Showing posts from October, 2018

Bird # 318 for Vancouver - another Vancouver Mega!

Today I successfully chased a Philadelphia Vireo. Although these birds breed in Northern BC they never come down to the south coast of BC. The bird was photographed yesterday by Quentin Brown and identified as a Warbling Vireo I mean who would think they are seeing a Philadelphia Vireo in Vancouver? A late Warbling would make much more logical sense! Well I asked Quentin for some photos because I wanted to rule out Philadelphia and as soon as I saw the 1/2 dozen photos and video I said it looked good to me for Philadelphia Vireo. It was so bright yellow ventrally and the head looked right for Philadelphia. Since I am cautious I listed it on the RBA as Possible and sent it to a few friends and experienced birders, banders and ornithologist Peter Pyle who all confirmed it. It was a HY bird. When I got to Hastings Park,  Mike Toochin and Mike Tabak were searching in the pouring rain. After an hour of searching with Peter Candido who drove in right beside me Mike Toochin spotted the bir

The life of seabirds and mammals are being altered by climate change

Everywhere animals are paying the price while we (most of society) sit back and do nothing. Have a look HERE at what is happening in Antarctica (informative videos of the crisis at that link as well). Yes, we have heard over and over what is happening there but we can never read it enough. Everything is off balance, the humpback whales are currently thriving there but the penguins are dying from lack of sea ice, tons of leopard seals are killing them off. Soon the leopard seals will be gone when there is no sea ice for them to rest on or animals to eat. The humpbacks will lose the krill that will die from warming temperatures that the whales are hunting so successfully right now in  open water from the sea ice loss. With more sea ice loss, more ship traffic will increase which will create more oil spills and more whales being killed by vessels. Rain from warming temperatures are killing the penguin chicks causing them to freeze to death as well. Over-fishing in the waters around An

A day with a long-billed curlew and a group young birder interview

A few days ago I went to Blackie Spit where I spent an hour photographing a Long-billed Curlew. My friend Max taught me long ago that I have to get up at the crack of dawn for the best pictures. He tells me that the lack of sleep will all be worth it in the end. It is not easy for a night owl like me to get up early. However, I tend to agree with him every time.... but it's so hard to get up! As I get older I find getting up earlier to be easier which is strange.... I guess I know it's all for a benefit. You waste the day away just sleeping in ;). The later you get up and get out the less birds you will see, it's just a fact. I enjoyed this morning shoot with the Long-billed Curlew as I find most times I go he is on the wrong side of the light. I haven't shot him since last year with my friend Max. You can review that series HERE as it was done in a very different style and included his frenemy a Marbled Godwit. We sure are blessed in Metro Vancouver to have this no

An October Pelagic

Black-footed Albatross off Tofino  - Photo: Melissa Hafting On the weekend I went out with 12 friends on a pelagic trip with Ocean Outfitters out of Tofino. Let me first start with our trip on the ferry. As we were having breakfast Bridget Spencer noticed a small passerine flying by after closer inspection we realized it was a Pine Siskin! A new ferry bird for us all. The poor thing was so tired it was sitting and drinking from the puddles on the car deck of the ferry. After we went back to our table and resumed eating Mike Toochin noticed a second passerine fly in this one seemed a bit bigger but we never could make a conclusive id as we saw the bird once more but only briefly. The night before I had chased Kevin Louth's Tropical Kingbird in Delta but I promised the 2 young birders I drove over that we would go look for the reported one in Port Alberni. Bridget needed it for a BC bird so we went straight to the sewage lagoons at Somass Estuary. We saw lots of bear dun

Listen to Young Birder Liron on the radio! Plus he is highly commended by the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Awards!

Liron recently was highly commended for youth aged 15-17 by The Natural History Museum's "Wildlife Photographer of the Year" contest for his Cobalt-winged Parakeet shot. See his commendation HERE To see the full gallery of winners (including other BC photographers) click HERE To listen to this young man giving a great interview about "Fall Photography" on CBC Radio One's "BC Today" program click HERE (scroll to 30:00) I was so impressed by how eloquently he spoke. He is one talented young man that I'm so proud of. Cheers,

Back to my old stomping grounds in Saskatoon and the most Whooping Cranes ever seen in one spot!

Well I always love to go back to Saskatoon. It is such a beautiful city and there are many things I miss about living there. Chris Charlesworth had a large amount of people sign up for his Whooping Crane and Saskatchewan birding tour and he asked me if I could come and guide the group with him for his company Avocet Tours . I said for sure and became his co-leader. Many flights were delayed including mine on October 2nd due to the largest snow storm in Calgary's October history. They had the most snowfall of any October in the last 100 years! Saskatoon luckily had all of its snow melted but everywhere outside of Saskatoon was blanketed with snow. I started out by taking the group to the Saskatoon Weir where used to be my favourite place to sit after work and see the American White Pelicans fish. Today we were looking for October migrants as it's a great spot for them like Palm Warblers. In 2014 I found the second record of House Wren for October in Saskatoon and the 2nd reco