Today’s views from a boat included dark-faced cormorants, Australasian gannets, Australian fur seals and an abseiler, not to mention high cliffs and blowholes, caves and waves.
Thursday around 7.20 am. The occasional wave bringing in the tide brings chatter and movement between the more settled moments of grooming and sleeping.
I’ve been walking. Lots. On most days, the iPhone comes with me, largely so I can listen to podcasts, and also to capture anything of interest along the way.
Today, I took my old faithful Sony mirrorless camera and caught some of birds that might be described as local regulars. The migratory shore birds are in abundance at the moment, but find other places to roost when the tides are as high as they were this morning.
It’s a warm and sticky Saturday morning. Around 7 o’clock, I looked up from my desk to see this heron making his/her way across the back yard.
Thus began a dash for the camera followed by a slow and quiet positioning at a distance with the lens at 210mm. Had the shutter speed up high to be ready for the inevitable departure. Here’s the shot at ISO 1600, f6.3, 1/1250.
And another, in the shadows and not so sharp at ISO 3200, f6.3, 1/1250.
While some may have been content to walk around taking in the scenery around Whistler and/or enjoying a sleeve of beer on the balcony while bird watching, I got a little adventurous. It must have been that big breakfast we had with our nephew Chris in Vancouver after we “debarked”. Between debarking and deplaning, I just don’t know any more.You can’t see properly behind the door of the gondola going up the mountain, but that’s me and my bike heading up to do the descent down one of the more difficult tracks on the mountain bike layout here at Whistler.
In the meantime, the beautiful weather keeps following us around. And does anyone know what this bird is?
PS This is a jay that goes by the name of Clark’s Nutcracker. Thanks Deb Reynolds!
There wasn’t too much activity on the incoming tide late this morning so I wandered up to an area of the wetlands where pairs of shore birds are gathering in these early days of Spring. There were curlews too, doing what they do best, laying low and camouflaged in the scrub. And this white-faced heron came a little closer than another pair I spotted. This shot gives a good sense of the colour of grasses near the mangroves at the moment.
On the way back home I dropped in again on Oyster Point and was rewarded by an egret on the hunt for fish.
I’m still working on capturing flight moments. Much depends on the time, place and settings. So when the composition of this white-faced heron worked, it seemed a shame to dispose of the image altogether just because of a lack of focus.
Same goes for this young magpie and the pelicans, all caught over the past two days on my wanderings.
Just over a fortnight ago, I came across this mound and a lone Brush Turkey on a rainy walk. Early on Sunday morning I found the pair on the same mound. They were making adjustments to the nest together presumably getting the temperature just right for when the eggs are laid. Spring is definitely with us.
Down on the point, I’m persisting with my self-imposed learning journey to capture birds in flight.
The Black-winged Stilts are constants on the incoming tide at the moment. The closer in time that I arrive before a high tide, the closer in distance I get to the birds.
I’ve been contemplating why I’m going through this practice every day. It’s as much about the desire to improve the shot taking as it is for the exercise and fresh air. Every day I’m learning something new or having other things reaffirmed. It’s all about the light today. Mid-late afternoon. And for a change, these photos have absolutely no adjustments to exposure or effects added.
I’m noticing improvements in my ability to track birds in flight with the camera too. Practice, practice, practice, as they say.