paddles through the slush on Talfourd Creek on March 5.
Ronny D’Haene
A mouse, about six feet off the ground, peeks from the branches of a spruce tree in the Perch Creek Habitat Management Area on Churchill Line.
Ronny D’Haene
A red-tailed hawk cocks its head as it hunts for squirrels in Canatara Park on Feb. 26.
Ronny D’Haene
A juvenile trumpeter swan near Corunna on March 6. Hunted to the brink of extinction in the 19th century, the native trumpeter swan is the largest waterfowl in the world and one of the heaviest animals capable of flight, weighing up to 30 pounds (13.6 kilos) with a wingspan of 8 feet (250 cm).
Ronny D’Haene

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