Monday, December 14, 2009

Saturday in Squamish & other sightings.

First, three catch-up photos from a week ago in Stanley Park. This merganser was under-exposed, but when I took out the shadows (thank you, iphoto), I discovered a fish, and thought it worth posting.

And this one. It seems as if one could be shadow, but was just the one at the side that the camera didn't focus on. The picture isn't clear enough for positive identification, but I think it was a bit bigger than a sparrow. Maybe a hermit thrush?
An American Wigeon couple (maybe). I liked their patterns against the stones.
Sunday's eagle watching was great fun, but I forgot my monopod, didn't deal with the grey light very well, and overall, was disappointed with the photo quality, although not with the lens, which did its best to compensate for my lack of self-discipline. So much good advice has been coming my way, but I seem unable to translate it into action. I believe I will.. soon.

There were not many eagles.. the highest count in one hour was 15, a far cry from a couple of years back, when I'm told there were 500.

This was the first eagle of the day, sitting in a tree.
Then, I spotted three swans. Tundra swans would be my guess, and I believe the trio consisted of parents and a juvenile. They were quite a distance from my camera.
They flew off, and did not return.
This next series of eight photos really had me smiling, but also kicking myself. With a tripod and the correct settings, it could have been phenomenal. Still, the dynamics between the two eagles were great fun to watch.

First, they head for the same log.
Coming in for touch down.
Uh oh. I think they could use some air traffic control.
Precarious landing.
The one on the right seems particularly annoyed. Insert your own dialogue here.
Now, the one on the left is really upset.
Apology, perhaps?
All forgiven, maybe.
Other sightings? Quite a few ducks. A Goldeneye I think, Barrow's or Common, I'm not sure.
This juvenile Bald Eagle surprised me, flying right overhead. I thought the picture was silhouette only, but Iphoto shadow removal helped me out again.
Black Jack was keen - really, really keen.
Bill, impressively nimble and agile, followed her around on the rocks for hours. Why is she so obsessed with rock climbing?
She is dead serious about rock climbing. Look at those eyes!
There was another flurry of eagle activity, with three or four flying close, I think in competition for the same food. Shadows under these two add to an already impressive ferocity all Bald Eagles seem to possess, in my view.
Just a few seconds, and they were gone.
I was about to delete this one, and suddenly noticed the blue heron over the eagle.
I'm pretty sure this is an American Dipper. Only my second sighting, ever. A second or two, and it was gone.
Final eagle shot of the day.
Yesterday, Sunday, yielded no photos, but a wonderful time with Bill's sister, Phyllis, her daughter, Glenys, husband, Paul, and one-year-old son, Oscar. My friends Jock and Kitty also came, with their dear Sheltie, Lucy. All braved my cooking, and Lucy accepted treats and some of Black Jack's Merick Buffalo canned food. Lucy was recently very, very ill, and I could hardly contain my joy to see her doing so well. With Bill, we were eight. I would (quite happily) describe myself as both entertainment and culinary challenged, and it is a credit to the warmth and just plain fun of these treasured friends, that preparing food for them was actually not so scary. And Oscar, oh my goodness, what a beautiful little boy. I'm hoping Glenys might send me a picture, so that I can show you for myself. On the verge of walking and talking, and with a sense of humour that just warms your heart.

Today was supposed to be "finish up reports" day, but I haven't done so well. I guess I will have to bite that bullet tomorrow. A cold and grey walk at Jericho this morning yielded a few sights I just had to post.

My first ever otter sighting at Jericho. Again, I'm paying for my lack of self-discipline with the camera, but here are my best efforts to capture him (or her?) He moved around very quickly, and I couldn't seem to find a satisfactory angle, but hope he will give me another opportunity soon.

He lay behind the reeds and rolled on his back, but unfortunately, was out of sight from the camera. Here he is just getting up from his lovely roll.
A lady told me he had caught two fish just before I arrived, and she had watched him eat them. It looks like it's resting here, but in fact, it was very much on the move, slithering across the frozen section of the pond.
If you click on this one, you can see its little tongue.
This shorebird flitted by, and I just caught a photo, although it had to be de-shadowed, and still isn't very clear. I'm wondering if it could possibly be a Short-billed Dowitcher.

These last three are of a blue heron. With the frozen background, I saw it like this:

That's it for today, folks. As always, thanks for reading.


  1. Oh. My. Goodness! What a great series of the two eagles landing simultaneously on the log!!!

    And then the otter series. And then the final heron series. What wonderful shots - thank you!

  2. I'm so glad you got those otter shots, i've shown my daughter, Karla, as she is a life long otter-lover!

  3. I'm so glad you got those otter shots, i've shown my daughter, Karla, as she is a life long otter-lover!

  4. A very nice series of grouped shots, CC, and as usual interesting and very readable description.

    I can see that the new lens is working well for you - an F6.3 lens (at full extension) giving good results on cold gray overcast days. Just wait until the sun comes out and then you'll be able to get the camera to select even faster correct shutter speeds. You certainly need fast shutter speeds if you are going to hand hold this long lens.

    I think the bird in the second picture is a Fox Sparrow, and the one in the fourth-last, a Virginia Rail.

    Cheers, and best wishes for Christmas and New Years!


  5. Thanks, Jean:)

    Rose, thanks for checking out the blog. And, especially, thanks for pointing out the otter. What a joy it was to see it!

    Shiprock, thanks so much for the encouragement, and for the identifications. A Virginia Rail. Wow! My first!

    As for the fifth comment, does anyone know how to delete it?

  6. Hi Carol. To delete a comment after it has been posted, go to your dashboard, click on 'edit' so a list of all your posts comes up, click on 'view' beside the title of this post. Then you'll see a little trash can at the end of each comment. Click on the trash after the spam comment and the comment is history.

  7. Lovely photos! I especially love the eagles! Were those taken in Squamish? I lived in Squamish for 4 years and used to go look at the eagles in Brackendale. The otter shots are very cute too!

  8. Thank you so much, Jean. It worked!

    Thanks for commenting, Jen. Yes, it was in Squamish. I had no idea you lived there.