2020-09-15: Moose – Back Again!

I looked out the window Sunday evening and spotted the male and female moose having a browse of some trees. They only stayed for a few minutes and then made their way off across the road. Unfortunately it’s getting dark fairly early here, and with the smoke blowing in from the fires, lighting conditions for taking photos was not optimal. But that doesn’t matter – I’m thrilled to see them and glad they look to be in such good condition.

2020-08-23: More moose!

I was walking Spencer this morning, pondering what I should work on for my post today, and not long after I got home, mother nature made the decision for me.

Last month I was beyond thrilled when two moose appeared in the front yard, and this morning, two different animals made a quick transit through the back yard. They were moving at enough of a pace that I was only able to grab my camera, snap a few photos out of my window, and then quickly make my way outside to snap a few more as they made their way deep into the bushes. This time it was a male and female, her in the lead and him trailing very closely behind.

It’s so exciting to have the opportunity to see these amazing animals!

Have a great week everyone.

2020-07-26: Moose!!!

Given that I am living in Northern Canada, you’d think seeing moose would be no big deal. But since I moved here 5 years ago, I can basically count the moose sightings I have had on a single hand. Only one of them I got photos of; and that was nearly nightfall in wintertime, so not much more than a proof shot that I actually saw the beast.

Tuesday though, there were a pair in my front yard; and they stuck around long enough to get my camera and get a few photos (so considerate of them!) One was deep in the bushes (mama moose, I think) and the youngster was out in the open, looking slightly baffled when it noticed the front door opening and me taking some pictures, but it was calm and unconcerned. I had my 100mm – 400mm lens on and still needed to crop a bit; they were over 100 feet away, so no danger of me disturbing them.

They hung around for around 10 minutes and then headed off into the bushes and then I think across the road and down into the ravine. It’s amazing how such a large animal can disappear into the bush so quickly.

Couldn’t ask for a nicer pose!

Relaxed and curious.
When the moose turned to move off, a huge cloud of flies swarmed around the back end. You can even see them in this image if you look closely at the flank.

2020-07-19: Yellow-rumped warbler

I was out with my dog at lunchtime this past week and saw an unfamiliar bird hopping through the lawn. I had just enough time to dash back inside and grab my camera to get a few shots to try and ID it later. I was actually a little disappointed when I did, as the yellow-rumped warbler summers to the north of here and winters far to the south in California and Mexico; Prince George is part of the migratory zone, so it was already on its journey southward again, reinforcing the notion that summer is waning (when weather wise, it has never really begun).

I’ve seen a dramatic decrease in the hummingbird numbers over the past week and I am sure within a week or so they will all be gone. I will miss hearing their buzzing while out for walks and my daily feeder fillings.

The seasons move on, whether we want them to or not, and I am going to keep this brief as the sun has finally come out, and it is time to get out and enjoy the few hours of summery weather we will get this weekend.

Wishing everyone a wonderful week.

2020-06-28: Hummingbirds

For a while it seemed that all hope was lost for hummingbirds this season, as all but a couple disappeared within two weeks of showing up (that’s what Prince George weather does to you!). But I kept filling my feeders for the couple that were around and enjoyed the brief glimpses that I had. Then quite suddenly it was a flurry if activity, at one point counting 15 individuals, and I’ve been filling up 5 feeders at least once every second day, if not more often.

They don’t stick around long so I am enjoying it while it lasts, although I do call them my little piggy birds.

While I would much prefer to get shots in a natural environment, we have so few flowers that the feeders are the only attractant, and they disappear deep into the forest when not feeding.

Hummingbirds galore!

2020-06-07: Local Birds (and more)

We have had some truly dismal weather the past few weeks, so much so that almost all of the hummingbirds have disappeared, presumably to find somewhere a little more hospitable to nest. But, I have seen a fair amount of wildlife, even though I haven’t had a chance to take pictures of all of it. The western tanager couple is back, and I see them flit through the yard usually once a day. Out on my walks, there have been frequent sightings of hermit thrushes, which surprises me after all the years I listened to them singing without being able to see one. There have also been a few different warblers; the Townsend’s, which I didn’t manage to get a photo of, and the Wilson’s warbler, which I managed a couple of ID shots of.

A male western tanager
A Wilson’s warbler
A hermit thrush

In addition to the variety of birds, I’ve seen both black bear, a cinnamon bear, and I finally caught a glimpse of the lynx that I saw tracks of all through the winter. I was walking my dog early one morning and saw it at the side of the road off in the distance, and it was so far away that I needed my camera to figure out what it was! Gratefully it stayed put for enough time to let me snap one photo, and then it evaporated into the bushes.

That’s all for today, wishing everyone a wonderful week.

2020-05-03: Backyard Birds

I’ve been letting the feeders run to empty now, given the likelihood of bears in the back yard, but that hasn’t slowed down the volume of birds in the yard at all, at least not yet.  Today I spotted a new species for the first time, a Townsend’s Solitaire, and while I didn’t get a great image of it, at least it got me outside for a few minutes to capture the other visitors, before it started to rain.

The one bird I didn’t get any images of today is a hummingbird, and they have arrived back here as well.  They are one of my favourite birds to watch, and hearing them buzz and chatter from the bushes or investigate me when I am out walking the dog is one of the joys of summer.

Just a couple today, I hope you are also getting the chance to get outside and enjoy spring.

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I only got my camera out when this bird was spotted to try and snap a picture to help with identifying it.  Since it is a new species for me, I thought I would share, despite it being a bit blurry.

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A dark-eyed junco nibbling on seeds on the ground.  It is so nice not to be seeing snow any longer!

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A group of white crowned sparrows and house finches.  I am struggling to identify the brown and white striped bird in the bottom left corner.  I am pretty sure it is the same struggle I have every year!

2020-03-08: Redpolls

For two seasons in a row, I didn’t see a single redpoll over the winter, but over the last few weeks they have been in my yard in droves, jostling for position on the feeders with the chickadees and adding little flashes of colour to the otherwise rather drab winter landscape.

I still find it a bit baffling that anything would consider my area a good place to spend the winter, but I do get that in comparison to places even further north, it’s probably a bit easier to make it through the season here.

I’m enjoying their presence while it lasts, as soon bird feeding time will be over as the bears begin to emerge.  There’s still a while to enjoy the birds as we are still pretty deep in the grip of winter, despite my best attempts to will the snow to melt with the power of my mind 🙂

Here are a few images I captured a couple of days ago, when it wasn’t -20C!

I’ll keep up my mantra, spring is coming soon!  Wishing everyone a wonderful week ahead.

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2020-01-19: Barred Owl

I spotted a barred owl hanging out in the backyard a couple of days ago while I was having lunch.  It spent a bit of time trying to hunt, and the rest trying to nap.  It was -28C, so I took the photos through my window, as it was just too cold for me to get out to take a couple of pictures.  Besides, Murphy’s Law would have kicked in, and by the time I got bundled up enough to head outside and take a few images, the owl would have flown away.

Thankfully things have warmed up a little bit here; still cold, but at least not bitterly cold.  I hope your week ahead is looking up too 🙂

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Trying to catch a few zzz’s

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Puffed up against the cold.

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Scanning for something to eat.