Category Archives: Winter

The Grey Ghost

This morning I was taking some images of a male Northern Harrier hawk ( Circus cyaneus ). When it flies it alternates several deep wing beats with glides. It is commonly seen gliding low in search of prey. I like this photo because it’s staring right at me with its beautiful yellow eyes. Click on the image to see a larger version.

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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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Happy Holidays

I came across this herd of Roosevelt elk grazing in a meadow. With the setting sun and frosted trees in the background it created a beautiful winter scene. Roosevelt elk have a golden brown coat during the summer and a longer, grayish brown coat during the winter. Their legs, head and neck remain dark brown year round. Have a wonderful Christmas and happy new year. Click on the photo to see a larger version.

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Along the Riverbank

Exploring the Squamish estuary I came across these poplar trees along the riverbank. I like the contrast between the poplar trees in Winter and the conifers in the background. Click on the image to see a larger version.

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Snow Plume

In Joffre Lakes Provincial Park strong winds on the summit of Mount Matier ( 2783 m ) created this snow plume. Below the mountain lies the Anniversary glacier which is popular with backcountry skiers. It was a beautiful cold morning with lots of fresh snow. Click on the photo to see a larger version.

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Side Street

During the winter Vancouver experiences a considerable amount of precipitation. Over the last few days it has fallen as snow. Some of the side streets are too steep and slippery for vehicles. This side street has been closed by the city and will probably remain that way until rain or warmer temperatures takes care of the snow. I like the footsteps in the snow at the bottom the photo. Click on the image to see a larger version.

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Last Light On Mount Garibaldi

The sunset didn’t look very promising as I was passing through Squamish late this afternoon. Things changed quickly and for a few minutes there was this beautiful light on the summit of Mount Garibaldi before the sun set behind another mountain. Mount Garibaldi was first climbed in 1907 and is one of the few Cascade volcanoes that is made exclusively of dacite. Click on the photo to see a larger version.

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