Pond for two

Two Canada geese on small pond
I saw this pair of Canada geese as I was driving by the field where they were checking out this little pond located in a low spot. Maybe they were thinking it would be a good place to raise a family. I liked the tree growing in the middle of the pond. It was perfect timing for capturing the image as the pair moved onto the bank a few seconds later.

Resting goose

resting Canada goose, artistic processing
A visit to the migratory bird sanctuary on the coast almost always provides opportunities to photograph Canada geese, and they frequently can be seen resting beside the water’s edge somewhere in the sanctuary. I captured this one on a previous visit. She wasn’t disturbed at all by my approach from behind and didn’t bother to get up even when I had to squeeze past her to continue on my way.


Gathering place

Click on image for larger view.Canada geese and mallards preening

I missed the Monochrome Madness Challenge this week but since I have this black and white image sitting on my hard drive I thought I would post it now.

This half-submerged stump in one of the outer ponds is a favorite gathering place for the Canada geese and ducks at the bird sanctuary to primp and preen.



I lucked out the day I captured this image of migrating Canada geese landing in a nearby marina. They don’t usually land right in front of me, let alone in a large group like these. I guess they didn’t see me standing under a tree.

flock of canada geese landing on water


Late afternoon flight

Canada geese flying into the marsh just before a winter sunset.



Images from Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary

heron in water, fall colors behind

With fall migration well under way we are seeing a lot of feathered visitors to the area. I went out three times in the last couple of weeks to Reifel bird sanctuary, on the coast just south of the city of Vancouver, BC. The first visit, the sanctuary was crawling with shorebirds, mostly Greater Yellowlegs and Dowitchers, more than 30 Sandhill cranes, and off in the distance, feeding along the intertidal flats, were the first tens of thousands of Snow geese who had flown in from Wrangel Island in the Siberian arctic. I’ll be featuring snow geese images in a future post.

On the second visit, there were not quite as many Snow geese, tho still a huge number, and a large number of them were resting in one of the fields just outside the sanctuary perimeter. The ground was white with geese. I was excited because I spotted a lone white headed, dark goose among the masses…at one time called a Blue Goose, but now known to be a Snow goose with one different color gene. Like the adult white geese, they have pink legs and bills, vs the grey legs and bills of the dark juveniles, so they can be definitively identified as the blue version. Since these blue colored geese are not common (I presume it is a recessive gene ie, needs two alleles to express the gene) I was pumped that I had spotted one among so many white geese. In the sanctuary proper a fair number of Northern Shoveler ducks had arrived…I love watching them, with their wide, goofy bills attached to birds that are really quite similar in appearance and color to Mallard ducks, tho somewhat smaller. Lots of Mallards, as usual, of course and the Pintail duck numbers had increased quite a lot too. The Yellowlegs had presumably moved on as their numbers were considerably lower than the week before.

Then last week when I arrived, the field outside the sanctuary had a mass of Snow geese, but smaller numbers and very fidgety…perhaps with cause as there was a hunter with two dogs walking along the road nearby. I have to say, I find it quite unsportsmanlike to hunt birds across the road from a migratory bird sanctuary… It was interesting to find that a much greater number of geese, great hordes in fact,  were hunkered down in three large  fields -inside- the sanctuary, along with a relatively small flock of white fronted geese and two relatively small flocks of Canada geese, and there were Mallards in enormous numbers -everywhere- at that end of the sanctuary. There is a slough that parallels the entry road into the sanctuary, I guess it’s about a half mile? and it was wall to wall ducks, mostly mallards. And more of them in the fields with the geese, too. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many mallards in one place before. The Dowitchers were still hanging around, a handful of the cranes too, probably the mostly-resident ones. The American Widgeons have started to arrive, a few green-winged Teal, things are heating up. A Sawhet owl had been reported several times, but I failed to locate it. They are hard to spot, considering they’re the size of a tennis ball it’s a bit like looking for a needle in a haystack… Lots of herons this time, but too far off for most of them with my 250mm lens. But at the end of the day, I came across one perched above the trail in a pine tree. I brought home a considerable number of images of this bird, but altho I waited for nearly an hour for it to lift off and give me a great in flight image, it didn’t happen and I had to leave because the sanctuary gates were about to be locked…