Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Catch-up: April 11 - Outdoor Day

Monday, the 11th, was the first official day of my two-week holiday.  I woke up to blue skies and felt the luxury of a free day to do anything I wanted.  Black Jack and I set out for a nice long walk.  The greens and mauves in this pigeon's neck glinted against the aqua background of "Venus" at a Yaletown dock.
Cormorants flew in and out from both the Burrard and the Granville bridges,  delivering nesting material for their families.  The sun picked up their shades of green and aqua as well.
An eagle dipped down into the water.  I haven't seen that before, but couldn't catch the action with my camera.  My first shot was as it rose, soaking wet, and flew by Granville Market.
 A seagull followed it, 
and I slowly began to think that the eagle was probably carrying a seagull chick along with some nesting material in its talons.
Here, the seagull looks up at the one above it (barely shown at the top of the photo) and seems to say, "Will you come help me with this?"
In a second, four seagulls were attacking the eagle.
They weren't successful, and the eagle flew off with its prey.
While I looked to the sky, Black Jack was more interested in the action beneath her.
 A cormorant dove and came up with a piece of string.  It seemed to be struggling, and I worried that the string was going to stay wrapped around its bill.  I didn't see the outcome of this, but hope that all ended well. 
When we reached the dog beach by the Burrard Bridge, I looked across the water and saw the eagle nest in Vanier Park.  Only later, I realized an eagle was sitting in the nest, perhaps on an egg.  (If you click on the picture, you can just barely make out a white head.)  I learned from the site at that link that the first chicks to fledge from that nest were in 2005.  Like the Jericho nest, there have been chicks since then that have had to be rehabilitated at OWL because of problems with parts of the nest falling. OWL is truly a fantastic and much appreciated facility.  They will have an open house on April 30th, and on May 1st.  That is the only time when the general public can see their hospital and flight training centre. 
We continued on to Stanley Park, and saw Stella, sitting by herself.  
I kept hoping that Stanley would show up, but although lots of males were bringing sticks, Stanley stayed away for the hour or so that I watched.
Bill met me at Stanley Park, and we drove over to North Van.  This robin greeted us.  

 Black Jack had had a long walk with me, but was full of energy.  Bill began to run with her, and then let the leash go so she could run to me.
She rounded the corner,
ears pinned back, our little racing dog.
We walked to what I have been calling the little river (It is actually named McKay Creek), and saw these Buffleheads.
It's hard to see in these not so great photos , but the sun brought out their colours as well.
A lone dandelion was looking glorious.
Having spotted an osprey in the sky a few days before that, I was hoping for more sightings.  We bumped into Mark walking his two dogs (of 321 photos linked at the side of my blog) and he told us a male had been sitting on the nest.  We walked together, and soon spotted this female.  She flew right over our heads.    

Then, we spotted a male doing his dance in the sky.  No positive identifications yet, but things seem to be looking good for an active osprey season.   
We were definitely due a latte by this time, and we headed across the bridge to The Wicked for a delicious one. Bill parked the truck in front of a store called Sofa So Good and we both liked their window display of fake, but beautiful, flowers.  This was Bill's favourite combination of colours.
I loved all the bright shades and had fun taking photos.
We decided to check out Vanier Park, and stood for a while on the dock, looking back at the dog beach where I had stood in the morning.  The moon was visible in a bright blue sky.
The nest looked in good shape to me, but remembering how quickly chicks grow, and how much action will take place when the parents begin delivering food, I guess there will have to be a bit of remodelling completed over the next couple of weeks.
More shades of aqua brought out by the sun.  
I guess sun bringing out hidden beauty is becoming a sort of theme for this post.
A cormorant flew toward us and I watched its process of pick up and delivery.
Rounding the corner.
Pick up nest material.
Struggle to take off.
Wings up.
Lift off.
And, away it goes..
..to the nest.
Swimming towards some rocks near the dog beach was this otter.  I have looked for it since, but they are quite illusive.
We walked up from the dock and sat on a park bench where I admired (yet again) the Burrard Bridge.  
A seagull on a pylon watched us.
One of the Vanier eagles flew in,
and landed in the tree.
We walked over to get a closer look.  The mate could be seen high in the sky.  
We were both quite tired and decided to call it a day, but later that evening, I took Black Jack out for her evening walk.  This white Magnolia tree is just across from my apartment.
It seems especially healthy and lush and I decided to take a photo before the petals begin to fall.  
This morning, just over a week after that photograph, it still looks happy.
It was just a short walk, but there was time to take a few more blooms,
and a scenery shot,
and one last flower photo before heading inside for a really good sleep.  The next morning, we left for our trip to Pemberton, and that will be my next post.

1 comment:

  1. So much about these scenes are uplifting … the series of photos of the cormorant, Black Jack running towards you seeming to fly off the ground, and the lovely Burrard Bridge that takes bikes, cars and people up and over to the other side. Thanks as always for sharing your journey, Carol.