Common Merganser family on Ambleside Beach

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Common Merganser (female and immatures) | Grand Harle | Mergus merganser: These immature mergansers were rather successfully fishing on the ocean as a female adult (presumably their mother) kept a watchful eye on them.

Taken on Ambleside Beach (West Vancouver, BC, Canada), with a handheld Nikon D5200 and AF-S Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED. Not baited, called in or set up.

  • Top: ISO 400 | 300mm | f/5.6 | 1/1000, cropped for composition
  • Middle: ISO 400 | 300mm | f/6.3 | 1/1600, cropped
  • Bottom: ISO 2500 | 300mm | f/8 | 1/4000, cropped

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Glaucous-winged Gull on Ambleside Beach

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Glaucous-winged Gull | Goéland à ailes grises | Larus glaucescens: Taken on Ambleside Beach (West Vancouver, BC, Canada), with a handheld Nikon D5200 and AF-S Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED (ISO 2500 | 300mm | f/11 | 1/4000, cropped for composition). Not baited, called in or set up.

Red-breasted Sapsucker at West Vancouver’s Ambleside Park

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Red-breasted Sapsucker | Pic à poitrine rouge | Sphyrapicus ruber: This individual is most likely a full-fledged adult female, but looks quite “worn” (frazzled, in fact). Thankfully, in spite of the terrible lighting, I was able to capture a few good shots of the sapsucker as it was picking away at the insect found under the moss growing on the tree.

Taken on the path next to the pond in West Vancouver’s Ambleside Park, with a handheld Nikon D5200 and AF-S Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED (both photos: ISO 400 | 250mm | f/6.3 | 1/1600, cropped). Not baited, called in or set up.

  • Top: ISO 2500| 300mm | f/5.6 | 1/800, cropped
  • Bottom: ISO 1400 | 300mm | f/5.6 | 1/500, cropped for composition

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Osprey at West Vancouver’s Ambleside Beach

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Osprey | Balbuzard pêcheur | Pandion haliaetus: Taken on Ambleside Beach (West Vancouver, BC, Canada), with a handheld Nikon D5200 and AF-S Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED (ISO 640 | 300mm | f/5.6 | 1/1000, cropped for composition). Not baited, called in or set up.

White-crowned Sparrow caught red-beaked!

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White-crowned Sparrow | Bruant à coronne blanche | Zonotrichia leucophrys: I guess you could say that I caught this sparrow “red-beaked.” You could even tell that it was not far from the scene of the “crime,” so to speak. The berries are coming out quite early this year…

Taken in the residential area south of UBC Vancouver (BC, Canada) on August 4, 2015, with a handheld Nikon D5200 and AF-S Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED (ISO 800 | 300mm | f/5.6 | 1/2500, cropped for composition). Not baited, called in or set up.

 

 

Canada Goose at West Vancouver’s Ambleside Beach

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Canada Goose (probably 1st year) | Bernache du Canada | Branta canadensis: Taken on Ambleside Beach (West Vancouver, BC, Canada), with a handheld Nikon D5200 and AF-S Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED (ISO 400 | 300mm | f/6.3 | 1/1600, cropped for composition). Not baited, called in or set up.

European Starlings on the beach!

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European Starling | Étourneau sansonnet | Sturnus vulgaris: Taken at Ambleside Beach in West Vancouver, BC, Canada on July 29, 2015, with a handheld Nikon D5200 and AF-S Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED (ISO 400 | 300mm | f/6.3 | 1/1600, cropped). Not baited, called in or set up.

Red Crossbills… chomping on seaweed???

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Red Crossbill (juvenile) | Bec-croisé des sapins | Loxia curvirostra: It’s true! I first spotted these birds on their favourite perches, namely pine trees, but then saw them land on the rocks in front of the beach. When I approached these rather tame birds, I noticed they were chomping away on the seaweeds. I guess Sibley was right when he said that they are “strongly attracted to salt!”

Taken on Ambleside Beach in West Vancouver, BC, Canada with a handheld Nikon D5200 and AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED (both photos: ISO 400, 300mm, f/6.3, 1/1600, cropped for composition). Not baited, called in or set up.

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Cooper’s Hawk at Queen Elizabeth Park

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Cooper’s Hawk (juvenile/1st year) | Épervier de Cooper | Accipiter cooperii: My son and I were lucky to spot and then get decent photos this Cooper’s Hawk as we were walking around Vancouver’s Queen Elizabeth Park. Now if only I owned a more powerful lens, I would not have had to crop this photo as much as I did! One day, maybe…

Taken July 23, 2015, with a handheld Nikon D5200 and AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED (ISO 900, 300mm, f/5.6, 1/500, cropped). Not baited, called in or set up.

Pushing the boundaries (with a bumblebee)…

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At least for me! Although I did get a few adequate photos of Pigeon Guillemots a few days ago, I thought I would add a bit of variety by posting this photo instead…

Although my knowledge of entomology (and experience photographing insects) is rather limited, the Google goddess and Wikipedia have both led me to believe this is a yellow-faced bumblebee (bourdon à face jaune | Bombus vosnesenskii). It was taken in the garden/humanly created ecosystem next to UBC’s Beatty Biodiversity Museum. Now perhaps one of my faithful readers could tell me what kind of flower this is (I’m not sure if it is actually native to British Columbia or not)?

Taken with a handheld Nikon D5200 and AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED (ISO 400, 300mm, f/5.6, 1/1600).

