Starting off 2017 with a walk in the Wetlands

5 01 2017

After dropping Mrs Dragonspeed at the airport, I headed out to Westham Island for a nice walk around the Reifel Bird Sanctuary… in the COLD winter weather.  (Cold in Vancouver means a bit below 0C )  Some of the highlights are here

1. Juvenile Baldie – having lunch

Juvenile Bald Eagle – having lunch
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

2. Black-capped Chickadee

Black-capped Chickadee
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

3. Golden-crowned Sparrow

Golden-crowned Sparrow
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

4. Icy Sandhill Crane

Sandhill Crane on ice
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

5. The Grey Ghost – Male Northern Harrier

The Grey Ghost
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

6. Sunset Hunt….

The Grey Ghost
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

and because I always love it when these guys perch at a good angle with the sky to get good polarization…

7. Posing Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

The complete set of the day can be found at: https://flic.kr/s/aHskLehJnS

I hope you enjoyed the birds – it’s always a good day when you can get out and shoot!





Day 7 of Safari–Lake Manyara National Park Birds

1 08 2016

Day 7 – Lake Manyara National Park
Slow park for most wildlife, but a huge variety of new birds!

The whole day’s photos are here: https://flic.kr/s/aHskEmfT7x

1. Hamerkop (yes – a bird with a hammer shaped head!)

Hamerkop
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

2. Grey-headed Kingfisher

Grey-Headed Kingfisher
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

3. Speckled Pigeon

Speckled Pigeon
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

4. Black-winged stilt
5. Yellow-billed Stork
6. Little Egret

7. Egyptian Goose

Egyptian Geese (Alopochen aegyptiacus)
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

8. Glossy Ibis
9. Hottentot Teal

10. Silvery-cheeked Hornbill

Silvery-cheeked Hornbill
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

11. African Spoonbill

African Spoonbill (Platalea alba)
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

12. Lesser Flamingo
13. Spur-winged Plover
14. Hadada Ibis
15. Woodland Kingfisher

16. Red and Yellow Barbet

Red and Yellow Barbet (Trachyphonus erythrocephalus)
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

17. Tawny Eagle (?) https://flic.kr/p/KiR1Yj

18. Little Bee-Eater

Little Bea-Eater (Merops pusillus)
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

19. Black-winged Red Bishop
20. Hildebrandt’s Francolin

An amazing 7 day Safari with African Wildcats Expeditions Ltd, out of Arusha, Tanzania





Grey Crowned Crane

26 07 2016

In my opinion, this bird ranks right up there with "Lilac Breasted Roller" for incredibly sexy bird!  Did you know it is the National Bird of Uganda???  These pictures were taken in the Ngorongoro Caldera, Tanzania – May 30th.

1.

Grey Crowned Crane (Balaerica regulorum)
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

2. Chicks (over cropped a bit, but they’re SOOO cute!)

Perfect colour for protection
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

3. Family

Grey Crowned Crane (Balaerica regulorum) family
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

4. In flight

Grey Crowned Cranes in flight
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

5. Walking

Grey Crowned Crane (Balaerica regulorum)
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

6. Classic head shot

Grey Crowned Crane (Balaerica regulorum)
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

Hope you loved seeing this bird as much as I do!  More shots from that day at:
https://flic.kr/s/aHskF2rzU4





Safari Day 6–Birds of Ngorongoro

26 07 2016

Day 6 of our safari saw us down in the Ngorongoro Crater (actually Caldera).  It is 30x20km across and acts as a mini ecosystem all on its own as the steep walls minimize migration in and out of the Caldera.

We saw some more beautiful birds this day, both in the crater and at our lodge in the Ngorongoro highlands, nearby.

1. Black-Chested Snake Eagle

Black-chested Snake Eagle (Circaetus pectoralis)
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

2. Probably a few thousand Lesser Flamingos feeding in the Alkali lakes

Wildebeest walking past Lesser Flamingos
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

3. An Egyptian Goose that found a very interesting place to sleep.

Just resting – on a hippo!
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

4. A Capped Wheatear

Capped Wheatear (Oenanthe pileata)
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

5. Rosy Pelicans

Rosy Pelican (Pelecanus onocrotalus)
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

6. A whiskered Tern flitting in the marshes, eating bugs

Whiskered Tern (Chlidonias hybrida) in flight
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

7. Augur Buzzard

Augur Buzzard (Buteo augur)
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

We saw a bunch of other ones too, but I won’t clutter things up too much in this post. 

Check out the day’s pictures at: https://flic.kr/s/aHskF2rzU4





Day 5 of Safari–Birds

16 07 2016

Vultures, vultures, vultures!  That pretty much sums up day 5’s birds with a couple of "normal birds thrown in for good measure.

