Saturday, August 17, 2013

Birds and Critters and a word about Bill

I started a post for Wild Bird Wednesday almost a month ago but couldn't complete it in time.  Each week afterwards, I added a few pictures but still, the post wasn't ready to publish.  Today, I wanted to post to Camera Critters, showing squirrels (those especially for TexWis) and rabbits and racoons and horses and Black Jack and even a skunk.  That didn't happen either.  But I did complete the Wild Bird Wednesday post.  Go figure :)  Here it is, doing double duty for Camera Critters, though the original plan for four-legged critters will have to wait until next week.  In that category, only my laughing Black Jack, as she runs this evening (August 16th) from Bill to me for her treat, has made it into the post.

I'm adding a small Bill update for those who so kindly sent best wishes for his recovery.  Bill continues to struggle.  His battle to beat Colon Cancer goes more slowly and includes more challenges than he anticipated.  When Bill struggles, I do as well, but I fondly remember laughing as I hadn't in quite some time when I took these next two photos on August 5th.  It was a reenactment of a scene that had happened in the emergency department of St. Paul's Hospital a couple of days earlier.  The doctor had asked Bill to walk on his toes and then on his heels.  When we had left for the hospital, he wasn't able to do that, but to his and my delight, by the time the request was made by the doctor, he was able to comply.  He looked so cute with his surprised expression as he did the tiptoe dance that the nurse and I smiled in a shared moment of pleasure.  A few days later, I asked him if he would do the dance again.  He bravely gave me a stellar performance.  Thanks, Bill!
I thought he was every bit as adorable doing the heel walk.  Though the journey to health is proving longer and tougher than expected, I continue to believe we will arrive at our destination stronger than ever.  Hang in there, Bill!  You are greatly loved!
And now, I promise, the rest of the post will include birds and only birds, each one a "critter" enjoyed.  I saw this one today (actually yesterday, since it is now past midnight) at Jericho Park.  I'm thinking it may be a Lesser Yellowlegs, but will welcome corrections.
 Migrating, perhaps?  
Quite a rare sighting for me.
Also at Jericho, and seen Thursday, was a flock of Western Sandpipers (I believe).  I wonder if they might be migrating as well.  They fly so quickly!  I really worked to get these few passable photos.
 It was much easier to catch them when they stood still,
 but those moments were few and far between.
This was a lucky shot out of many failed ones.  What beautiful birds they are!
 Stellar Jays are apparently quite common, but sightings for me have been rare as well.  I was excited..
to see this one in Trimble Park on Wednesday, the 14th.
I haven't seen this one since, but..
feel we made a "connection" for a moment or two here.
This is a mystery bird seen a few weeks ago, hiding behind reeds in a pond at Jericho.  
Any help with identification would be greatly appreciated.
This young girl and a female Redwing Blackbird were seen on Canada Day.  The girl gave me permission to post the photo but was uninterested in having my blog address so she could check it out.  She was absolutely focused on the bird.  I sense a lifelong passion for wildlife in her future.
The bird was studying her as well.  I love the blue nail polish :)
This male Redwing was seen the same day.  
Also on Canada Day, I caught a Flicker taking a sand bath.
I was surprised to see the head swivel so freely.  
One more Canada Day sighting.  A House Finch, I believe.
I'll let you decide which profile is the more flattering.
On August 8th, this King Fisher was flying back and forth across a pond at Jericho.  
I was never able to capture a flying image, but I enjoyed seeing the fanned tail here.
I have wondered how Tupper is doing back in Yaletown's David Lam Park, and was happy to catch sight of him on July 31st.  
His leg looks as though it may be injured in the photo above but when he put weight on it, it seemed to be just fine.
And, here is the young eagle that I named Sisbro.  I learned afterwards that her official name is "Cake" and I also learned the sad news that her sibling (Pat) didn't survive after her fall from the tree, in spite of the best efforts of rescue people and the doctors at OWL.  However, in this photo taken12 days after fledging, you can see that Sisbro is now confident in the air.
I was lucky to catch sight of this hawk on August 6th.  It was hiding behind a maze of branches and leaves, but my camera somehow managed to catch just this one shot of its head.  I am wondering if it may be a Goshawk..
and also thinking this hawk seen very high in the sky a couple of weeks earlier could.. 
also be a Goshawk, and even possibly the same one.
Perhaps you can tell that I've spent a fair bit of time at Jericho.  This heron was in the pond on May 31st.  
Here is Sisbro again, a few days before she fledged.  She was jumping up and down with great energy and determination.
Just a pretty seagull flying over the fishing dock at Jericho.
A young robin trying to cool off on one of many sunny days at Jericho.
Sisbro having a tipsy moment.
Sisbro again, getting fine "air" a day or two before fledging.
This was the first time I saw Sisbro hop from the platform to a branch of the tree.  Branch hopping is the final step before fledging.
I think this is Sisbro's dad, Bert.
One very hot day, Black Jack and I sat on a bench at Jericho.  This finch (?) came right up to my foot and then began..
searching for food in this hole.  I was fascinated that it was so fearless and dug so deep.
I'm guessing this is a Bushtit but could swear its intense expression here is owl-like.  It was also at Jericho.  
One day, I waited and waited, hoping to catch a photo of Sisbro flying.  That didn't happen, but these swallows across the street made up for that failure.
Delivery for one but the other must be thinking, "When's my turn?)
Oh, how I love this luck shot.
Another "What about me?" shot that made me smile.
A mallard, waving her wings to dry off after bath time.  Where?
You guessed it.  Jericho.
Well satisfied after a vigorous bath.
There seems to be one resident heron in the Jericho pond.  He or she spends hours fishing..
and on this day, caught many unfortunate victims.  Crayfish, perhaps? 
This seagull seemed to wave at me from the fishing dock.
One more swallow sighting was enjoyed greatly.  The parent was, as in the other photos, delivering food, but I kept miscalculating which of the four.. 
would receive the food so all of the delivery shots were out of focus.  Still, the sun caught the beautiful colours quite well.  I wonder if they ever complain about those barbs!
The last two shots were not taken at Jericho but at Lost Lagoon.  A Mute Swan and..
a Canada Goose to take us to the end of this very long post.  Thank you so much for stopping by.   For more critters, do stop by Camera Critters and to see more birds, Wild Bird Wednesday will definitely appreciate a visit.  They are both fine memes and well worth your time.  Happy bird and critter watching, everyone! 


