On Friday I went for a bike ride in the cool of the evening. I saw a large bird sitting on a fencepost and it flew right in front of me before landing on the branch of a tree. I was amazed to see it was a Barred Owl (Strix varia) and was disappointed that I didn’t have my camera and telephoto lens with me. For the next few days I returned to the same location at dawn and dusk and was thrilled to get some images of this nocturnal predator. The Barred Owl has a distinct hooting call which sounds like “Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you-all?”. Click on any one of the three images below to see sharper and larger versions.
This morning I visited a family of River Otters ( Lutra canadensis ) I had photographed earlier this year. I spotted two River Otters, down one from the last time, when I saw three. They were relaxing on a riverbank grooming their well-oiled and dense fur. It was rare to see them resting, usually they are very active, constantly in motion, swimming, foraging along the shore, and climbing out for only brief periods of time to eat fish or shellfish. It was quiet, peaceful, with no other people around, and I thoroughly enjoyed the time I spent with these wild River Otters. Click on either image to see a larger version.
Known for their dancing skills. Sandhill Cranes ( Antigone canadensis ) stretch their wings, pump their heads, bow, and leap into the air in a graceful and energetic dance. Their call is a loud, rolling, trumpeting sound. I was fortunate to watch a family of three Sandhill Cranes looking for larval insects by probing the grass with their long bills. Click on the photo to see a larger version of the image.
In British Columbia there are two species of Otters. They are commonly confused, but Sea Otters (Enhydra lutris) live at sea and swim on their back. The River Otter (Lutra canadensis) is semi-aquatic and swims on its belly. The River Otter has a pointed head and a thick tail which is 2/3 of its total body length. The Sea Otter has a blunt head and a flattened tail which is 1/3 of its total body length. I spent some time photographing three River Otters. When they catch prey like fish, shellfish, birds, and small animals, they bring it ashore to eat. Click on the photo to see a larger version.
There was a break in the rainy weather and I was able to get out and take some images. In the Northern Hemisphere in the winter sunrise and sunset appear farther south along the horizon. I find it creates this beautiful golden light at the start and end of each day. Click on a photo to see a larger size.
This is probably the most common hawk in North America. The Red-tailed hawk ( Buteo jamaicensis ) eats small animals like rabbits, squirrels, and voles. You’ll most likely see Red-tailed Hawks soaring in wide circles high over a field. When I was taking this photo the sun was low on the horizon and the sunlight was coming from directly behind me, which beautifully lit this bird of prey. You can see the catchlight or specular highlight in its eye. Click on either one of the images to see a larger size.
The lower mainland received about 30 centimeters of snow this week. This created chaos for drivers on the streets and travellers at the airport. I took advantage of the opportunity to get outside and explore with my camera. Click on any photo in the gallery to see a larger image size.
The Autumn colours usually take centre stage this time of year. The unseasonably hot conditions led to more muted colours. I like taking photos early in the morning because there is little wind and you get nice reflections in mountain lakes. When the sun rises, the wind picks up, and the opportunity to take images of reflections disappears. Click on a photo to see a larger version.
The middle of October is a time when I start to think about taking images of Fall colours in British Columbia. After driving in the dark for a few hours I arrived at my location and started taking photos of the Autumn foliage. While I was adjusting my camera settings and tripod I started to feel like I was being watched. That’s when I saw the large pointy ears with distinctive tufts of black hair. It was a Bobcat ( Lynx rufus ) that was sitting quietly behind me. I quickly changed to a telephoto lens and was able to capture a couple of good images before it disappeared into the forest. Unfortunately, the background consists of pavement and cement. The photos would’ve been perfect if I had photographed this beautiful wildcat in its natural environment. Click on a photo to see a larger version.