1. Coming right at us

Incoming!
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

2. The pecking order

Feathers, talons and fur!
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

3. Blood soaked

Blood Soaked
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

4. But we don’t WANT to share

Greedy
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

5. I hope these don’t deliver babies

Marabou Stork (Leptoptilos crumenifer)
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

6. Something more "Normal"

Northern White-Crowned Shrike (Eurocephalus ruepelli) by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

7. Possibly a Sooty Chat

Unknown black bird in Serengeti
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

There were also lots of Lions, Elephants, Giraffes, Leopard and Hyenas to round out the day!  Another great day on Safari!

For the full day, drop by the Flickr Album for Day 5: https://flic.kr/s/aHskEfuhdN





Birds of Tanzanian Safari–Day 4

10 07 2016

Day 4 of our Safari saw us heading up to the North Serengeti, Lobo area.  Not as many birds this time, but a few, nonetheless….

1) The morning started with a pair of Egyptian Geese singing and dancing

Egyptian Geese (Alopochen aegyptiacus)
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

2) Next to the geese was an apprentice Blacksmith Plover (juvenile)

Juvenile Blacksmith Plover (Vanellus armatus)
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

3) Rummaging nearby was a Black Crake

Black Crake (Amaurornis flavirostra)
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

4) Later, as the sun was higher, we saw what we figured to be a Juvenile Magpie Shrike

Magpie Shrike (Urolestes melanoleucus)
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

5) We even drove by a few bushes with these guys in them… Rattling Cisticola

Rattling cisticola (Cisticola chiniana)
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

6) We actually had a Helmeted Guineafowl not run madly away, into the bushes

Helmeted Guineafowl
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

7) Then we saw this guy – I know he’s not a bird, but MAN… he is so cool.  A flap-necked chameleon!

Flap-necked Chameleon (Chamaeleo dilepis)
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

On this day we saw amazingly close leopards, lions and cape buffalo.  We saw a cheetah on a fresh kill and a spotted hyena that looked like it had been through a war. 

These pics and others from the day can be found at the flickr album for the day at https://flic.kr/s/aHskCVmwpC

Thanks for taking the time to enjoy – that’s why I share!





Birds from Day 3 on Safari

30 06 2016

Day 3 had us driving all around the Seronera region of the Serengeti.  Another stunning array of wildlife and landscapes…

Birds from the day:

1. White-Backed Vulture in acacia

White Backed Vulture (Gyps africanus)
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

2. Super cute little Silverbird

Silverbird (Empidornis semipartitus)
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

3. Pygmy Falcon that I think KNEW we were shooting and posed for us

Pygmy Falcon (Polihierax semitorquatus)
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

4. White-Bellied Bustard (mis-heard from our guide as White-bellied bastard – good for a laugh in the vehicle!)

White-bellied Bustard (Eupodotis serengalensis)
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

5. Lilac-breasted roller (because you can’t have too many shots of these guys!)

Lilac-breasted Roller (Coracias caudatus)
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

6. White-browed coucal – looking a bit demonic

White-browed Coucal (Centropus superciliosus)
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

7. Tawny Eagle (light morph) hanging out with a Hooded Vulture

Tawny Eagle with Hooded Vulture
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

For more, you’ll have to check out the day’s photos at: https://flic.kr/s/aHskz8fQgo including a Tawny eagle making short work of a snake. :)





Birds of Day 2 on Safari

26 06 2016

The Second day of our Tanzanian Safari saw us travel from Tarangire National Park and up into the Serengeti. Sights were aplenty. Here are some of the birds from the day:

1) Yellow Billed Stork
Image
Yellow-billed Stork by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

2) Marabou Stork in flight
Image
Marabou Stork in-flight by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

3) Beautiful Sunbird with a mantis for lunch
Image
Beautiful Sunbird (Cinnyris pulchellus) by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

4) Baglafect Weaver
Image
Baglafect Weaver by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

5) Yellow-bellied Sunbird
Image
Yellow-bellied Sunbird by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

6) Superb Starling (great name for this one!)
Image
Superb! by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

7) Secretary Bird – LOVE these guys!
Image
Secretary Bird by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

8 Kori Bustard
Image
Kori Bustard – Big Bird! by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

There were also many INCREDIBLE non-bird sights too… Feel free to check out my Day 2 Album on Flickr at:https://flic.kr/s/aHskCHfWQQ

Thanks for taking the time to visit and check out the photos!





