Posts Tagged “great blue heron”
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.
So what did I do on my summer “vacation”? I am (semi) retired, so it isn’t a formal vacation, but I did have some relaxing down time on my trip to England in June. After attending a conference in Liverpool, I went to Stratford-upon-Avon to see the Royal Shakespeare Company production of Julius Caesar, then spent some time with cousins in Oxfordshire and finally went to London to see some shows and some friends. I didn’t set out to concentrate on bird photography but that was what the photographic gods provided,
Oxfordshire Upper Thames River
Our route in the Miss Moffat II along the Upper Thames River. King’s Lock is at the beginning of the line following the route of the river and the Farmoor Reservoir is the large body of water in the lower left (where we stopped for lunch). Wytham Woods are the wooded area roughly to the right of the river.
Wytham Woods – Oxfordshire
Wytham Woods are an area of ancient semi-natural woodland to the west of Oxford, UK, owned by the University of Oxford and used for environmental research for the past sixty years, including climate change research for the past eighteen. Hiking is permitted by special permit.
The Serpentine – London
The Serpentine is a small lake between Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens in London.
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)
I was assigned by CBC News to shoot stock images of Kitimat in anticipation of the federal government approval of the Northern Gateway pipeline and terminal project later this month.
So as well as my video camera, I took along my DSLR. I shot video of the Great Blue Heron as it waded along the shore for a few minutes. Then as I switched to the DSLR, it took flight.
Wide shot of Minette Bay, looking toward the Silja Festival aka The Delta Spirit Lodge and the Rio Tinto Alcan aluminum smelter.
Minette Bay from the same spot, the old dock, looking toward the log sort and the Minette Bay marina.
The Great Blue Heron wades in Minette Bay casting a glance at the cruise ship.
It takes flight.
It flies past the old dock toward the logs.
A Great Blue Heron perches on a tree overlooking the Kitimat River during the Christmas Bird Count, December 15, 2012.
The bird count photo op wasn’t as good this year as it was last year. It was just as overcast with low late December light, but this time it was high tide with wind gusts making for chop on the ocean, estuary and river and that meant not as many birds in view.
As we were starting out, we spotted a merlin, a falcon, (marco columbarius) on a bare branch overlooking the Kitimat River, devouring prey, a smaller bird.
There wasn’t a bird to be seen at the Kitimat River estuary.
Although we could see a bald eagle on a telephone pole far off at the other end of the estuary.
As we were finishing the tour of the estuary, we spotted an American dipper grabbing a salmon egg out a rocky creek. The American dipper (cinclus americanus) has a special ecological niche, a fast moving stream. (The American dipper was also known as the “Water Ouzel”).
Although the estuary bird count wasn’t that successful, I did get some interesting visitors to my feeder.