Hooded Merganser

The Hooded Merganser ( Lophodytes cucullatus ) is the smallest of the three species of mergansers found in North America. The Hooded Merganser finds its prey underwater by sight, the dictating membrane (third eyelid) is clear and acts to protect the eye during swimming, just like a pair of goggles. They are extremely agile swimmers and divers but awkward on land because their legs are set far back on the body. They can be found year round in British Columbia. The bird in the photo is a male with a crest that shows a large white patch. Click on the image to see a larger version.

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Trumpeter Swan

The Trumpeter Swan ( Cygnus buccinator ) is the largest waterfowl species native to North America. It is entirely white except for its bill, legs and feet. It spends winters in western British Columbia and feeds on aquatic plants. In the 1950’s a large population of these birds were found in Alaska and today their population is estimated at close to 16,000. Click on the image to see a larger version.

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Soggy Bald Eagle

I was looking through some images I took last winter and I came across this photo of a rain soaked bald eagle. I like this image because the bald eagle is making eye contact with me and you can see its sharp and powerful talons. The bald eagle may not look its best due to the rain, but it shows this beautiful bird of prey in its element during harsh conditions. Click on the image to see a larger version.

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Long-billed Dowitcher

I was fortunate to spend some time this morning with a flock of Long-billed Dowitcher’s ( Limnodromus scolopaceus ). Their bills are full of nerve endings, which are useful for sensing prey. They walk along slowly lifting their heads up and down like a sewing machine.

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Autumn Leaf

A couple of weekends ago I was photographing some local waterfalls. I also spent some time hiking along the riverbank. A leaf that was lying on top of a rock near the edge of the river caught my eye. I liked how the sunlight was shining through the water and creating this shimmering pattern on the rocks. Ideally I could have used a macro lens in this situation. Click on the photo to see a larger version.

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Autumn Days

Over the next couple of weeks the trees turn various shades of red, yellow and orange. Today was a beautiful day for viewing the changing colours of Fall foliage. Early in the morning it was chilly, but the afternoon was crisp and sunny. With Autumn colours in full swing and the leaves changing more each day it won’t be long before they are all on the ground. Click on any of the photos to see a larger version.

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Tiny Human Lost In The Majesty Of Nature

The photo depicts just how small humans are in comparison to the nature that surrounds us. The climber was balancing precariously on the granite wall, stopping occasionally to put more chalk on their hands and add more climbing protection. Click on the image to see a larger version. Remember to always take the road less traveled…

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Turkey Vulture

Early one morning, I was out exploring with my camera and telephoto lens, when I spotted the large brown bird in the photo below, which I thought, judging by its size, must be a bird of prey. However, after taking a closer look, I noticed it had a red, featherless head and I said to myself, “What is that?”. It was a turkey vulture which I had previously never seen in this area. Unlike most birds, the turkey vulture finds carrion by using its sense of smell and is protected from disease associated with decaying animals by a very sophisticated immune system. The turkey vulture only comes this far north during the summer months. There was a raven following it around as the turkey vulture flew from tree to tree and it seemed quite comfortable with the raven’s presence. Click on the photo to see a larger version.

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A Fog bow

I just returned from a week of exploring a remote area of Vancouver Island and came home with a greater appreciation for the natural beauty of British Columbia. There was an abundance of marine life to photograph which included humpback whales, killer whales, minke whales, pacific white-sided dolphins, dall’s porpoise, steller sea lions, harbour seals, sea otters, river otters, bald eagles, black turnstones, pelagic cormorants, common murres, rhinoceros auklets and kingfishers. Each morning there was coastal fog and one morning, as it began to burn off, it created this beautiful fog bow. At first I couldn’t understand the faint vertical line that appears in the middle of the photo shown below, but I think this is the shadow of the mast of the ketch I was on. To see more of my images visit The Salish Sea gallery and click on ‘View Slideshow’.

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The Surfer

Early in the morning I noticed this lone surfer further down the beach coming out of the surf. I like this photo because of its simplicity and it conveys summer in the Pacific Northwest. The trees and mountains in the distance are barely visible through the mist. Click on the image to see a larger version.

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