20150221_Sunrise

Two weeks ago, I managed to get loads of editing done, and had a post a day.  This past week, each day seemed to slip by at record speed, and I didn’t manage a single post (or even to take or edit a single photo).

Thankfully, this morning I grabbed my camera bag when we headed out for our early morning walk.  What a beautiful morning it was!  I picked a particular spot at the dikes, both so I could get a few photos of the sky before heading out, and also the hopes of seeing some interesting ducks that I had spotted the evening before.  It turns out the ducks are common goldeneyes, and I didn’t manage any decent shots of them, but at least they were good enough to get an ID.

This was my favourite shot from the morning.  Enjoy!

A gorgeous morning along the South Alouette River in Pitt Meadows, BC.
A gorgeous morning along the South Alouette River in Pitt Meadows, BC.

Pitt River Sunrise

Bald Eagle and an Osprey

Here in southern BC, we have spent the last few days with lovely warm weather for February, but have been absolutely hammered with rain as well.  This morning, I woke up to a reprieve from the rain and even a few hints of blue sky.  As such, I finally got out on a morning walk with my camera.  I can’t believe it is February and these are the first 2015 photos I am able to post.  They aren’t the best eagle or osprey photos I have taken and the birds weren’t doing anything weird or wonderful.  I am just so thrilled that I was able to have a dry walk and see some birds that I decided to share.

Based on the quality and direction of the light, and how desaturated the photos were, I decided to convert everything to black and white.

Happy Sunday everyone!

20150208_Osprey-2
An osprey peers down at me from a tree along the banks of the Pitt River.
20150208_Osprey
Tired of being photographed, the osprey flees the paparazzi.
This osprey didn't seem to appreciate the camera being pointed at it, and flew away to a new perch after only a couple photos.  We played this game a few times before it headed off out of reach of my camera.
This osprey didn’t seem to appreciate the camera being pointed at it, and flew away to a new perch after only a couple photos. We played this game a few times before it headed off out of reach of my camera.
20150208_Bald Eagle
The trunks of two trees nicely frame a beautiful bald eagle. It kept a very watchful eye on Spencer and I.
20150208_Bald Eagle-2
The eagle’s penetrating gaze trained in the direction of the osprey. Even though it was a fair distance away, I have no doubt they were aware of each other.

Pitt Meadows Fire

While heading out for my walk last Sunday morning, I saw a huge column of smoke the minute I left my building.  I snapped these photos from out of the passenger side window, as even when pulled well over on the road, I didn’t want to be out of my vehicle and get in the way of emergency services heading to the blaze.  It only seemed right to wait to go through the photos until I had heard the news report about what happened.  Thankfully, loss of property only.

 

Emergency vehicle lights and cedar trees ablaze.
Emergency vehicle lights and cedar trees ablaze.
For this shot I was about 3 kilometres away; the black smoke dominates the morning skyline.
For this shot I was about 3 kilometres away; the black smoke dominates the morning skyline.
Looking in the direction away from the smoke, it was a truly gorgeous morning.
Looking in the direction away from the smoke, it was a truly gorgeous morning.
By the end of our walk, the winds had changed, moving the smoke over the river.
By the end of our walk, the winds had changed, moving the smoke over the river.

Heron in flight

Believe it or not, the heron landed in the somewhat flimsy looking tree at the far left of the photo! 1/640sec, f5.6, ISO400
Believe it or not, the heron landed in the somewhat flimsy looking tree at the far left of the photo!
1/640sec, f5.6, ISO400

Heron Reflection

A heron casts a lovely reflection while standing in the shallows of the Pitt River around sunrise. 1/640sec, f5.6, ISO400
A heron casts a lovely reflection while standing in the shallows of the Pitt River around sunrise.
1/640sec, f5.6, ISO400

Killdeer

I found this Killdeer wile out for a walk on Sunday morning.  I was actually walking rather slowly while trying to take a shot of a heron, and noticed this little guy hopping around on the ground after the heron flew off.  I am a bit surprised how close I was able to get to him (or her). 1/1000sec, f5.6 ISO1400
I found this Killdeer while out for a walk on Sunday morning. I was actually walking rather slowly while trying to take a shot of a heron, and noticed this little guy hopping around on the ground after the heron flew off. I am a bit surprised how close I was able to get to him (or her).
1/1000sec, f5.6 ISO1400
I am glad that I saw the Killdeer on the ground rather than flying, as it was easy to see (and capture) all the beautiful markings.  And it made it quite easy to identify in my bird book.
I am glad that I saw the Killdeer on the ground rather than flying, as it was easy to see (and capture) all the beautiful markings. And it made it quite easy to identify in my bird book.
While I snapped photos, the Killdeer hoped around and kept extending its neck up and down, reminding me of the movements that a pigeon makes.
While I snapped photos, the Killdeer hopped around and kept extending its neck up and down, reminding me of the movements that a pigeon makes.

Bald Eagles versus an Osprey

I was out for my usual Saturday morning walk, when I heard a great amount of commotion out on the water, and I knew even before I looked that the cry was of an eagle.  The bald eagle had raided the nest of an osprey and stole one of the chicks, and the mother osprey was out for blood.

