Friday, 31 May 2013

Moose (20130531) NCC Publication.

I checked the mail today to find the latest version of "The Ark" the quarterly magazine from the Nature Conservancy of Canada, and was delighted to see the terrific treatment my moose photo received in the publication. The article is call the Moose heard around the world. The image used was from an outing last fall with Tim.
They flipped the image so the moose is actually looking to the left in publication. The post is dated 120907 if you would like to review. More information regarding the article is here:
This is a section of the country I am personally very familiar with. We lived in Saint John, New Brunswick for 8 years and would travel to Nova Scotia regularly to visit my parents, brother and sister.  I personally would enjoy to opportunity to see moose more often in that province.
Have a great wildlife weekend!

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Sora's, goshawk, swainson, bluebird, oriole.Sunday afternoon with Jamie (20130526)

After the morning walk I had made arrangements with Jamie to go after some Northern Shovelers. He agreed to drive so we stopped and grabbed a bite to eat and headed out to one of his secret spots. With all the recent rain we have been having all the ponds were overflowing and nothing was where he has found them before. We scored this Swainson, just after he scored a ground squirrel. This was his after meal stretch.
 We headed over to another of his sweetheart holes and we were able to spend a half hour with this little Sora.
I love their very large yellow feet. These birds are fairly small, about 8 inches.

A little later we were provided an opportunity with this pair of Horned Grebes, care for a bug?
As we left that spot we were able to find a Baltimore Oriole, a lifetime first for Jamie, so this was a highlight.
At our next stop we had additional luck with Sora's. Jamie actually manage to call three into the area, two of which mated while we were there. This was another terrific encounter, mission accomplished.
A little while later while discussing our great encounters we drove right by this juvenile Goshawk, so we turned around and were very pleased that it decided to hang around and give us a couple of shots.
The bluebirds were plentiful, and it is easy to see that the males are absolutely at the peak of their colour.
Here is a pair that we spent a little time with. For those of you who don't like to see barbed wire fences this is a much nicer environment.
Here is another brilliant male. I was interested to see that the females are not yet on eggs.
We had deer, another Baltimore Oriole (that we could hear but couldn't get eyes on), a number of Redtail hawks and wrapped up a rather successful day. I hope that everyone had a great wildlife weekend!

Monday, 27 May 2013

Chipmunk, Whitethroated Sparrow, Yellow Warbler on our May Bird count on Sunday morning.

Last year I did the May bird count with Dan, this year I thought it was last weekend but found out our regular group was going to do an area as part of our regular walk.The morning started with a Spotted Towhee and had many highlights. Moving at a pace that was quicker than normal provider fewer photo opportunities, but I found a few willing subjects like this Downy Woodpecker
One of our favourites is always the Least Chipmunk
I was able to grab a brand new bird for me, this is a Whitethroated Sparrow.
There were a lot birds in the area, even Flycatchers were popping out every now and then.
We found both of the targeted Hummingbird species, the Calliope and Rufous, but they were uncooperative as we could not get anywhere close to them for good shots.
This Redtail made an appearance, one of two on the day.
We ended up with 64 species for the day, not too shabby. I'll wrap the morning post with my first shots of a Yellow Warbler for the season/year.
It was a terrific morning, and we had some sun for a change :-)  By the time we wound up the morning the sun had heated everything up pretty well. I hope you had a great Sunday!

Friday, 24 May 2013

Pelicans, Loon, Peacock Day three of fishing in BC (20130520)

Up early again, we have been getting up having a leisurely cup of tea and reviewing the weather before packing up for the day's outing. We grab brekkies at Rotten Ronnies then head off to the "lake of the day". Today we are off to a lake that we have fished often in the winter, but minimally in the summer, rumours of four pounders had us optimistic. Upon arrival we were greeted by a small group of these majestic birds.
Apparently these birds visit this area for a couple of weeks ever year before heading out to, you guessed it, Pelican Lake. As we cruised this particular lake we found an eagles nest, A Cinnamon Teal and a pair of Barrows. The American Pelican can stand four feet tall and have a wingspan of 10 feet.
This is the only pelican specie that grows the horn on the upper bill, it falls off after the breeding season.
There were hundreds of swallows in and around the bull rushes and many Red Winged as well, among the swallows was this Black Tern, not a very good image, but they are tough birds to capture well.
With a bit of good fortune we were able to get in tight with this Common Loon. These are usually birds that are not very tolerant, perhaps with a fair amount of "local traffic" it has become a little more accustomed to being approached by boats.
We spent about 5 minutes with this fellow. Ken had quite a time keeping me in position at the front of the boat. He was a real trooper!
Even with the overcast skies and poor light these are part of the best series of loon shots I have been able to get so far.
As we came into the landing there was this bachelor group of 7 birds, can you spot them all?
The surprize of the day was coming across this Peacock. I was certain I could hear one calling while we were out on the water.