Brown Creeper near UBC Botanical Garden

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Brown Creeper | Grimpereau brun | Certhia americana: In a perfect world, I would have been able to take a step or two to my left so that the pleasingly green background could have provided more contrast to this perfectly adapted bird. But that did not happen. In fact, I was quite lucky to get a picture of this bird species more or less at eye-level, since they move around quite quickly.

Taken next to the UBC Botanical Garden on July 8, 2015, with a handheld Nikon D5200 and AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED (ISO 1600, 300mm, f/5.6, 1/320). Not baited, called in or set up.

 

Glaucous-winged Gull in Tsawwassen

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Glaucous-winged Gull (adult) | Goéland à ailes grises | Larus glaucescens: Taking shots of flying birds is always a challenge, even when they are gliding in strong winds next to a boat. I only got a few shots that I liked, two of which are featured here (and they are not perfect!).

These photos were taken from the Vancouver (Tsawwassen) — Victoria (Swartz Bay) ferry on July 3, 2015, with a handheld Nikon D5200 and AF-S Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED (ISO 400, 170mm, f/6.3, 1/1600). Not baited, called in or set up.

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X marks the spot?

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Pigeon Guillemot | Guillemot colombin | Cepphus columba: As my regular followers know, I prefer bird photos showing direct eye contact with the subject, not to mention some light reflection in the eye. In this case, however, I was pleased with the detail in the wings and back, as well as the fact that the bird and its shadow seemed to be forming an “X.”

Taken on June 24, 2015, from the Burrard Dry Dock Pier in North Vancouver, BC, Canada, with a handheld Nikon D5200 and AF-S Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED (ISO 720, 300mm, f/5.6, 1/1000). Not baited, called in or set up.

I am not falling asleep!!!

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Wood Duck (ducklings) | Canard branchu | Aix sponsa: I couldn’t resist adding a last photo of these ducklings that I found on Lost Lagoon in Vancouver’s Stanley Park. They aren’t actually sleeping, but closing their eyes as they groom themselves. Taken on Lost Lagoon in Vancouver’s Stanley Park (in BC, Canada) with a handheld Nikon D5200 and AF-S Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED (ISO 1600 | 165mm | f/5 | 1/125). Not baited, called in or set up.

I would also like to take this occasion to thank all of my loyal followers for all of your likes and comments. I really enjoy your feedback and will always try to respond in some way or other, so keep it coming!

I would also like to inform you that I have now come very close to catching up on my bird photo backlog (as some of you may recall, I have been posting a blog almost every day since January to try to take care of this matter). This means that as of this week, I will be publishing far less frequently. Currently, I am planning on posting something every Saturday morning (Pacific Time), but I promise that I will post more frequently if I get some particularly interesting shots or find a rare bird hanging around somewhere nearby.

Wood Duck: Many ducklings in Stanley Park!

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Wood Duck (ducklings) | Canard branchu | Aix sponsa: The members of this family of Wood Ducks seem to have been settling in for the night, even though someone had previously been trying to take their pictures with a cell phone. Taken on Lost Lagoon in Vancouver’s Stanley Park (in BC, Canada) with a handheld Nikon D5200 and AF-S Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED. Not baited, called in or set up.

  • Top: ISO 1600 | 300mm | f/5.6 | 1/250
  • Middle: ISO 1600 | 140mm | f/4.8 | 1/320
  • Bottom: ISO 1600 | 165mm | f/5 | 1/125

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Male Northern Flicker in West Vancouver

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Northern Flicker (Red-shafted) | Pic flamboyant (forme rosée) | Colaptes auratus cafer (male): Taken on a small lawn next to West Vancouver’s Recreation Centre on June 14, 2015, with a handheld Nikon D5200 and AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED (both photos: ISO 1600, 300mm, f/5.6, 1/250). Not baited, called in or set up.

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Great Blue Heron on Vancouver’s Sunset Beach

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Great Blue Heron | Grand héron | Ardea herodias: Taken at Vancouver’s Sunset Beach (in BC, Canada) with a handheld Nikon D5200 and AF-S Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED (ISO 400 | 300mm | f/6.3 | 1/1600). Not baited, called in or set up.

Male Wood Duck in Vancouver’s Stanley Park

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Wood Duck (male) | Canard branchu | Aix sponsa: Taken in Vancouver’s Stanley Park (in BC, Canada) with a handheld Nikon D5200 and AF-S Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED (ISO 800 | 300mm | f/5.6 | 1/500). Not baited, called in or set up.

Spotted Towhee in Vancouver’s Stanley Park

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Spotted Towhee | Tohi tacheté | Pipilo maculatus: Taken in Vancouver’s Stanley Park (in BC, Canada) with a handheld Nikon D5200 and AF-S Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED. Not baited, called in or set up.

  • Top: ISO 1400 | 300mm | f/5.6 | 1/500
  • Bottom: ISO 1600 | 300mm | f/5.6 | 1/500

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Pelagic Cormorant on Vancouver’s Sunset Beach (part 2)

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Pelagic Cormorant | Cormoran pélagique | Phalacrocorax pelagicus: As was the case for the bird featured yesterday, this cormorant was part of a small flock foraging for nesting material on Sunset Beach in Vancouver, BC, Canada. As the last photo makes clear, this was clearly a collective nest-building effort!

Taken on June 12, 2015, with a handheld Nikon D5200 and AF-S Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED. Not baited, called in or set up.

  • Top & Middle: ISO 400 | 300mm | f/5.6 | 1/1600
  • Bottom: ISO 400 | 300mm | f/7.1 | 1/2000

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