Sunday, 29 March 2020

Stay Safe, We'll Get Through This Together

Mar 26 2020
Lower Mainland

Since I took these pictures the world has changed unmeasurably.
  Somethings however remain the same.  Outside my window a pair of crows break off twigs to build a nest. In the garden a Bewick's Wren has survived the winter and the neighbourhood cats. The Yellow-rumped Warblers have returned to the woodlot and swallows swoop over ponds. That part of our collective experience hasn't changed.

Some of you I know are holed up at home because of underlying health conditions or just worried about going out except for groceries. Please stay safe and guard your health.
If that is the case here are some miscellaneous images to hopefully cheer you up.
Boundary Bay access points like 104 St (above) are now closed to visitors.
Nikon Coolpix P1000 at 3000mm
 When I went birding in the first ten weeks of 2020 the world was a very different place. My plan to go birding in Arizona seems so far fetched now it's ridiculous, had I gone I would have been caught up in dodgy travel arrangements and all the other complications that would have entailed. Considering what has transpired that's a mere inconvenience and little comfort to my daughter and thousands of others who may lose their jobs or worst those who have contacted or succumbed to Covid-19. In the scheme of things it seems rather selfish to be out birding but we know that being outdoors will keep us healthy in mind, body and spirit. In these times I keep thinking of the words of the late Leonard Cohen.

"There is a crack in everything (there is a crack in everything)
That's how the light gets in"
(Leonard Cohen)

A Ray of Light

Gray-crowned Rosy Finch
Iona Regional Park
Nikon Coolpix P1000
A ray of light came in the form of a beautifully coloured finch at Iona Regional Park Wednesday morning.  It was a magical feeling, somewhat of a rare commodity lately. Thanks to Gillian Mitchell for letting all us share their find.
At the twitch we all kept a very respectful distance from each other and from other park visitors. We were very aware of not touching objects such as washroom doors, park benches and leaving no traces whatsoever. After a walk along the beach I drove straight home making sure I didn't come into contact with others.


Patch birds

I have as much as possible begun to seek out places to bird locally where I might avoid others or at least give them a wide berth.
I either bird within walking distance from home or drive within 5 kms.

Pacific Wren from Brydon Lagoon
Nikon Coolpix P1000

My patch is Brydon Lagoon in Langley City. I have been birding there for decade and had never seen a White-throated Sparrow until this year. There are actually two, both are very timid, often bullied by the Song Sparrows seeing them takes a little patience and stealth, it's good to see they have survived the winter.

White-throated Sparrow
Nikon Coolpix P1000

Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Latimer Lake, Surrey
Nikon Coolpix P1000

Brown Creeper
Nikon Coolpix P1000
Arbour Ribbon Trail-Township of Langley

The Migration

 Meanwhile the migration is beginning with Mountain Bluebirds turning up all over the Lower Mainland and beyond.

It may seem selfish in these dire times to be posting photographs but I hope they might bring a little smile to those who might not be able to get out. These were mostly taken while shooting video on my Nikon Coolpix P1000. However with plenty of time on my hands it seems like a good time to update the blog.
 I have been shooting video for an upcoming project so my still photography is mostly taking a back seat for the moment. I am really exited about shooting video. I am having to learn new skills and terminology but it's all part of the lifelong learning experience. 

Mountain Bluebird
A small flock of Mountain Bluebirds turned up at Centennial Beach on the very same date in 2019, how uncanny is that.

Nikon Coolpix P1000 Centennial Beach (now closed to the public)

Canada Geese
Surrey Lake
Nikon Coolpix P1000

Nikon Coolpix P1000
I can't remember where I took this particular shot.

Some Images from Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary 

A semi tame Red-breasted Nuthatch comes for a hand-out.
Reifel Bird Sanctuary (now closed)
Nikon Coolpix P1000


Mallard wing pattern.

Sandhill Crane
Nikon Coolpix P1000 (Handheld)

I love the 3000mm zoom on the P1000, no way I am going to use a macro mode on a bird with a spear for a beak.


I don't photograph humans anymore so when a thin wisp of cloud covered the sun and created some  great light I started to focus in on a couple of confiding Wood Ducks. I noticed how visitors were admiring their beauty and being a regular visitor to Reifel I have fallen in to a pattern of walking right past these beautiful birds as I ventured forth to find the latest and greatest arrival. That's one of the pitfalls of listing, it's easy to overlook the obvious in the mad dash for a tick. The 24mm-3000mm P1000 allows to shoot from a great distance, the bokeh is amazing.
Wood Duck

Wood Duck

 I have enjoyed putting this smorgasbord of images together, something I have been putting off for months. I thought it might be therapeutic for myself and hopefully brings a smile to anyone else who has been affected by the recent events. Safer times will undoubtedly return. Time will be the healer.

"It's never to late too practice social distancing"
John Gordon
BC Canada

1 comment:

  1. lovely post and shots but a note of correction Rosemary and paul clapham did not find the iona gray crowned rosy finch it was actually found by Gillian Mitchell. Perhaps you can edit your post to reflect that :)
    i dont think it's selfish to be out birding but vital for mental health as long as we bird socially responsibly.