  1. Haha soon he'll surely dance a jig. Lots of great bird shots indeed, as well as the pup running at top speed

  2. Carol, you never seem to do things in half measures … so many varieties of birds and all so interestingly photographed. The girl with colorful glasses and fingernails wears the bird on her hand like an ornament and the row of birds on the barbed wire fence are visual delights.

    Also, please convey my full measure of good wishes to Bill on his recovery!

  3. i love, love, love the swallows on the barbed wire shot! and sisbro is gorgeous! i'm glad one survived. always nice to see black jack.

    yes, that appears to be a lesser yellowlegs - shorter bill than the greater with a slight upturn. :)

    your mystery bird is a virginia rail, i think. never seen one of those in person! love your pretty stellar jays, too. loved all of this, and i hope to continue to see bill smiling!! bless you both!

  4. What fabulous photos, especially of Bill. All the best to him. I am a respite volunteer and I know how hard being the caregiver can be.

    I will miss seeing the birds feed one another. It is such a treat. Great captures.
    Cheers from Cottage Country Ontario

  5. My best wishes to Bill! What a wonderful collection of birds. Your mystery bird is a rail and I think Tex is correct on the id. Happy weekend to you!

  6. okay - since you asked, i came back to take another look. no idea on the hawk in the tree - except it did remind me of a broad-winged hawk in my crossley id guide. the ones in flight after that i'd guess were a peregrine falcon. see what you think! (i'm truly terrible at hawks!)

  7. Your bird photos were fantastic and it was enjoyable to see Sisbro in various stages of leaving the nest.

  8. Wonderful bird shots! Prayers for Bill.

  9. Get well soon Bill!!! Good to see you on your toes!!

    Amazing captures!!

  10. Wow! You have a lot of great bird photos here! And some of the action shots are incredible.

  11. I love the pictures of dancing Bill! Hugs for you both!
    I wish I could spot as many birds as you do when you go on your walks! Phyllis

  12. So many different birds, it's amazing. Lots of good shots too. Love the Jay (the blue is magical) and the girl handfeeding a bird.

  13. A great series of photos - I especially like the shorebirds/waders as they are not ones I see here in Australia.

  14. Wow, what a great bunch of shots! Thanks for sharing.

  15. That's a lot of birds to take in! The swallow and the half-blue jay are cool.

    I am experiencing the fact that as we get older, we take longer to heal, too. All my best wishes for Bill.

  16. Fabulous series of photos, so many beautiful birds. I love the eagle shots.

    All my best wishes for Bill!!

    Thanks for your visit and comment.
    Hilde :)

  17. You certainly got a lot of great shots! Not just great, but totally awesome! I'm sure that took some "ready attention"!

    Saying a prayer for Bill's recovery...

  18. Hi there - pass on my best wishes to Bill - keep trying!

    Your mystery bird is a rail of some sort - but I'm not brave (or silly enough) to suggest which one. Hawks are aways hard - but I dont think the bird in the tree and the bird in the air are the same bird - and if they are the wings seem to pointed to be Goshawk - my first thoughts for the bird in flight was some form of falcon. But I'm not really sure.

    Cheers - Stewart M

  19. Wow - all your pictures are just stunning! Have to say I love that one of the girl with the bird.

  20. Bill, you are such a 'sport'! So good to see you smiling.
    Carol, you are an inspiration to this amateur photographer who tries so hard to catch glimpse of a bird on a daily basis. these are magnificent photos and your 'eye' is very fine-tuned into the ways of these birds.
    I remember Jericho so well. We would stop there on our bicycle rides to and from UBC.

  21. Bill looks like he is doing some Qi Gong moves similar to what we learned a few years ago. It is gentle form of exercise, maybe Bill might consider it as the days go on.
    I re-iterate what Jim said. I'm trying to capture a hummingbird, the one and only one we ever have but alas it zips so fast and I am never ready. Patience Ron Patience!
    Black Jack's facial expression is wonderful. He and Sophie would so enjoy a good run in Jericho Park, mmm, love that place.

    All the best Carol and HI to Bill!!