The bald eagle pauses on one of the eroding pylons in the Pitt River, with the osprey chick still clutched in her talons.
The bald eagle pauses on one of the eroding pylons in the Pitt River, with the osprey chick still clutched in her talons.
Calling out to her partner, the lifeless legs of the chick dangling in the air.
Calling out to her partner, the lifeless legs of the chick dangling in the air.
The chick is dropped into the river, as the eagle begins her defence against the mother osprey.
The chick is dropped into the river, as the eagle begins her defence against the mother osprey.
Even though nothing can be done to save the chick, the osprey mother is relentless in her attacks of the eagle.
Even though nothing can be done to save the chick, the osprey mother is relentless in her attacks of the eagle.
The battle continues.
The battle continues.
The osprey circles back again to try for another attack.
The osprey circles back again to try for another attack.

Bald Eagle vs Osprey-7 Bald Eagle vs Osprey-8

The dramas unfolding in nature are better than any soap opera!
The dramas unfolding in nature are better than any soap opera!
The eagle's partner flies in to provide reinforcement.
The eagle’s partner flies in to provide reinforcement.
The nest robber still defends her position as her partner comes in to land.
The nest robber still defends her position as her partner comes in to land.
The landing is aborted and the battle continues in the air.
The landing is aborted and the battle continues in the air.

As the drama continued in the air, Spencer was getting restless and it was time to carry on with our walk.

Bald Eagle – Straight Ahead!

Even though it is a holiday and I didn’t need to get up at the crack of dawn to head to work, I did anyways, so I could head out for an early morning walk with Spencer and hopefully catch a few nice photos of the sunrise or the herons (which I did!).  I’d already snapped over 130 photos on our hour walk, so I decided to put my camera away.  I’ve beaten myself up before about putting my camera away before getting to the car, and hopefully today will have driven that point through my thick skull!

I don’t know if it was a sound or the movement over the water that caught my attention, but I looked to the right over the river, and heading towards me at top speed was a bald eagle.  Thank goodness I took my camera in my sling bag, not my backpack, as I was able to get it out in time, turn it on, and snap a few photos.  I am seriously grateful I put my camera into auto ISO mode earlier on the walk (I actually didn’t realize it was possible on M to use auto ISO on this camera – so much still to learn about the new body!) but I’m sure that is what kept me from having a bunch of photos either over or under exposed.

The perfect ending to a beautiful sunrise walk :) 1/100sec, f6.3, ISO360
The perfect ending to a beautiful sunrise walk 🙂
1/100sec, f6.3, ISO360
Getting closer!
Getting closer!
A very intense look to have coming at you at top speed! 1/100sec, f6.3, ISO280
A very intense look to have coming at you at top speed!
1/100sec, f6.3, ISO280
I did not crop this photo; the eagle really was this close.  I had my lens at the maximum reach of 300mm, but I am still quite shocked just how close the eagle passed in front of us.  I'm very grateful I keep Spencer on a short leash at all times, because I imagine to an eagle he looks like breakfast. 1/1000sec, f6.3, ISO560
I did not crop this photo; the eagle really was this close. I had my lens at the maximum reach of 300mm, but I am still quite shocked just how close the eagle passed in front of us. I’m very grateful I keep Spencer on a short leash at all times, because I imagine to an eagle he looks like breakfast.
1/1000sec, f6.3, ISO560
My last view of this majestic eagle this morning; moments later he was obscured by trees. 1/10023c, f6.3, ISO160
My last view of the majestic eagle this morning; moments later he was obscured by trees.
1/10023c, f6.3, ISO160

Osprey crash landing

While out walking this morning, two Ospreys flying around over the Pitt River caught my attention.  Spencer was gracious enough to wait patiently while I tried to snap a few photos of them.  The sequence that follows unfolded in only a minute, though it seemed much longer than that, as I watched one Osprey struggling for its life.

A pair of Ospreys flying above the Pitt River. 1/500sec, f5.6, ISO400
A pair of Ospreys flying above the Pitt River.
1/500sec, f5.6, ISO400
The one on the right is getting dangerously close to the water.
The one on the right is getting dangerously close to the water.
With a big splash, one of the ospreys end up in the river.
With a big splash, one of the ospreys ends up in the river.
While the osprey struggles in the water, its parent (or partner) circles above.
While the osprey struggles in the water, its parent (or partner) circles above.
Swooping around to assess the situation.
Swooping around to assess the situation.
It has managed to get its wings out of the water, but still no luck in getting airborne.
It has managed to get its wings out of the water, but still no luck in getting airborne.
After circling again and again, an attempt is made to lift the osprey out of the water, but that doesn't work.
After circling again and again, an attempt is made to lift the osprey out of the water, but that doesn’t work.  I’m not even certain if contact was actually made.
The osprey has managed to get its wings partially out of the water again, while its partner circles above.
The waterlogged osprey has managed to get its wings partially out of the water again, while the other circles above.
The ospreys' wings are finally nearly clear of the water.
The ospreys’ wings are nearly clear of the water.
Finally, the osprey manages to free itself from the water, and take to the air again.
Finally, the osprey manages to free itself from the water, and takes to the air again.
Heading back to the safety of the nest to recuperate!
Heading back to the safety of the nest to recuperate!

The photos are a bit fuzzy, but I was so much more concerned with taking in what was happening (and rooting for the poor osprey each time it sunk lower into the water and struggled to keep its head up).  I’m so glad I got to see a happy ending today.