October 2016 Stanley Park Ecology Society Bird Count

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Hermit Thrush | Grive solitaire | Catharus guttatus

After a month-long absence from my blog, I’m posting a few pictures taken during Stanley Park Ecology Society‘s most recent monthly bird count, which took place this weekend, on October 9, 2016. It was once again very ably led by Else Mikkelsen and features about 15 dedicated volunteers!

This was an unusually calm count, especially since none of the winter ducks have yet arrived on Lost Lagoon… the flock (or raft, if you prefer) of Surf Scoters featured below was taken on the ocean before the count even began, near Stanley Park’s Ferguson Point. But we still saw many birds rather well, including Ruby- and Golden-crowned Kinglets, Black-capped Chickadees and Northern Flickers. But the highlight for me was not doubt the Hermit Thrushes seen at the western edge of Lost Lagoon, especially since I was able to get several good photos of it, including the one featured above.

All photos taken with a handheld Nikon D5200 and AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR. To see more pictures, please visit (and like, too!) my Facebook photography page and my Instagram account.

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A short break from blogging…

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You may have noticed that I published this blog a few hours later than usual. I guess I was inspired by this handsome gentleman (Wood Duck) to take a bit of a rest… from blogging, that is. But I promise to not be away for too, too long: I’ll be back in a few days with more photos! And please know that I greatly appreciate your visits, likes and comments.

Wood Duck (male) | Canard branchu | Aix sponsa: Taken February 16, 2016 near Lost Lagoon in Stanley Park, Vancouver (British Columbia), Canada with a handheld Nikon D5200 and AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR (ISO 800 | 500mm | f/5.6 | 1/500), cropped for composition. Not baited, called in or set up.

 

Stanley Park Ecology Society: April Bird Count

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Stanley Park Ecology Society‘s most recent bird count took place on Sunday, April 11. Even though it was fairly quiet, I was able to get a few interesting photos. And it was a treat to see three species of the swallows (Tree, Violet-green and Barn) flying over the water to catch insects.

The count was led once again by Else Mikkelsen, who is a longtime SPES volunteer and is pursuing an undergraduate science degree at the University of British Columbia.

The photos featured today were taken on the park’s Lost Lagoon or Beaver Lake with a handheld Nikon D5200 and AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR. None of the birds were baited, called in or set up, although the chickadees and squirrels were attracted to seeds left behind by other users of the park. These species will be featured in a separate post in the days to come. [UPDATE: Actually, I like the photo gallery setup so much that I will progressively update each of the captions below, rather than posting each species individually. I will move to other photos, instead.]

  • Photo above: Male Wood Duck, taken not far from Lost Lagoon
  • Photos below: Each species identified separately

 

Wood Ducks at Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary

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Wood Duck (male) | Canard branchu | Aix sponsa: Taken on February 16 March 19, 2016 near George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary in Delta (British Columbia), Canada with a handheld Nikon D5200 and AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR. Not baited, called in or set up.

  • Top: Male, ISO 720 | 500mm | f/5.6 | 1/1000, cropped for composition
  • Bottom: Female, ISO 800 | 500mm | f/5.6 | 1/500, cropped for composition

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Wood Duck (male) near Lost Lagoon

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Wood Duck (male) | Canard branchu | Aix sponsa: Taken on February 16, 2016 near Lost Lagoon in Stanley Park, Vancouver (British Columbia), Canada with a handheld Nikon D5200 and AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR (ISO 800 | 500mm | f/5.6 | 1/500), cropped for composition. Not baited, called in or set up.

Wood Ducks at Stanley Park

DSC_0746Male on Beaver Lake — ISO 1600 | 300mm | f/5.6 | 1/500, not cropped

Wood Duck (male and female) | Canard branchu | Aix sponsa: All photos taken at SPES‘s November 8, 2015 bird count in Stanley Park, Vancouver (British Columbia), 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.

DSC_0751Female on Beaver Lake — ISO 1400 | 300mm | f/5.6 | 1/200, cropped

DSC_0744Female on Beaver Lake — ISO 1400 | 300mm | f/5.6 | 1/200, cropped for composition

DSC_0664Male on Lost Lagoon tributary — ISO 1600 | 300mm | f/5.6 | 1/200, cropped

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 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.

D50 Archives: Wood Duck

Wood Duck (male) | Lost Lagoon, Stanley Park | Vancouver, BC | January 2013

Wood Duck (male) | Lost Lagoon, Stanley Park | Vancouver, BC | January 2013

When I arrived in British Columbia with my family in September 2011, the Wood Duck was by far my favourite wildfowl species. And it’s easy to see why: Those colours are quite simply extraordinary. And coming from the eastern part of the continent, I did not get to see them all that often.

Although they are still certainly among my favourites, I have regularly seen many other beautiful ducks in this part of the world and have had to admit that other duck species now compete for my attention. I do not know if the Wood Duck remains in the number one position. Still, they are certainly in the top 10 because they are simply quite spectacular — and as the picture below demonstrates, the female of this species is also lovely, albeit in a much more understated way.

Wood Duck (male) | Lost Lagoon, Stanley Park | Vancouver, BC | April 2013

Wood Duck (male) | Lost Lagoon, Stanley Park | Vancouver, BC | April 2013