Thursday 1 January 2015

What a Way to End the Year

Dec 31 2014 Boundary Bay 72 St Ave, Burnaby Mountain and Grant Narrows. Cold and Sunny.

Boundary Bay 72nd Ave Delta

The day began at 6.30 a.m with a hearty breakfast and quick perusal of my 2015 horoscope. By 8.00 a.m I had picked up Raymond and were on our way to Boundary Bay. The plan was to photograph a Golden Eagle, which from Raymond's prior experience was best attempted in the early morning light. Sure enough after only ten minutes a Golden Eagle soared over us and perched on a tall popular tree about 30 metres from the road.
These pictures are as near as I could get but they are the only ones I have of this juvenile. Two years ago I was lucky enough to photograph an adult bird at Sumas Prairie so it was nice to compare the two plumages.
For those wanting to drive out to Abbotsford there are two Golden Eagles at Sumas Prairie but you may have to work little harder to find them. A Golden was also reported at Elgin Park/Stewart House although it may be the same 72nd St bird.
Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos)

How lucky we were to have seen it. Suddenly it took off and was time to leave for our next location.

 A bird of almost mythical status. 

Burnaby Mountain

An hour later we were on our way (car pooling) to Burnaby Mountain where a flock of Pine Grosbeaks were ignoring the hordes of photographers as they gorged on emerging cheery buds. The bird's antics drew quite the crowd both photographers and park patrons.

Pine Grosbeak (Pinicola enucleator)

A tight crop showing off more feather detail. 

 I composed this image in the viewfinder, first locking the focus onto the bird and then moving the camera to the left so as not to cut off the tip of the cherry tree. 

Grant Narrows/Catbird Slough
Bohemian Waxwing (Bombycilla garrulous)
On the spur of the moment we decided to take off to Grant Narrows to search out the flocks of Bohemian Waxwings that had recently invaded the area in their search for a supply of berries and insects. On warmer days the waxwings can even be seen 'hawking' insects, however this day no waxwings could be found. A few Purple Finch clung upside down on Pacific Crabapples but it wasn't until we were on our way back home that we finally found a small flock of 13 perched in small tree. We patiently waited for them to come down to feed, eventually they did. At that precise moment a very noisy work truck passed by, scattering the flock. I managed this distant shot (above) which been cropped considerably.

I hadn't meant to go birding on the last day of the year but I am sure glad I did. I had originally planned a 'Top Ten' of my favourite birds or even a page of my 2014 lifers but time restraints only allows me this little ramble.

Anyway for all of you who have been following my journal I wish you all the very best of health and happiness for 2015 and of course....good birding!:

 "It's never too late to start birding"
John Gordon

1 comment:

  1. Congrats on the news story and beautiful pine grosbeak shots it was great sharing that moment with you. I went to grant narrows after but didn't find one waxwing so good for you. Great way to ring in 2015 indeed!