Juvenile Gyrfalcon

Posted by Douglas Brown , Wednesday, January 20, 2010 1:30 AM

Monday cleared up in the afternoon, so I put down what I was doing and hightailed it out to the Ladner area. Up in a lone tree I saw what I thought was a red tailed, but further review of the photo I discovered a lifer for me.   First time Gyrfalcon.     

I  walked around and around the tree
Looking for the best pint of view
But this seemed nicest.
Apparently this has been hanging
around this area awhile.
This is close to where I saw
a kestrel, and a peregrine.

The Gyrfalcon is the official bird of
Canada's Northwest Territories.
Most prey is killed on the ground,
whether they are captured there or,
if the victim is a flying bird,
forced to the ground.

The other shot is ok,
and I am just glad to
finally have reference to
a gyrfalcon.
The brown form of the Gyrfalcon
is distinguished from the Peregrine
by the cream streaking on
the nape and crown and by
the absence of a well-defined
malar stripe and cap.

Anything goes Saturday

Posted by Douglas Brown , Monday, January 18, 2010 8:50 AM

Saturday at Boundary Bay this was the scene. After walking down the dike closer, some of the eagles took off, so it was quite easy to get individual shots.

The day was spectacular as it was one of the first full days of sun in weeks, and the photographers and birders were out in force.
My list of the day included 2 peregrine falcons, a few Cooper's hawks, Kestrel,Sharp Shinned,Ring Necked Ducks,many many shorebirds, and I lost count of the eagles after 40.
One highlight of the day was a Short Eared Owl sitting on a sign post 10 feet away from my vehicle,so I blasted off as many shots I could, and it flew to t wire after a larger truck drove by.

Eagle Quest

Posted by Douglas Brown , Monday, January 4, 2010 1:08 AM

This really has not been the best winter for getting out and about because of all the rain.
My quest for eagles was limited.
The few days of sun and blue sky found me two nice ones,worth the capture, though I did see many.
The one directly below one was in the snow and it was feeding... so it is a bit hard to see details.

The others had nice light and in my opinion were captured in nice natural elements.
I find Boundary Bay at the end of 72nd one of the best. Driving to Squamish or Brackendale can be uneventful many times, so I choose closer location on the mainland.
Bald Eagle
To hear these birds calling out is an amazing sound.
The one below was doing that so I was thrilled.
Bald Eagle
Then while driving on the 99 HWY I saw this bald eagle having a bath...
Bald Eagle having a bath

Bald Eagle
Stay tuned for some hawks.

Birds and Feeders (not real photogenic)

Posted by Douglas Brown 12:38 AM

I can say I am not a true birder, but definitely a dedicated bird photographer, so posting images of birds on feeders is just not something that I like doing.
I do like to see them eating away, and enjoy viewing the different species, but the man made object doesn't make the cut for composition in my opinion.
That is especially true with hummingbirds and those bright red plastic shiny discs.
My feeders are set up way out in the back of yard, and have nice branch perches around, but for a decent shot I would have to stand in my neighbours yard for the right light.
Needless to say I don't
Today...I was just underneath it and
saw a "red breasted nuthatch".

This is a first see for me and my lens on that feeder.
I had to.
I never said I don't like taking photos for reference only however.
It might be time to do a different set up on the feeder after seeing that one, so that I can have the right sun direction, and no branch clutter.
They love hiding in the holly, then taking turns on the seeds.

My Top Ten Photos of 2009

Posted by Douglas Brown , Friday, January 1, 2010 4:03 AM

  • A kestrel falcon who gave a nice pose
    will be used in a book being done in Oslo.
  • A surprise when walking around a corner
    on a trail was this ring necked pheasant
  • This pileated woodpecker had it's tongue inside
    the tree fishing out some food.
  • Finally getting to see the yellow throat,
    and on such a good perch was a thrill.
  • Bald eagles will always make my day,
    and this one had a staring match for a long time.
    He was fine and stayed after I left.
  • More rare around here was the long billed curlew.
    I was lucky to get it on the beach and air.
  • The father on the nest in a protect stance
    while a pesty other osprey was swooping the nest
  • A brief visit got me some photos of
    a mother hummingbird on nest.
    I left when I saw crowds coming like paparazzi.
  • An elusive belted kingfisher,
    finally did some flying close by.
  • And after 2 summers trying
    I eventually got a turkey vulture

Highlight of 2009

Posted by Douglas Brown 3:34 AM

I would say that in August I had the most fun each day checking in from a well camouflaged location on 2 young ospreys that were born.

Witnessing the parents coming in with fish for them to eat, and how they protect that nest was amazing.

I do hope next year they go to the same location,so I might get to do it all over.