Sunday, January 18, 2015

Critters enjoyed this past week

There are herons and ducks, a swan, a coot, a racoon, a hummingbird, two seagulls, a couple of dogs in the park and our dear Black Jack to share with Eileen's critter meme, Anni's I'd Rather Be Birdin', Misty Dawn's Camera Critters and Stewart's Wild Bird Wednesday this week.Many thanks, Eileen, Anni, Misty and Stewart!

Black Jack sat in the bright sun on Tuesday.
This Hooded Merganser was in the little pond between the Cambie and Granville bridges.
Some dogs were playing in the field by the pond.  This one made me smile when it took not only the ball but the throw-stick.  The older dog on the right wasn't all that impressed.
but they declared the competition..
a draw.  I think.
On Wednesday, we saw this heron on a wharf by False Creek as we biked to Lost Lagoon in Stanley Park.
Bill and Black Jack waited while I snapped the photo. 
We looked down at the heron from over the fence.  There is often one around that marina.  Definitely not nervous of humans though possibly feeling a bit grouchy :)
This seagull was near the heron and suddenly began calling loudly.
The occasion celebrated was the arrival of this younger gull.  I wonder if it was a parent-child reunion.
Their meeting appeared to be a tender one.
When we arrived at Stanley Park, the late afternoon sun cast a glow over this mallard..
and over this Mute Swan as it mingled with the ducks in the lagoon.
It lasted just long enough to light up Mrs. Mallard..
and Bill and Black Jack too.  We were looking over a little bridge that you can see below.. 
in this shot taken at the end of our walk.
  Seconds later, the light was gone but I continued to take photos.  The swan's black foot caught Bill's eye here.
This was the first American Coot we had seen in several months.
There were just a few racoons around but they always seemed to pop out of nowhere.

I think this may be a female Common Merganser (perhaps, first Spring?),
and this one a female Hooded?  (Corrections always appreciated.)
Our second lone heron of the day.  I have a feeling mating season is just a few weeks off.  There is a heronry close by.
S/he wandered slowly to the edge of the creek, looking, as with the other one we had spotted, more grouchy than nervous.  No way that I know of to detect gender until I see their behavior in the nest.
We missed seeing him/her fly up to this branch.  Their wings are huge but so silent.
There were several Common Mergansers about, the first we had seen..
in a long time.
This male looked strong and confident.
When we arrived back at the little bridge, this racoon was sitting on it, and engaged in a staring contest with Black Jack.
On Friday, we biked to another of our favorite ponds, this one by Coal Harbour and only a few minutes away from Lost Lagoon.  I took my 500 mm lens with me for the first time in a while, and was happy to spot this hummingbird (Anna's, I think) at the top of a very tall tree.
I tried (I don't use a tripod) to hold steady to catch an in-flight shot, but this was about the..
best I could manage.  It was impossible to anticipate when he would leave the tree to catch..
an insect, so my strategy was to be ready for his return.  There were moments of bright..
sunshine, and when he turned his head just right, the flashes of pink/red were magnificent.
I thought he looked like he was lying back in a recliner here :)
I think this is the heron we have named Hal (or Hali if female).  I was so focused on..
the humming bird that I almost missed Hal,
who sat quietly observing his/her world..
in the intermittent sunshine.
Yesterday, with rain threatening, we did a short ride to English Bay.  We are still keeping Black Jack somewhat quiet (no free runs) to make sure her injury-episode a couple of..
weeks ago has time to fully heal.  She was chomping at the bit..
and Bill did a great job of following her over the rocks,
though in the end, as so often happens, she had to be saved from herself :)  She fortunately is perfectly happy to be in Bill's arms.  Just a different perspective on the same view.
Darkness falling, we headed back to Yaletown, as the geese..
went wherever they go for the evening.  Thanks so very, very much for stopping by.  We are going to Langley today to a concert, and I have left myself too late to write comments, but will try to catch-up this evening.


  1. love the hunkered-down herons! lots of great waterfowl, too!

  2. Hello Carol, what a wonderful critter post.. I love all the geese, ducks, dogs and your cute Black Jack! The hummingbird is a beauty, I love its colors.. Beautiful images, thank you for linking up and sharing your post.. Have a happy Sunday!

  3. Wonderful critters! I love the raccoons and the herons.

  4. What a wonderful collection of critters you've seen this week! :) Love your images.

  5. Wow...where do I begin?!!! Your puppy is so darned cute...especially in its own basket on the bike. So cool that is.

    Your birds...the array of so many different ones....simply fantastic.

    Enjoyed this post immensely. Thanks for sharing the link this weekend.

  6. Hi Carol! I agree with Anni above! I don't use a tripod either, so I am really impressed with your hummer photos. I know how hard it is to capture any bird on the move with a handheld camera, let alone a hummingbird. And you consistently get great bird photos. I was thinking this morning as I went through your recent posts that you could do a photography book on Vancouver. You have taken so many and varied strong photos! I'm glad to hear that BJ is on the mend, even if she isn't ready for free runs yet! My hubby thinks she's cute and that Bill is very patient photo subject! Have a great week!

  7. LOVE your critters. All of them.
    The photo of the heron taken from above I had to look at twice - he looks to be wearing a very stylish hat.
    Thank you for a gorgeous bird and beastie filled post.

  8. Lovely shots of all the birds! You captured an awesome variety--I like that first photo of Black Jack as well!

  9. i always wonder why i don't see herons like this - meaning - the feathers are so wild looking. i wonder if the herons i do see are younger or just more un-age? i do wonder??! curious. gorgeous ducks. the hubby loves them. he had a pet duck as a kid. they called him Killer Bill. we have shots of him in our home. have a lovely week. take care. ( :

  10. Dogs are such fun, and Black Jack looks to be one of the best of 'em.
    You bird photos are amazing.
    Thanks for this lovely post.

  11. The photos are so clear I can almost count the feathers and hairs on some of these critters. The heron over the fence looks like he has a sailor’s hat on from that perspective. And Hal seems wise with a beard full of feathers from the frontal view.