Birds of Tarangire National Park

19 06 2016

This was my second time visiting the Northern Parks of Tanzania. This time we went with African Wildcats Expeditions, based out of Arusha. I’m pretty sure I saw as many new species (to me) as I did during my FIRST visit in 2009!
Some of the birds from Tarangire National Park, Tanzania, that I saw on my Safari in May:

1. Red-billed Firefinch (what a cool name!)

Red-billed Firefinch (Lagonosticta senegala)
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

2. Lesser striped Swallow

Lesser Striped Swallow (Cecropis abyssinica)
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

3. Yellow-Collared Lovebird

Yellow-Collared Lovebird (Agapornis personatus)
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

4. Lilac-breasted Roller

Lilac-breasted Roller (Coracias caudatus)
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

5. African Jacana

African Jacana (Actophilornis africanus)
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

6. African Crake (I didn’t even know that there WAS such a bird as a "crake"!)

African Crake (Crex Egregia)
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

7. Water Thicknee (honestly – who comes up with these names? LOL)

Water Thicknee (Burhinus vermiculatus) by the river
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

8. African Fish Eagle

African Fish Eagle (Haliaeetus vocifer)
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

By my quick count of pics from that day, I have 20 species sighted in the first day… Not a bad day.  Not bad at all, considering it’s not a bird-specific outing.

For the whole set, you can can visit my "First Day of Safari album on Flickr" at https://flic.kr/s/aHskBQKhKA

Asante Sana!





Manning Park Birds

10 05 2016

I was up at Manning Park this past weekend with my Scouts. It was the warmest May weekend I’ve ever spent!  A few feathered friends made an appearance.

1. Female Brown-Headed Cowbird

Female Brown-headed cowbird (Molothrus ater)
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

2. Steller’s Jay (Our BC provincial bird!)

Steller’s jay (Cyanocitta stelleri)
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

3. Male Barrow’s Goldeneye

Male Barrow’s goldeneye (Bucephala islandica)
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

4. The Ubiquitous Grey Jay or Whiskey Jack

Grey jay (Perisoreus canadensis)
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

5. My personal favourite bird of the weekend – Audubon’s Warbler

Audubon’s warbler
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

There are also a bunch of landscape and a couple of starscape attempts in the album, if you’re interested: https://flic.kr/s/aHskwio3BV

Thanks for taking the time to enjoy!





Hummingbirds!

1 05 2016

I always love it when my hummingbirds come back. They first start appearing here around March, but in late April, early May, I have to add new food almost every few days.  They zip and zoom and argue about who’s “flower” it is. They are such fun to watch!  Today was the first day to get out and shoot the “dominant” male at my feeder.  He seems pretty relaxed around me, so I might get more good shots going forward.

Here are the first shots


Male Rufous Hummingbird (Selasphorus rufus)
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr


Male Rufous Hummingbird (Selasphorus rufus)
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr


Male Rufous Hummingbird (Selasphorus rufus)
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr


Male Rufous Hummingbird (Selasphorus rufus)
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr





A walk around Reifel Sanctuary on Sunday

17 11 2015

I went out on Sunday to see if I could find a few willing posers as the weatherman had predicted sun – a rarity in Southwestern BC winters. OT was cloudy and SUPER windy to start, but the sun finally came out around 10-11am. Turns out the birds decided to show up too :)

1) Golden-Crowned sparrow in winter plumage.
Image
Golden-crowned sparrow (Zonotrichia atricapilla) by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

2) A pair of Lesser Snow Geese in flight
Image
Lesser Snow Geese (Chen caerulescens), in Flight by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

3) Male Hooded Merganser
Image
Male Hooded Merganser (Lophodytes cucullatus) by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

4) You lookin’ at me?
Image
Sandhill Crane (Grus canadensis) by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

5) red-shafted Northern Flicker
Image
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus) by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

6) Enjoying a berry tasty meal
Image
Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum) by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

I hope you enjoy the pictures. The whole series can be found at:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/dragonspe … 0553152037





A morning down at Burnaby Lake

28 04 2015

Went down to Burnaby Lake Sunday morning and just missed the pair of cinnamon teals that were there. I did, however get a few shots of the usual suspects ;)

1. Brown-headed Cowbird
Image
Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater) by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

2. Cackling Goose
Image
Cackling Goose (Branta hutchinsii) by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

3. Mr Wood Duck givin’ me some sass.
Image
Male Wood Duck (Aix sponsa) by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

4. Glaucous-winged Gull
Image
Glaucous-winged gull (Larus glaucescens) by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

The set from today: https://www.flickr.com/photos/dragonspe … 2142465926

I hope you enjoy them!





Last day out shooting in 2014

7 01 2015

Last birds of 2014… I went out with a friend to shoot at Reifel and Boundary Bay.  Was not disappointed.  First time sightings of Bohemian Waxwings and a Golden Eagle!

