Translate

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Langley White Rock Christmas Bird Count

Dec 29 2016 
Come out and join members of the Langley Field Naturalists Jan 2 2017 for the annual Christmas bird account. Rather than repeat what has already been published in the newspapers click on the links below: Here are a few common birds from Brydon Lagoon shot during the recent cold snap.

American robin.

Golden-crowned sparrow.
Shot with the Nikon P900 point and shoot.

The Cloverdale Reporter


The Langley Times.





"It's never too late to start counting bird"
John Gordon
Langley/cloverdale
BC Canada

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year



Dec 21-27 2016 Brunswick Point to Boundary Bay

Thousand of Dunlin and possibly a few western sandpipers flock around the Delta coal terminal where if the bird brains of commerce have their way a second coal port is planned. Also off Brunswick Point were a good trumpeter swans, thousands of dabbling and diving ducks. Just the thought of the disturbing the area more than it already has boggles the mind. 

Sandpipers feed on the nutritious bio-film. Scientists (what do they know) fear any more development off Brunswick Point will effect the flow in the delta, one of the most important stop offs for migrating sandpipers.
-sandpiper-secret-revealed-its-the-biofilm/

Some thoughts about composition
I shot from a high angle to incorporate the black log and burnt background. This composition makes the bird pop out against the background. I shot this on manual setting at 1/320sec at F5.6 ISO 800. Had I used aperture priority or another program mode the dark background would have overexposed the wren. Although I occasionally use aperture priority, manual setting usually provide better results.

 A low angled close-up portrait where I chose a background of a distant marsh. I also incorporated the tried and trusted two-thirds rule of composition. Note how the bird has room to look into the frame. Often we photographers crop too closely and the subject seems to be 'crammed' into the frame with nowhere for the subject or imagination to go.
With this shot I moved few feet and included more of the background allowing the shape of the log to lead the eye from the left upwards toward the bird.
I spent maybe ten minutes watching the bird from a distance, noting it movements before approaching and shooting handheld.
******



Merlin (Prairie race)
My next stop was to see if I could photograph the golden eagle on 72 but when I arrived I met Ray and Mike they suggested I go for the prairie merlin on 96. As we birders sometime do, I drove like the wind albeit at the speed limit. I arrived just in time to find the bird sitting in a tree.





 My camera was extracted from the car just in time to rattle off a few shots before it took off to hunt. I missed a perfect flight shot by millimetres and had to settle for this shot below.
This merlin is a lighter colour overall than the merlins normally seen on the coast,
while the setting sun also adds a warm tinge.




******

Dec 27th:
 Finally but not least I wanted to see if I could snatch a few frames of the golden eagle on 72 in Delta.  I had just spent the whole day n the Ladner bird count and had just a few minutes to catch the bird before sunset. I lucked out and within fifteen minutes the eagle had left its favourite perch to go hunting. Moments later it returned before a cloud blocked the 'sweet light' and it was time to head for home and watch the Liverpool game.

Golden eagle.

All shots handheld with the Nikon D500 and Nikon 200mm-500mm.


Finally but not least I would like to thank all those who have visited the blog over the past twelve months, those who have left comments and to those who through the blog I have met in the field. I have really enjoyed our chats. I learnt alot along the way.


Wishing you all healthy, happy and prosperous 2017

"It's never too late to start birding"

John Gordon
Langley/Cloverdale
BC Canada

Friday, December 23, 2016

Aloquette Christmas Bird Count

Dec 17 2016 Alouette Christmas Bird Count
(South of the Fraser River Portion)
Tynehead Regional Park/ Barnston Island /Big Bend Regional Park and surrounding area.

A  hungry coyote hunts in the snow at Tynehead Park. Nikon P900 at 2000mm


At the feeder a dark-eyed Junco. P900 at 2000mm
The P900 with its 24mm-2000mm zom was of great use on the bird count. A long distant shot of a Cooper's hawk allowed us to ID a bird at leisure and to take shots like the one above at makeshift feeders around the park.


Fox Sparrow P900,
I overexposed this shot in the snow so as to bring out the details. Note the intricate chevrons on the bird's breast.
Purple finch P900 at 2000mm

Wim and Carlo look for signs of life at Tynehead Park.


More about Barnston Island

Below is a count of the birds south of the Fraser River that included Surrey's Tynehead Park, Big Bend Regional Park, Barnston Island and surrounding area. It does not include the count on the Maple Ridge side of the river.


ALOUETTE CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT
Date: December 17th, 2016




