Tuesday 18 April 2017

Catching Up

April 1-15 2017 Various Locations.

For someone who normally blogs every week I have been surprised how easy it to let weeks go by without any additions. That doesn't mean I haven't been birding, it just means I haven't been shooting much still photography. Instead I have been shooting more and more video, something that I enjoy very much.

Recently I have been asking myself how many shots of a Short-eared Owls or a Mountain Bluebirds do I really, really need? What on earth am I going to do with the files I am amassing, the kids sure won't want them and what about when those hard drives fail!
True, some images have been published in bird guides and I have sold a good number of Giclee prints and of course they come in useful for my AV presentations but video ... that's a whole new ball game!

Anyway here are some stills from the past three weeks while I figure out how to load the videos here.

First up was this beautiful leucistic House Finch, the male companion was quite the normal brilliant red but you'll have to agree, the female really steals the show!

Leucistic House Finch/Cloverdale April 2017.

Here's another pretty bird, a light-morph Rough-legged Hawk I photographed April 18 next Vancouver International Airport (YVR)

Rough-legged Hawk.

Meanwhile I did take my DSLR up to Squamish. On the way I usually stop off a Porteau Cove for lunch and spend some time enjoying the birdlife and scenery, it breaks the journey and relieves any stress I may have accumulated fighting the Vancouver traffic. The Porteau Cove picnic area overlooks a pebble strewn beach where a raft of two hundred or more Barrow's Goldeneye were plundering the mussel beds. I took my flask of coffee and sandwich down to the beach and enjoyed the sunshine. The Common Mergansers seemed oblivious of my presence.

Porteau Cove
Common Merganser.

Female Common Merganser.

As the mergansers continued fishing I noticed a movement out of the corner of my eye. A pair of Black Oystercatchers had made their way to within a few metres of me and like the mergansers seemed completely oblivious of my picnicking.

Black Oystercatcher.
Even this oystercatcher found the pebbles a slippery proposition, reminding me to take extra care on return to the parking lot. Apart from the aforementioned species I had good looks at about a dozen Harlequin Ducks, Bufflehead and scores of Double-crested and one Brandt's Cormorant.

After my family visit I spent an hour at a very windy and cold Squamish Estuary where I  eventually spotted five Mountain Bluebirds far out in the flats, too far for a pic and too cold to hang around.

Meanwhile I went to Reifel to check out the geese for some video footage and came across a nice Ring-necked Pheasant. I find it strange that there are not more of these birds around the Lower Mainland as the climate here in BC is similar to the UK.

Ring-necked Pheasant.

It feels good to be back birding. I look forward to seeing you in the field. 

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

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