Archive For The “Christmas” Category
For the Christmas Bird Count in Kitimat, there’s usually a lot of ground to cover in a very short period of time–that’s because here in the northwest daylight hours are limited as we get closer to the Winter Solstice. So we started before dawn, which is OK for those who are counting but not so good for photography.
The highlight of my day came at what is known as the Maggie Point trail to a gazebo overlooking Kitmat harbour built by members of the Haisla Nation. The problem is as you get older, hiking a trail in icy weather can be quite dicey, especially for me who has had minor hip problems since I was a kid. So with ice on the trail, I decided to stay by the cars and wait while the rest of the gang went to see what they could see from the gazebo. Then a swift flying bird landed on the branch not far from the parking area. I wasn’t sure what it was, but I began shooting with my SonyRX10iii which is 24 to 600 mm 35mm equivalent.
I wasn’t sure what the bird was, but I guessed it was a raptor since it sat there for almost ten minutes, surveying the area. At one point a crow flew by and the raptor didn’t budge. Then it swooped down over my head and into the bush. It was only then I checked the display to see the yellow rimmed eyes. The birders debated whether the raptor was a merlin or a sharp-shinned hawk and then came to the conclusion looking at the eyes that it was a dark red-tailed hawk.
And here are some other views from the Christmas Bird Count 2019.
All the images were taken in the morning up until about 11 a.m. I went home for lunch, ingested the morning images and then we went out again. But with heavy cloud cover, fading light and fewer birds, the afternoon session was a bust. No photos worth posting.
Trumpeter swans, signets and canvasback ducks in the Kitimat River estuary, Dec.15, 2018. (Robin Rowland)
My portion of the Christmas Bird Count in the Kitimat River Estuary (courtesy Rio Tinto) was in an afternoon blizzard which cut visibility by up to about 80 per cent at times and was no help to the cameras, whether or on auto focus or manual.
I made the annual trip with Walter Thorne into the Kitimat River estuary on Saturday, Dec. 17 for that leg of the Kitimat Christmas Bird Count.
We didn’t see as much variety as in previous years because the region had been the grip of an icy -15 C at least cold snap for the previous ten days. That meant many of the creeks and wetlands that were open in previous years were totally or partially frozen over.
So that meant we saw lots of Canada geese and ducks.
A rare Christmas Eve waxing gibbous (almost full at 98.4 per cent) moonrise over Mt. Elizabeth in Kitimat. (Robin Rowland)
Sony Alpha 55 at 200mm.
About 20 minutes before moonrise. Mt. Elizabeth at dusk. (Robin Rowland)
The moonrise in November (about 20 minutes later so the sky was darker)
A juvenile bald eagle surveys the Kitimat River from a log on a sandbar. (Robin Rowland)
Once again this year I joined the Kitimat Christmas Bird Count, helping out the Kitimat Valley Naturalists. Here are some of the best shots from that day, Wednesday December 16. 2015.
Gulls huddle together on the shore of MK Bay at low tide. (Robin Rowland)
A great blue heron watches from an old stump in the Kitimat River estuary. (Robin Rowland)
A female mallard duck in flight over MK Bay at low tide. (Robin Rowland)
A scaup (duck) in intermediate plumage on a mound of reeds in the Kitimat River estuary. (Robin Rowland) (Corrected caption, duck was identified in the field as a ringed-neck but on further review of the photograph, the consensus of the naturalists was scaup)
A red-tailed hawk surveys Haisla Boulevard at the LNG Canada turnoff just as the light fades in the late afternoon. (Robin Rowland)
The next day, on my morning walk, the neighborhood’s resident ravens followed me through the bush. Ravens are intelligent and I almost think they are posing for the camera, for this is the third time that they’ve gone to the same trees, in the same sequence, when I was there with my camera.
One of the ravens directly overhead. (Robin Rowland)
And flying from branch to branch of bare alders. (Robin Rowland)
And perched on a conifer (Robin Rowland)
A great blue heron sits on some debris in Kitimat harbour, during my annual visit to the estuary for the Christmas bird count, Dec. 14, 2014. (Robin Rowland).
There was more late afternoon light than last year . On the other hand, while my birdwatching colleagues did list lots of species around the area, the photographic opportunities this year were mostly limited to great blue herons and Canada geese.
Trumpeter swans in the oxbow of the Kitimat River. (Robin Rowland)
Kitimat’s iconic Mt. Elizabeth seen from a lagoon in the Kitimat River estuary. (Robin Rowland)
A Canada goose in a lagoon in the Kitimat River estuary. (Robin Rowland)
A duck in the estuary. (Robin Rowland)
A great blue heron comes in for a landing in the Kitimat River estuary, with some Canada geese watching. (Robin Rowland)
A great blue heron contemplates the Kitimat River estuary. (Robin Rowland)
Canada geese grazing in the Kitimat River estuary. (Robin Rowland)
Another view of the lagoon in the Kitimat River estuary. (Robin Rowland)
Go for a walk on a foggy night and the Christmas lights look oh so different.
A big display of Christmas lights on Lahakas Boulevard, Kitimat, seen through the fog (Robin Rowland)
And here’s what the lights look close up. (Robin Rowland)
My own rather modest display of Christmas lights.
All images taken with my new Sony Alpha6000 mirrorless Emount camera.