Category Archives: Birds

A Rainy Day

I woke up this morning to the sound of heavy rain. Despite the unfavourable conditions I ventured out with my camera. I’m glad I did, because I was able to spend a few hours photographing bald eagles. It was quiet and there were very few people around to disturb the raptors. I really like the first photo, it’s tack sharp, with the rain in the background and how the water beads on the bald eagles feathers. Click on a photo to see a larger version.

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A Dense Flock of Lesser Snow Geese

In April the Lesser Snow Geese will begin their migration back to Wrangel Island which lies in the Arctic ocean, north of Siberia and is part of Russia. For now they continue to feed in the Fraser and Skagit river estuaries. I could see a few geese that had been individually marked with coloured neck collars which contain radio-transmitters that are used in migration and population studies. Some of these marked individuals have made non-stop flights between Alaska and the Fraser river estuary in less than 36 hours! I found this very interesting, but since no one else reads my blog, I’m probably the only one. Click on the photo to see a larger version.

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Northern Harrier

The Northern Harrier ( Circus cyaneus ) is a slender, medium sized raptor with a distinctive white rump. Harriers are unusual in that there is a greater difference between male and female plumage than is typical of raptors. Females are brown ( like the one in the photo below ) and males are gray with black wingtips. Northern Harriers use their sense of hearing to help locate prey. They have an owl-like facial disk that may help with directional hearing and soft feathers for a quieter flight. I was watching this Harrier flying very fast, low and following the contours of the ground. It was harassing ducks in an open marsh area.

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Wood Duck

The Wood Duck ( Aix sponsa ) is a distinctively North American species. It was hunted nearly to extinction during the late 19th and 20th centuries. Management procedures were successful and there are now well over a million Wood Ducks in North America. The Wood Duck in the photo is a male and they are the most stunningly pretty of all waterfowl. Click on the image to see a larger version.

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Bufflehead

One of the smallest ducks the Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola) is very energetic in its feeding. They eat aquatic insects, mollusks and small amounts of plant material. It forages mostly underwater. Less sociable than most ducks, seen in pairs or small groups, almost never in large flocks. The Bufflehead in the photo below is a female. Note the auricular white patch. She was repeatedly diving in front of me along the riverbank. Click on the photo to see a larger version.

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Bald Eagle

During the winter months, large numbers of Bald Eagles congregate along the river to feed on salmon carcasses. A decade ago there was nearly 4000 Bald Eagles. In January 2016 it was one of the lowest Bald Eagle counts in the 30 year history, with only 411. This morning, I was photographing this Bald Eagle perched in a tree along the river.

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Bald Eagles

Early this morning I spent some time taking images of bald eagles feeding on dead salmon. Despite the rain it was a nice way way to start the day. Click on one of the photos to open up the gallery.

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Lesser Snow Geese

The Lesser Snow Goose ( Chen caerulescens ) is a large bird that is all white with black wing tips. In the Fall Lesser Snow Geese migrate south along the west coast from Wrangel Island in Siberia. This year their annual migration is twice the size of last year. During migration they fly so high they can barely be seen. Click on the photo to see a larger version.

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Fall Foliage

Early this morning, as I was driving through the fog and rain, I wondered if I’d made a bad decision and should have stayed at home. However, shortly after sunrise, the clouds started to break up and there was intermittent sunshine. It was a wonderful day to take images with a camera and shoot video with a drone. It just goes to show you, one of the best things you can do in photography is simple, just get out there with your camera. Click on an image to see a larger version.

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Autumn Colours

A beautiful Fall day to witness the trees and shrubbery that are now turning brilliant shades of yellow, orange and red. The mountains had a light dusting of snow on their peaks. A couple of curious Grey Jays or Whiskey Jacks kept me company as I was taking images.

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