Area 5

Sub-areas


Species
1/2/3/13
7
6
10a
10b
5/11
Total
SPECIES




Hwy
S. Bend


Geese, Swans, Ducks








Greater White-fronted Goose







0
Snow Goose







0
Brant







0
Cackling Goose
1
3





3
Canada Goose
1
589





589
Tundra Swan







0
Trumpeter Swan







0
Swan Species







0
Wood Duck
1

7




7
Gadwall







0
Eurasian Wigeon







0
American Wigeon
1

1




1
Mallard
1
26
7
4

5

42
Cinnamon Teal







0
Northern Shoveller







0
Northern Pintail







0
Green-winged Teal
1
161



7

168
Canvasback







0
Redhead







0
Ring-necked Duck
1

3




3
Greater Scaup
1
1





1
Lesser Scaup







0
Scaup Species
1




1

1
Harlequin Duck







0
Surf Scoter







0
White-winged Scoter







0
Black Scoter







0
Long-tailed Duck







0
Bufflehead







0
Common Goldeneye







0
Barrow's Goldeneye







0
Hooded Merganser







0
Common Merganser
1
29



4

33
Red-breasted Merganser
1




1

1
Merganser Species







0
Ruddy Duck







0
Duck Species







0
Ring-necked Pheasant
1
3





3
Ruffed Grouse







0
Loons and Grebes








Red-throated Loon







0
Pacific Loon







0
Common Loon







0
Yellow-billed Loon







0
Loon Species







0
Pied-bill Grebe
1
2





2
Horned Grebe







0
Red-necked Grebe







0
Eared Grebe







0
Western Grebe







0
Cormorants








Brandt's Cormorant







0
Double-crested Cormorant







0
Pelagic Cormorant







0
Cormorant Species







0
Herons








American Bittern







0
Great Blue Heron
1
4





4
Green Heron







0
Eagles and Hawks








Bald Eagle
1
9
1
5

2

17
Northern Harrier
1
2





2
Sharp-shinned Hawk







0
Cooper's Hawk
1


1



1
Northern Goshawk







0
Accipiter Species







0
Red-tailed Hawk
1
8
4
1

2

15
Rough-legged Hawk







0
Rails, Coot and Crane








Virginia Rail







0
American Coot







0
Sandhill Crane







0
Shorebirds








Black-bellied Plover







0
Killdeer







0
Greater Yellowlegs







0
Whimbrel







0
Long-billed Curlew







0
Marbled Godwit







0
Black Turnstone







0
Sanderling







0
Western Sandpiper







0
Dunlin







0
Long-billed Dowitcher







0
Wilson's Snipe







0
Shorebird Species







0
Gulls








Bonaparte's Gull







0
Mew Gull
1
34





34
Ring-billed Gull







0
Western Gull







0
California Gull







0
Herring Gull







0
Thayer's Gull







0
Glaucous-winged Gull
1
89

3



92
Glaucous Gull







0
Gull Species







0
Alcids








Common Murre







0
Pigeon Guillemot







0
Marbled Murrelet







0
Alcid Species







0
Pigeons and Doves








Rock Pigeon
1
23
1




24
Band-tailed Pigeon







0
Eurasian Collared-dove
1
1





1
Mourning Dove







0
Owls








Common Barn Owl







0
Western Screech-owl 







0
Great Horned Owl







0
Snowy Owl







0
Barred Owl







0
Long-eared Owl







0
Short-eared Owl







0
Northern Saw-whet Owl







0
Hummingbird/Kingfisher








Anna's Hummingbird
1

1




1
Belted Kingfisher







0
Woodpeckers








Red-breasted Sapsucker
1
2
1
1

1

5
Downy Woodpecker
1
4

5

6

15
Hairy Woodpecker
1


1

1

2
Northern Flicker
1
5

8

2

15
Pileated Woodpecker
1


1



1
Falcons








American Kestrel
1
1





1
Merlin
1

1




1
Gyrfalcon







0
Peregrine Falcon







0
Falcon Species







0
Shrikes and Vireos








Northern Shrike







0
Hutton's Vireo







0
Jays and Crows








Steller's Jay
1

2
1



3
Northwestern Crow
1
42
13
5

6

66
Common Raven
1
6

1

2

9
Chickadees and Allies








Black-capped Chickadee
1
27
15
23

12

77
Mountain Chickadee







0
Chestnut-backed Chickadee
1

5
5



10
Bushtit







0









Nuthatch/Creeper/Wrens








Red-breasted Nuthatch







0
Brown Creeper
1
2

3

3

8
Pacific Wren
1
2

9

4

15
Marsh Wren







0
Bewick's Wren
1
2

2

1

5
Kinglets and Thrushes








Golden-crowned Kinglet
1
4

15

10

29
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
1


1



1
Townsend's Solitaire







0
Hermit Thrush







0
American Robin
1

31
35

7

73
Varied Thrush
1
1

12

14

27
Starling, Pipit, Waxwings








European Starling
1
62
8
2

6

78
American Pipit







0
Bohemian Waxwing







0
Cedar Waxwing







0
Buntings








Snow Bunting







0
Warblers








Orange Crowned Warbler
1

1




1
Yellow-rumped Warbler







0
Sparrows








Spotted Towhee
1
58
7
17

5

87
American Tree Sparrow







0
Savannah Sparrow







0
Fox Sparrow
1
12
3
9

1

25
Song Sparrow
1
75
15
22

8

120
Lincoln's Sparrow







0
Swamp Sparrow







0
White-crowned Sparrow
1
10





10
Golden-crowned Sparrow
1
52

11



63
Dark eyed Junco
1
70
85
25

5

185
Blackbirds








Red-winged Blackbird







0
Western Meadowlark







0
Brewer's Blackbird
1
22





22
Brown Headed Cowbird







0
Finches and Passerines








Purple Finch
1


12

5

17
House Finch
1
7

5



12
Red Crossbill







0
White-winged Crossbill







0
Common Redpoll







0
Pine Siskin
1


1



1
American Goldfinch







0
Evening Grosbeak







0
House Sparrow
1
10





10
Rare Birds








White-throated Sparrow
1
1





1








0








0
SPECIES COUNT
56
39
21
31
0
26
0
56
BIRD COUNT

1461
212
246
0
121
0
2040









TEAM MEMBERS

















Gareth Pugh








Leona Breckenridge








Tom Wildeboer








Michael Klotz








John Gordon








Wim Vesseur








Jesse Garbe








Tia Deyette








Carlo Giovanella








Al Schulze