Tuesday, December 30, 2014

December 2014 Last Blog of the Year

December turned out to be good month for photographs (when the sun was shining).  I missed getting acceptable shots of 2 Golden Eagles and a Prairie Falcon although I made many attempts.  Maybe I will get lucky next month.  For now, please enjoy the following.
Female American Kestrel with a mouse.  The Kestrel is the most common falcon in North America.  Sumas Prairie has a few of these in residence for the winter.
Downy Woodpecker at my home. Male.
Downy Woodpecker female.
Gyrfalcon in Sumas Prairie.  While the Kestrel is the smallest falcon in Canada, the Gyrfalcon is the largest.
White-fronted Goose.  This goose is injured-probably shot somewhere and made it to Wilband Ponds where it may die.  At least it is in a favourable habitat which may help it recover.
I shot this Northern Pygmy Owl in Neah Bay and decided I liked it better than the one I posted last month.  Next time I photograph one I will have to try and eliminate those annoying black branches.
American Tree Sparrow.  One of 3 or 4 in Sumas Prairie.
This Red-tailed Hawk was caught and tagged at the Vancouver airport last July.  The airport does this to rid the airways of possible hazards.  It was released in Chilliwack.  I reported it to the airport and they gave me the info.  This was the first time it has been sighted (and reported) since its release.
Golden-crowned Kinglet in Agasszi.
Ruby-crowned Kinglet in Agasszi.
I found this Rough-skinned Newt slowly crossing the road east of Chilliwack.  It was 6 degrees celsius which probably accounted for its slow progress.  I picked it up and put it on the post for some pictures not realizing it can exude a highly toxic poison through its skin.  It is the same toxin that is found in Pufferfish and Blue-ringed Octopus.  Luckily I didn't put my fingers in my mouth or eyes.  I set it down on the side of the road and watched it disappear beneath the leaf litter.  There is some interesting information on this Newt if one googles it.   
River Otter marking territory near Wilband Ponds.  This is called sprainting or depositing a small amount of feces which is called a spraint. 
River Otter trying to figure out where the shutter noise is coming from.  Looks like it is holding a Pumpkinseed Fish (future spraint).

Bohemian Waxwing.  We found 70 of these uncommon birds (for this area) on Rannie Road, Pitt meadows.
We were watching a Northern Shrike when it flew to the ground and started dispatching a vole.  It flew off with it before I could get a good shot.
We later found the Shrike sitting quite contented.
I can get so involved with my camera settings that sometimes I misidentify what I am photographing.  For instance I thought I was photographing a Kestrel until I uploaded the pictures to the computer and realized I actually photographed a Merlin.  This is the last blog for the year.  Looking forward to next year.  Happy New year to everyone and thanks for checking out the blog.

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