Duffins Creek Ajax: Kayaking and canoeing photo tips

February 25, 2016 Nature photography 3 Comments




Located in southern Ontario Duffins Creek in Ajax offers the Durham Region a great opportunity to enjoy kayaking and canoeing. With easy access to the creek from Rotary Park located at the edge of Lake Ontario. Boaters can take a leisurely paddle up stream or quickly access Lake Ontario.

Once on Duffins Creek you’ll quickly see a wide range of wildlife. If you’re lucky you can spot deer grazing on the shoreline, beaver and mink and a host of birds.



Top kayaking and canoeing photo tips

If you’re looking for general tips on what equipment you should bring to take pictures check out my post on kayaking photography gear.  I wanted to focus here on specific tips relating to taking photos on Duffins Creek.

Top tips

  1. Lens speed – Once you make your way up Duffins Creek you’ll notice that much of your journey will be under the tree canopy or shadows from the trees.  It’s not uncommon on a sunny day to experience a significant drop in available light up stream.  That being said combine this with the typical subject, wildlife, that is often moving fast you’ll need a fairly fast lens.  The go to lens for me is the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II.  Couple this with a crop sensor camera body, such as the Canon EOS 7D Mark II and you have good reach and relatively low noise.
  2. Corners and bends – Now this may apply to all creeks and rivers but I found it very important on Duffins Creek.  Often as I make my way around a bend on the creek I find myself surprising birds on the water.  The key I find is to come in tight to the bend and slow down as you make your way around.  If you’re lucky you’ll have your camera at the ready and snap a great shot.
  3. Protect your gear – So how do you protect your gear while you’re trying to shoot wildlife on the water in a tippy kayak?  You stay focused!  Let’s face it your camera gear is at risk once you open your dry bag.  Get yourself a dry bag that you can quickly and easily zip back up.  You may find yourself heading toward the lake and choppy waves.  Don’t take the chance with your gear and put it back in the dry bag.  The other is when you’re tracking a bird flying and you twist to follow.  Be careful how much you rotate you don’t want to tip your kayak!
  4. Stop and watch.  For me at least the birds are great at hiding.  Once you find a place that looks good to you sit and wait.  Birds are flying around all the time so you’re bound to be in the right spot at the right time.

Duffins Creek map

Where is Duffins Creek located in Ajax Ontario? Here is a map of the creek and how to gain access to it.

Wildlife found on Duffins Creek in Ajax Ontario

Last year alone I was fortunate enough to capture some beautiful photos while kayaking on Duffins Creek in Ajax. As a local photographer having the ability to capture some amazing wildlife photography right outside your doorstep is simply awesome. Here is a quick list and photos of the types of birds and other animals you can find on Duffins Creek.

  • White-tailed Deer
  • Mallard Ducks
  • Beaver
  • Mink
  • Canada goose
  • Mute swan
  • Ruffed grouse
  • Northern fulmar
  • Double-crested cormorant
  • American bittern
  • Great blue heron
  • Ring-billed gull
  • Downy woodpecker
  • Blue jay
  • Black-capped chickadee
  • Red-winged blackbird
  • American goldfinch
  • Eastern great egret

Wildlife photos from Duffins Creek in Ajax

Duffins Creek Ajax Ontario Fishing and conversation area

Check out the raw video of how this deer was photographed

A lesson on being prepared!

Duffins Creek Ajax fishing

While kayaking up Duffins Creek in Ajax Ontario you can easily run into salmon jumping out of the water. Often while paddling along I’ll cross paths with a salmon that almost jumps into the kayak. There are times when you can even reach out and grab a fish. You will often spot fishermen on the shoreline early in the morning. There are a number of places along the creek that are easily accessible from the local roads.

Kayaking and canoeing on Duffins Creek

This short video was taken at Duffins Creek in Ajax.  You can see how easy it is to access the water from the dock.  It’s also a very quick paddle to Lake Ontario under the walking bridge.

 

Feedback

If you’re planning on heading out on Duffins Creek kayaking or canoeing to take photos post your comments and links to your pictures below.



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