2021-05-16: Black Bears

I’ve had a mama black bear and her cub through the yard a few times over the past week; they both look to be in great condition and just sniff around through the forest in the back. The slightest noise sends them running deeper into the bush; I even need to be cautious about moving towards the window with my camera too fast, as even that is enough to spook them off. Not that I am complaining; it is so much better to have them wary and sticking to their wild turf, than getting too close to the house and becoming bold in their actions.

I do love watching them but obviously want to do so in a way that doesn’t impact them negatively. Our bird feeders have been in for over a month already in anticipation for them coming out of hibernation, and we make sure that there is nothing around to attract them to the yard or towards the house or garage. I want to enjoy seeing wildlife, not creating any type of human / wildlife conflict.

Be safe out there, and be bear aware!

Have a great week.

2021-01-31: Foxes (repost from 2017)

I’m in the process of making some changes in my office and had to temporarily dismantle the computer I use for photo editing to move furniture around. So, for this week, I am stuck posting nothing at all, or re-sharing some posts and images that I have shared before. Since I try to stay consistent with my posting schedule, I’m going with the latter.

I chose this post since I have been seeing tracks of fox all over the yard recently, but sadly haven’t spotted the fox. I’ve also been seeing glimpses and hearing an owl calling in the area, so this post seems a good fit to what has been going on.

I’ll be back to sharing new images next weekend (fingers crossed).

Wishing everyone a wonderful week ahead.

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!

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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.

2020-03-08: 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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2019-12-08: Random photos from walks

I always take a camera with me when I go out for walks with my dog (or on the rare occasion when I go for a walk on my own).  I haven’t taken too many images in recent months, and as such hadn’t downloaded the card in quite some time.  While out on Thursday, I saw a beautiful barred owl near my house, and while reviewing those pictures, I found a few others I had forgotten that I had taken.

This is a bit of a random assortment of images taken since July, while out and about on walks.

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I see this young buck frequently around the neighbourhood now, but this was the first time that I had spotted him while out on a walk.

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A violet-green swallow seen while out on a walk on the dikes in Pitt Meadows.

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A proof shot that there are moose in the neighbourhood, even if they are seen very infrequently.

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A barred owl spotted on my morning walk last week.

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An early morning along the Pitt River.

2019-03-03: Topic of the month – Signs of Spring

This week I have really been trying to look for signs of spring.  Honest, I have.  But waking up today, the temperature was -29C with a high of -12C for the day, and it really does feel like spring is far away.  I have noticed a few things though.  I can see about a 6″ band of shingles on the roof of my house, from the days when it has been warm enough for a bit of melt to happen.  I noticed one lone willow tree, buried in about 4 feet of snow drift at the side of the road, starting to bud (despite the cold in was enveloped in).  But mostly, I have noticed the trees.

It has been stark white for a very long time in my back yard, and over the past two weeks, between the strong winds and the the (slightly) warming days, the evergreens have shed the huge cloaks of snow from their branches.  There are still bits of snow tucked into the crook of branches here and there, but finally when I look out my windows, I see a bit of green, rather than just white.

Pictures of bare branches in my backyard seemed a bit boring, but frankly, getting all bundled up to do a photo walk this weekend also didn’t hold much appeal.  So I went out for a short time to photograph some of the birds feasting on the sunflower seeds.  Today, only the chickadees were around, though usually there is a pair of red-breasted nuthatches plus the woodpeckers that pass through.  The chickadees made a steady stream from branch to feeder and back again; I couldn’t count them all as they were constantly coming in from every direction.

As a bird lover, one of the sad parts about the temperature warming is soon the birds will have to fend for themselves, once it warms enough for there to be a threat of bears visiting the feeders.  I think we have a ways to go before that is an issue though.

Here are a few chickadees for today; fingers crossed next weekend there are more signs of spring around.

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I saw this on one of the evergreens by the bird feeders; to me, it looks like the tree is giving the cold weather the middle finger.  But that’s just my interpretation.  To some, just an odd icicle that’s grown upwards, instead of down. 

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One of the many inquisitive chickadees in the yard.  They generally do not mind me being close by, and will even come to the feeder while I am standing there trying to fill it up.

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I can’t even explain how excited I am to see green.

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This one had been picking up a fallen seed from the ground; just a little leftover snow on the beak.

2018-11-22: Barred Owl

I was busy working last week and something caught my attention outside, out the corner of my eye.  I spotted this gorgeous barred owl in a tree in my backyard, and rushed to grab my camera to take a quick photo through the window.

I decided to take a chance and dash outside and hope to get a better shot.  The owl gave me a quick glance, let me snap 3 photos, and then was off, deep into the forest.

I love when beautiful creatures like this decide to make a stop in my yard 🙂

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2018-06-10: Birds Projects – Sparrows and Swallows

It has been a challenging week for photographing the birds, with dull, cold, rainy days, and flat, lifeless skies.  But, regardless of the weather, the show must go on, and if I were on holiday I wouldn’t give up on taking pictures just because the weather wasn’t perfect.

I took a trip early in the week to a nearby farm where there are nest boxes for swallows and bluebirds.  While I saw a couple of brief glimpses of the bluebirds, I didn’t capture any images, so I will have to go back and try again for those.  I did get some good images of the swallows and bluebirds in the same area a couple of years ago, you can find that old post here.

It looks like the sun may make a brief appearance today, so it’s time to sign off and get outside and get shooting.  I hope you enjoy this week’s images, I am hoping to have some hummingbird images to share next week.

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I find it difficult naming the wide variety of small, brown and beige coloured birds we have in the area, but I am almost certain this is a Clay-Coloured Sparrow.  While it looks like the bird is singing a beautiful song, it actually sounded like some type of buzzing insect, which is the exact description of the song for this sparrow in my bird book.

To find out more about the Clay-Coloured Sparrow (and here the insect buzz call), check out the link below.

All About Birds – Clay Coloured Sparrow

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A tree sparrow peeks out from the nesting box.

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A tree sparrow couple during one of the brief moments of sunlight while I was out.