Category Archives: wildlife

Airport Birds

The viewing deck at Haneda is not a place I had gone to photograph wildlife.  However, despite the usual concerns about birds and planes not mixing well, there were a lot of small birds that seemed to be hanging out on the roof of the terminal buildings.  I imagine the number of visitors to the viewing decks means there will be crumbs of some sort for them to feed on.  They were pretty close to the people but just the other side of the fencing.  I guess they knew they were safe.

Geese Washing Themselves in the Sammamish

I’ve been catching up on some video editing while stuck indoors.  During the Christmas break, mum and I took a walk along the Sammamish River.  There were lots of geese floating downstream and they were busy washing themselves.  This involved a lot of flapping and inverting themselves in the river.  Of course, when I got close, they stopped doing it while their buddies further downstream seemed to be busy washing.  I did finally get some footage of it so here is a short video of geese!  Bet that’s just what you wanted to see today!

 

Deer in Yorkshire a Couple of Decades Ago

More from the negative scan archive.  Another hike we were taking and this time the wildlife is a little larger.  This herd of deer was grazing nearby and there were some impressive sets of antlers on display for some of them.  One stag was staring in our direction briefly so I got a nice head on shot.  The scan of the negative with my 40D seems to have come out pretty well.

Lambs in Spring

These two pictures are very old but they appealed to me given the time of year.  They were taken in Yorkshire over 20 years ago as we were hiking in the area.  It was spring and the lambing season was underway.  We saw a couple of lambs gamboling through a graveyard while another was resting in the grass.  Lambs in spring are such an iconic scene.  With spring upon us, I felt like they should be dug out from my negative scan archive.

Chasing the Ball

Beaches are great places for dogs.  Plenty of space to run and then there is the water to play in if they like.  As we were walking along Long Beach in Tofino. One guy was throwing a ball for his dog to chase and fetch.  The dog was having a fantastic time roaring around the beach after the ball.  The guy seemed to be happy too but I think I was almost as happy as the dog watching it having such a good time.  A couple of times it came towards me and I wanted the guy to throw the ball my way more often to get some shots but I think he was throwing it away from me to avoid inconveniencing me.  I should have said not to worry.

New Hummer Feeder Improves the Light

We have been having some issues with our hummingbirds.  One of them has decided the feeder is his and no other birds can use it.  He sits around and feeds to his heart’s content.  Even when he is in a local tree, anyone coming close gets chased off quickly.  We have named him “Cartman”.  One of the recommendations in such a situation is to have a second feeder so we have added one to the fence nearby.  One of the benefits I have found with this is that it puts the birds at a different angle between me and the light and it brings out the colors more vibrantly.  Here you can see Cartman – he is still trying to dominate the place.

Ducks at Low Level

While walking along the Sammammish River Trail, a couple of Mallard Ducks flew by me at low level.  I pulled the camera up at short notice to get a shot.  No time to change the settings so this is what I got on the spur of the moment.  As it happens, the shutter speed did a nice job of blurring out the background and making them look super speedy.  I kind of like it!

Old Encounter with an Elephant

In the late 90s, I made a very brief trip to South Africa for work.  I had one day spare while I was there and so took a trip to Pilanesburg National Park, a wildlife reserve.  I spent a day driving around looking at various different wild animals, mostly at a great distance.  Since it was the middle of the day, lots of the interesting stuff was out of sight.  Near the end of my time there, I took a drive down a side road to a watering hole that was supposed to be popular with hippos.  I find hippos fascinating so was hoping to see some.  No such luck.

As I drove back up towards the main road and started contemplating a return to Johannesburg, I saw a bunch of cars on the main road that had stopped.  I slowed down, figuring that they had seen something off to one side so I started looking.  Sure enough, they had.  An elephant was wandering through the trees and coming straight for me.  I sat watching it approach.  It didn’t seem bothered that I was there and came straight for the car.  When I realized that it was going to come right through me, I put the car in reverse and quickly got out of the way – grabbing a close up shot as I did so.  It came on to the road and turned away from me walking towards a camper van.  The van soon came to the same conclusion that I had.  The elephant wasn’t interested in stopping or going around them so they had to reverse up the road as the elephant paced them appropriately.  Finally it turned off and I imagine they breathed a sigh of relief.

Otters in the Sammamish

With mum visiting from the UK, we took a walk along the Sammamish River Trail.  The river was very high as a result of the heavy rains we had experienced in the preceding days.  The river has otters living in it and I was hoping we might see one.  As it turned out, we saw four.  A group of four otters was moving up river diving for food as they went.  I wished I had brought a longer lens with me but you go with what you have.  Of course, they chose to stay on the other side of the river for much of the time but it was fun to watch them anyway.  They got a lot of attention from the other people on the trail too.

I’ve Never Seen Cormorants Be So Social

I took a walk by Bachman Lake next to Dallas Love Field as part of my weekend in the area.  Clearly I was there because of the planes but there was a lot of bird activity over the lake.  Given how this was right under the approach to the airport, I was surprised that they weren’t doing anything to deter the birds.  Putting that aside, I was happy to see a lot of cormorants.  I was surprised to see how they were hanging out together.

Cormorants tend to rest in larger groups.  You might see them on pylons near the water or piles in the water in large groups providing some safety in numbers.  However, they tend to go off hunting alone.  I have seen the occasional pair of cormorants flying together but most of the time they are on their own.  The Bachman Lake residents were very different.  They were flying around in a large flock.  They circled around the lake and then landed in a large group on the water.  They would then take off together and fly around as a group again.  I wonder if this is common in other areas.