Mew Gull on Ambleside Beach

DSC_0408-small

Mew Gull (breeding plumage) | Goéland cendré | Larus canus brachyrhynchus*: I found this Mew Gull among the much-larger Glaucous-winged Gulls on Ambleside Beach in West Vancouver (British Columbia), Canada, on April 20, 2016.

As “luck” would have it, a woman was busily (and obliviously) walking toward this gull from the other side, but although she did scare the bird away, I was able to capture this rather nice shot with its wings completely extended vertically, before the takeoff.

Taken with a handheld Nikon D5200 and AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR (ISO 400 | 500mm | f/6.3 | 1/1600, cropped for composition). Not baited, called in or set up.

*NOTE: An interesting discussion has arisen on the North American Gulls Facebook group: Most seem to think (and I agree) that this is not in fact the North American subspecies (or Mew Gull), but a sub-species of the Common Gull (most experts believe Mew and Common are conspecific). If we arrive at a 99% or better consensus, I may revise the sub-species a bit later.

Harlequin Duck (male) in West Vancouver

DSC_0509

Harlequin Duck (male) | Canard harlequin | Histrionicus histrionicus: I had the privilege of seeing a pair (male and female) of Harlequin Ducks up close from Ambleside Beach in West Vancouver a few days ago (April 20, 2016), as they were busily foraging for food. Several families were on the beach at this time, but the birds did not seem especially perturbed. This was the closest shot that I got on that day, but I have many other pictures that I am quite happy to have captured.

Taken with a handheld Nikon D5200 and AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR (ISO 400 | 500mm | f/6.3 | 1/1600, cropped for composition). Not baited, called in or set up.

Common Merganser family on Ambleside Beach

COME_01-Ambleside-2015_07_31

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

COME_02-Ambleside-2015_07_31

COME_03-Ambleside-2015_07_31

Glaucous-winged Gull on Ambleside Beach

GWGU-Ambleside-2015_07_31

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.

Osprey at West Vancouver’s Ambleside Beach

OSPR-Ambleside-2015_07_30

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.

Canada Goose at West Vancouver’s Ambleside Beach

CANG-Ambleside-2015_07_30

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!

DSC_0369

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???

DSC_0334

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.

DSC_0349