June 18 - Wishing For a Green Heron
I was 20 minutes early for my PROBUS Club presentation in Courtenay and nearing the Airpark. "Why not visit the Green Heron?" I asked myself optimistically. After all, I did see a Green Heron here last summer which I estimated to be the first time in about 50 visits. My chances were 2% which was far superior to the 1 in 14 million for Lotto 649. No sooner had I parked and gotten out of the car when a grayish shadow flew into the marina. It was the Green Heron. I grabbed my camera but was stymied as the marina was fenced, gated, and locked. Suddenly a boat-owner appeared with a box of tools and engine parts. I pleaded on my knees for him to let me in, and he kindly obliged. The heron was on a muddy bank in the shadows. I carefully edged my way along the wooden wharf and managed a few mediocre shots before the heron flew. I quickly thanked the boat-owner again and hurried up to the path out to the lagoon. I intently scanned the river bank on the left and the lagoon on the right, but the heron had disappeared. I stopped in disappointment and looked up. I was startled to see the heron on the roof of the shelter staring at me from 8 meters away. It was perfectly illuminated by the morning sun against a blue sky. I slowly raised my camera, but it was too late. It flew to an alder tree across the lagoon. Debating as to whether I had enough time, I proceeded to the end of the lagoon where the heron suddenly landed. It was in perfect light with blue sky reflecting in the water. If I had my big lens, I would have had perfect full-frame shots. I did my best with my hand-held small lens, but the results won't be as good. However, I was delighted to see my first Green heron of the year, and it just goes to show that wishful thinking does come true, sometimes. Oh, I was fifteen minutes late for my meeting.
I knew I would see the Green Heron because I didn't have my big lens. Just another example of Murphy's Law.
Perfect setting, perfect lighting, clear line of sight, buish sky reflection, ... - it'll never happen again.
The Green Heron was intent on catching breakfast. It didn't even notice me.
I wish I didn't have to leave. It would have been fun to see it catch a big fish.
June 28 - Hummer Update
Feeder consumption peaked at five cups for a few days last week, but has now declined to 2 cups for the last three days. What does this all mean? Good question. My guess is that the bumper crop of juveniles is starting to move on. There still seems to be a lot buzzing around the garden and forest, but the only thing that I can quantify is the amount od nectar consumed. Although I haven't been watching closely for tha last three days, I did see one hummer gathering bulrush fluff yesterday then buzzing high past the arbutus trees. I hope she was just adding some extra padding to the nest and not building a new one as it would be pretty late to start a nest. Anyway, the slowdown is expected as the end of June arrives. It's a little sad to see it end, but it has been a very successful year for the hummers, and there was plenty of enjoyment for me.
I didn't get around to planting more flowers that the hummers enjoy, but we have a few red-hot pokers and honeysuckle. It's always fun to get a few hummer shots at the flowers.
It's easy photography when the hummers are hovering or feeding.
There are still a couple of adult females around.
Surprise! Guess who has a sweet tooth? The Orange-crowned Warbler snuck in a couple of times while I was watching the hummers.
Nemesis Bird - I bet there's been a few other photographers who have been frustrated by the Brown Creeper. Predictable but elusive - you know its going to go up and down but usually on the wrong side of the tree, behind some branches, or in the shadows.
The cryptic colouration is almost a perfect match for the bark on a fir tree.
Often heard - Seldom Seen - The very shy Swainson's Thrush doesn't like the limelight like some photographers we know.
Mystery Bird - I've yet to find a MacGillivray's Warbler that sounds like one. This one was west of Mesachie Lake sounding very much like a Black-throated Gray.
I knew it wasn't a Black-throated Gray because it was the wrong habitat.
Yes, We Have Black Ravens - In the land of the White Ravens, the black ravens are still very much in the majority. One of my subscribers is a corvid lover. I hope we've shared enough corvid pictures this year.
The Perky Towhee - Now that the juveniles are on their own, the adults seem to be a little more lively.
Flightless Duck - The adult male Wood Duck tried to fly, but couldn't lift off.
Single Duckling Parent? - There's usually a few more ducklings in the brood, but we only saw one at Buttertubs.
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