Photojournal - Winter 2006

Winter roundup


In this entry, I'm presenting some photos that I took throughout the winter. Most of the photos are from days when I only took a few photos and didn't feel I had enough material to make separate entries.

The first two subjects are from January 8th, a day when I went to Dundarave Park in West Vancouver to look for the King Eider. I found no eider, but I did find a shy and retiring thrush in one of the evergreens. This is a Hermit Thrush; they're pretty shy birds. I was happy to have gotten good shots of him.

 
The only interesting thing I found out on the water (or at least near the water) was this group of four Pelagic Cormorants out on a rock, with a pair of goldeneyes floating behind.  
On January 15, I headed out to Mud Bay and was surprised to find five planes with all different markings flying in formation. My father, a lifelong aviator, later identified the planes as Navions. Navion made planes from the mid-40's to the mid-70's, and there's an estimated 800 of them that are still airworthy.  
The interesting birds at Mud Bay eluded me, though. Later I headed over to Langley to a place where a Golden Eagle had been hanging out. I arrived about two minutes too late to get photos of the eagle in a tree right next to the road, and had to settle for shots of him in a tree in the distance. These shots didn't turn out too well, but it was my lifer Golden Eagle.  
   

I'm sure that you'll agree that the shots I got later of the Golden Eagle at the entrance to Reifel were much better.

On the 12th of February, while driving along River Road, I found a Red-tailed Hawk in a tree above the road. I pulled over, hung my head out the window, and took a few photos. Here's the best one I got.

 
Now I'll skip ahead to the 12th of March. This was a Sunday, and it was one of the days that I went looking for Gyrfalcons. Just as I did a week later on the19th, I found an American Kestrel hanging out on a power wire near the Gyrfalcon's hideout.  
   

And just like on the 19th, I didn't find the Gyr.

However, driving back through south Delta, I did find this distinguished gentleman looking at me through the gates to his estate.

 
And later in Tsawassen I caught this Red-tailed Hawk coming in for a landing on a ladder.  
   
My last decent subject that day was this pair of posturing Bald Eagles.  
On the 26th of March, I went looking for a bird that is not often seen in these parts—a Clark's Grebe. With the help of a few birding friends who were also at the scene, I eventually found the grebe. He was quite the elegant bird.  

We commonly get a very similar species, the Western Grebe, in this area. Western Grebes look almost exactly the same except that their bill color is a little duller, and they don't have the little triangle of white in front of the eye that the Clark's does.

This guy was hanging out with a few Westerns, and we thought that we had identified him amongst them at distance. It was quite a relief when he came up quite close to us and we were able to clearly see the telltale white spot.

 
After the close encounter with the Clark's Grebe, three of us went over to where the Gyrfalcon had been hanging out. Again, we found no Gyr, but Mike pointed out a Peregrine Falcon to me on an electrical tower across the field. I decided to drive over and take some photos of it.  
Later, driving around Tsawassen again, I found a few Red-tailed Hawks hanging out on wires.  
   

And with that, I close out my photojournal entries for Winter 2006.

Ready for spring,
Tom

 

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