Back at the ranch I managed to rustle up a couple of late shots of this Rufous Hummer.
These shots were taken at very high ISO, so they are very grainy.
This is the final post from this past weekend, just in time to get out for another round of tracks. Here is hoping that the weather cooperates a little as the current forecast is for nothing but rain.
Have a super wildlife week.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Grebes, Rainbows, Red Naped Sapsucker, Calliope Hummer on Fishing day two Rainbows (20130519)

This was looking to be the most pleasant day of the weekend for us, with a little sun available to shine. The Spotty's do like to hang out on the logs.
We played coyly with this group of Horned Grebes with the goal of getting close enough for a decent shot. I am afraid this is the best I could muster.
We were doing quite well with the Rainbows, some of them were putting on their spawning colours for us. Now no peeking at my secret lure, it treated me very well yesterday and again on this day. Size wise, this fish would weigh in at about two pounds.
As we cruised around the lake we found this immature Bald Eagle, coming in for a landing.
If there was ever any question why these are called Rainbow's, this should provide the answer.
It certainly was nice to have a little light to be able to show these beauties off.  Once again please keep your eyes closed when it comes to our secret "baits". I have been using these since 1984 when I was fishing 'bows in the Yukon. This is a female.
Okay, okay, enough about the fish! Ken was surprized to find out that the Eagle's nest had been taken over by Canada Geese, he was unaware  that they nested in trees when the opportunity presents itself.  We know this because we were buzzed by 5 geese, I was able to grab a couple of shots.
Another nice looking duck that made it self known on the lake was this drake Barrows Goldeneye.
We probably landed 30-40 fish keeping only 7. Ken has mastered the "hands free long line release" :)
Back at the house while we were sitting around having a beverage I noticed this Red Naped Sapsucker at one of Ken's neighbours. So I grabbed the camera and went to see if I could get something printable.
I think it is a great illustration of how they drill little holes for the trees sap to gather in, then they come along and lap it up. I'll finish this post up with a late evening image of one of the local Hummers.
These are tiny little birds!
We wrapped up the day finishing our second batch of smoked fish, so I will be going home with a little something to eat. I hope everyone is have a great wildlife weekend!

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

First ever Otters, Brook Trout, Hummers! (20130518) Day one of fishing.

We were looking for a few a Brookies for a lunch. As we came up to the lake, Ken spotted this GBH.
Then as we were putting the boat in I spied this female Kingfisher, complete with meal.  My best kingfisher yet, so you can see I have a loooong way to go:)
There were a few Spotted Sandpipers and I managed to grab this one as it floated on a piece of wood.

We had been catching a fair number of Rainbows but no Brookies. As we swung around the Southeast corner of lake we were surprised to find this pair of Otters. I had seen a couple many (15) years ago on a winter fishing trip, but this pair was within 40 feet.
We think that perhaps the young ones were around as they seemed to be quite upset with us.
one of them would swim up with just the nostrils showing then "pop" up and hiss at us.
This was a terrific encounter, I look forward to finding these members of the weasel family again and again in the future.
We eventually did manage to find some Brookies here is one of our "dinner" fish. These are truly beautiful fish with their mottled back and yellow spots, highlighted with the red spots haloed with blue.
While we were home getting these babies cooked up I managed to to grab a couple of low light images of a hummingbird. If it is a Calliope these are the smallest birds in North America.
This guy looks like he still has some maturing to do! What a great opportunity.
That will wrap up today's post. We are headed to a different lake, who knows what that will bring us. Have a super day!

Travel day to BC, thin post. (20130517)

Headed over to the old stomping grounds for a little fishing to see if the lakes are still producing like they used to. Most of my day was spent on the road or in the plane. While it was a beautiful day, I thought I would run over to Carburn for a last look at the owlets before they fledge.
The three of them seem to be doing really well, of course Mom was around to watch over them.
Dad was no where to be found, and I had limited time before heading out to the airport.
Upon arrival in Prince, Ken picked me up right on time and we headed down the highway. We spotted this large black bear boar well off the road.
Take a look at the ear position on this bear, they are wide and low, this is a certain indication of over all size, a young bear will wear his ears almost on top of his head, and they will be a much larger proportion of his head. This is breeding season for bears, so this big fella is out looking for a date:)
Sorry for a the short post, but travel will do that to a guy.

Monday, 13 May 2013

Pheasants on a Mothers Day Sunday morning (20130512)

First and foremost I have to say HAPPY MOTHERS DAY!! If it weren't for out mothers none of us would be here!  It was a cloudy morning that started off great.  Even before the walk started we managed a rooster and hen pheasant, so I headed over to see if she would distract him long enough for me to get a shot or two. I was getting into position nicely when "she" flushed, I looked at her and he flushed, I was late getting any shots!
I turned and was able to get this European Starling shot, more nesting material, it must be spring! Sorry for the poor quality.
We split up as we were going to take the folks down to one end of the run, then go back and get the vehicles after we finished up. On the way to our starting point, this fellow provided a photo opp. These are are beautiful coloured birds!
FCPP had experienced a bit of a wild fire earlier this spring, here is a Flicker and a Robin in the fresh green regrowth. It is easy to overlook the lower slung, less colourful Flicker with the brilliance of the orange of the Robin in the background.
A little later we got our first Yellowbellied Sapsucker, it was likely a hybrid as it has a little red on the back of the neck, indicating a Red Nape. But this fella seemed to be happy beating head against the tin roof of a shed, "announcing his presence with authority" :)
On the river the ducks were all over. The Teals kept their distance as usual, but the Merganser's didn't mind a little paparazzi!
We found this pair of American Kestrels, maybe even around their nesting site. The clouds were getting heavier so there was little light. I love the colours of these predatory birds.
Walking through the open area, we were surprised as this crow came overhead with its recently "stolen" meal.
Did I mention that this was Pheasant day? Here is number 6 or 7 on the morning, and the roosters were out and strutting their tail stripes.
Back along the river we were able to find a pair of Gadwall ducks. These understated looking ducks actually have some terrific patterning on their breasts and sides.
That pretty well wrapped up the walking portion of our session, we picked up this Great Blue Heron on the drive back to our starting point. It amazes me just how short their tail feathers are.
A long post but we spotted 47 different specie on this little excursion. We spotted a Merlin as we exited the parking lot. a very successful morning. I hope everyone has a great wildlife week.