Archive For The “Douglas Channel” Category
It was a cool, over cast Saturday afternoon when I accompanied birders from the Kitimat Valley Naturalists on the monthly shorebird count.
Just after we arrived at our first stop, the Kitamaat Village seawall and beach in Haisla traditional territory, I (and the others) saw something out of the corner of my eye, a flash of black with a tail scampering along a driftwood log on the beach. A few minutes later the animal appeared again, coming up from another log. So while the birders put up their scopes and scanned the shoreline, I walked up on a pile of dirt and kept watch for the mammal.
I kept watch. It was dashing along the logs and under others. Had the camera on high speed burst mode and missed it about twenty or so times.
Then the mink decided to pause (or to do me a favour) and stopped on one log, looked up and I captured this portrait. It looked around and then dashed into a hollow log and disappeared.
Cloudy day. Sony RX10M3, Iso Auto shooting at 2000 ASA. 1/1000 at F4.
A lot of other usual shots, even at low tide the beach is far off so it’s often hard to get good shots.
Then I spotted a bald eagle high over Douglas Channel.
Then I got lucky again, the eagle flew right toward the beach, coming in for a landing.
And then perched on a driftwood stump.
A great blue heron stalks the Kitimat waterfront at MK Bay in a stormy fall rain squall.
The weather in Kitimat has been awful during most of the fall, cold, windy, rainy, foggy and generally miserable. Not unexpected in a La Nina year.
I went down to Kitamaat Village for the monthly bird count in a rain squall. So the visibility was pretty bad. As I was about to leave, a half dozen northwestern crows landed right beside me, in the pouring rain and stayed long enough for me to shoot their portraits.
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.
A crow mobs a bald eagle at the mouth of Wahtl Creek, MK Bay marina, Kitimat, BC. I was out shooting for fun along the Kitimat/Kitamaat Village waterfront when I captured the story of a fiesty crow that demanded a bald eagle get off an old log in the Wahtl Creek estuary. The crow apparently thought it was its perch, not the eagle’s.
Cameras, Sony RX10iii and Sony Alpha 77 with Minolta 500mm mirror lens.