Saturday, December 1, 2012

Critters at Whytecliff Park, West Vancouver

Last week, Bill and I were on a mission to photograph the full moon.  There had been many days of cloudy and/or rainy weather, but on Saturday, we counted ourselves lucky to see blue skies.  We decided to try our luck at Whytecliff Park in West Vancouver. The moon was just a day or two short of being full, but that story will be for another post.  We saw quite a few critters along the way and I thought they might be enjoyed at the Camera Critters blog meme.  This hummingbird (I'm guessing it was an Anna's, but never got the perfect identification shot) did not want to face the camera but the sun on its back brought out the emerald greens.   
A little later, and in a different tree, I saw this one.  They are quick,  and facing into bright sun was a challenge, but the camera caught a lovely wing here.
We were surprised to see hummers as winter is fast approaching in Vancouver.  This shot caught a tiny bit of red at the top of this one's head.
High in another tree, a raven called to an unseen but communicative mate or family member.
The same hummer or a different one?  We never knew for sure.  Bill's sharp eyes spotted this one, and it gave me more than enough time to set up the shot, but still, I struggled.  What we both noticed, though, was how big the eyes are in proportion to the body. 
Its beak was slightly open,  perhaps snapping up invisible (to us) insects.

Bill entertained Black Jack, helped me locate critters, and generally was indispensable.  Black Jack has no interest in birds but loves to dance for her treats. 
I don't normally encourage her to stand up, but sometimes..
she seems to love showing off..
her balancing skills.
Just before the moon made its appearance, we noticed these beautiful birds.  They were a somewhat rare sighting for us.  I'm guessing Pine Grosbeaks..
but would be happy for any suggestions from readers here.
With all this talk of Bill, I thought any new readers might like..

to meet him, and perhaps see a little bit of Whytecliff Park as well.

As I said, he is super-accommodating.  Here, I asked him to crouch down to fit into my big lens view.  Thanks, Bill, for all that you do to make life fun!
Bill thought it only fair that I introduce myself as well.
There will be many more moon photos in the next post, but here are a couple taken at Whytecliff.  Here is the way it first appeared, as seen with the big lens just before sunset..

and here is a small lens version a few minutes later.  

The Camera Critters blog meme is one that I've only recently discovered.  It is great fun if you love critters of all sorts, so to see more, I hope you will find a few minutes to check it out.  Thanks so much for visiting.  Have a wonderful Saturday, everyone!


  1. love the colors in the last shot! and you still had hummingbirds way up there last week? wow! i'm impressed! ours left a month and a half ago!

  2. Great captures! Black Jack is adorable! Surprised to see Hummingbirds that far north.

  3. Beautiful set of photos!! Black Jack is ADORABLE!! What kind of dog is she? LOVE the moon shots, both of them are awesome!!

  4. Great shots of the birds as always but I really liked those moon shots particularly at that time of the day the twitx and tween time.

  5. While most types of hummingbirds migrate south in early winter until early spring, Anna's hummingbirds (the ones with the flash of red on the head) live in southwestern BC all year round. They do migrate short distances within the Pacific northwest, but because they eat more insects and spiders than do other hummers, they are able to survive okay in the cooler climates. Here on the island, where we see them a lot at this time of year, we continue to put out nectar for them, but have to remember to change the water at least a couple of times a day in the cooler weather.
    You may be right about the Pine Grosbeak, yet the colours don't look quite right, and both male and female usually have two distinct bands of white on the wings, not one. Is that a patch of orange on its cheek, or part of the berry branch it is holding? It might be a bunting of some type rather than a pine grosbeak?

  6. Admire your shots. All of them. Black Jack is super cute!
    Thanks for dropping by :)

  7. Gorgeous shots of the moon and that second shot of the bird is magical!

  8. was für schöne Momente :D
    DANKE für die schönen Bilder

    LG zum 1. Advent vom katerchen

  9. I had to check the date too, hummer on 1st December. I guess there must be some food still for them. Nice shots of it/them particualrly as thery are so active.

  10. What a fun post!!! Black Jack is adorable, and that first photo of the moon is awesome!

  11. Love the many different ones...very fortunate lady you are. Black Jack and Sophie could dance for joy and treats...she's always wanting to dance. The moon shots are going to be amazing if they are anything like these shots!


  12. Wow! You have some really awesome photos here and such a cute dog.

  13. Some terrific shots of the Hummingbird! All your critter look great... including Bill. Ha!

    Black-Jack seems to be having a grand time too.

    Linda and I are getting a Cock-a-poo later this month or early in January. We plan on naming her Molly.

  14. Black Jack is a very good dancer indeed. Loved your birds today, the grosbeck is a new one to me.