1. Golden-Crowned Sparrow

Golden-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia atricapilla) by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

2. Icy Pintail Drake

Northern Pintail (Anas acuta) by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

3. Bohemian Waxwing

Bohemian waxwing (Bombycilla garrulus) by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

4. Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

5. Sandill Cranes in Flight

Sandhill Cranes (Grus Canadensis) flying by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

6. Cooper’s Hawk

Cooper’s hawk (Accipiter cooperii) by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

7. Golden Eagle out duck hunting

Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

The whole day’s photos can be found at:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/dragonspeed/sets/72157647722360013/

I hope you enjoy these photos and that you have a good year shooting in 2015!





Some Peruvian Birds

8 07 2014

2 weeks of travel in Peru – ranging from the coastal desert to the Andean Plateaus.
1.

Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus)
by DragonSpeed, on Flickr
2.
Red Legged Cormorant

Good Things in Threes?
by DragonSpeed, on Flickr
3. Guanay Cormorant

Guanay cormorant (Phalacrocorax bougainvillii)
by DragonSpeed, on Flickr
4. Like Condo space in Vancouver!

A bit crowded…
by DragonSpeed, on Flickr
5. Vermillion Flycatcher

Vermilion Flycatcher (Pyrocephalus rubinus)
by DragonSpeed, on Flickr
6. Titicaca Flightless Grebe

Titicaca flightless grebe (Rollandia microptera)
by DragonSpeed, on Flickr
7. Mountain Caracara

Mountain Caracara (Phalcoboenus megalopterus)
by DragonSpeed, on Flickr
The whole Peru trip can be found at:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/dragonspeed/sets/72157645563327534/ Including a whole lot of NON bird photos :)





Peru! June 2014

8 07 2014

I got back last week from 16 days in Peru.  We arranged a private tour with a Tour Company in Lima.  It was a very busy, but very fun whirlwind trip and we didn’t even see the Coffee and Cacao growing North or the Jungles of the Amazon to the East…
We went to Lima, Arequipa, Colca Canyon, Lake Titicaca, Cuzco, the Sacred Valley of the Incas, Ollantaytambo, Machu Picchu, Paracas, the Nazca Lines and even walked across a hand made grass suspension bridge.  We took thousands of photos but managed to trim it down to the top 500 or so :)

The whole shebang is here:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/dragonspeed/sets/72157645563327534/

If you’d like to see it day-by-day, check out:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/dragonspeed/collections/72157645075556187/

First – what everyone thinks of when they think of Peru:

Classic Machu Picchu
by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

The volcano Misti from Arequipa:

Monastery Bell Tower at twilight
by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

Vicuna!  The most expensive wool known to man.

Sometimes you get lucky!
by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

Andean Dust Devils and an active Volcano!

Andean Dust Devils
by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

Soaring at our eye level at the Colca Canyon!

Andean condor (Vultur gryphus) in flight
by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

The pageantry of Inti Raymi

Inti Raymi – 2014
by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

The Grass Bridge at Q’eswachaka

The Inca grass suspension bridge at Q’eswachaka
by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

The Nazca Lines

The Hummingbird
by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

The desert of Paracas

Peruvian Sand Dune
by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

The Sea life of Islas Ballestas

A bit crowded…
by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

All in all, a great trip!  I hope you enjoy this little taste.





Spring has sprung in Vancouver!

2 05 2014

Yesterday was a spectacular day around Vancouver.  I took the day off to walk around our wetlands and see what I could find.  It was a bonanza of small birds!

1) Tons of Marsh Wrens… building and singing!

Marsh Wren (Cistothorus palustris)

by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

Marsh Wren (Cistothorus palustris)
by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

2. The tree swallows were busy nesting and trying to protect their nests from the European sparrows

Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor) by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor)
by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

3. Finally caught a hummingbird at a flower (Anna’s?)

Female Hummingbird feeding
by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

4. Short billed Dowitchers

Short-billed Dowitcher (Limnodromus griseus)
by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

5. Always cute – goslings

It’s HARD staying awake for more than 15 minutes!
by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

6. Last – and most bizarre – Some strange sort of mating ritual of wood ducks….

Strange Wood Duck mating rituals
by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

The whole set from the day – there were sooo many lovely birds – can be found at:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/dragonspeed/sets/72157644067721768

Welcome spring!!!





Some Texas Birds

21 04 2014

I was down in Houston for 2 weeks for work, so I took one of the weekend days off to get out and see what I could find.  I was pleasantly surprised.
1. Roseate Spoonbill

Roseate Spoonbill (Platalea ajaja) by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

2. Black-necked Stilt

Black-necked Stilt (Himantopus mexicanus) by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

3. The always fun sanderlings!

Sanderling (Calidris alba) by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

4. A lovely laughing gull

Laughing Gull (Leucophaeus atricilla) in flight by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

5. A patiently posing killdeer

Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus) by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

6. A white Ibis in First Summer plumage

American White Ibis (Eudocimus albus) – First summer plumage by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

There are others too… feel free to check them out at:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/dragonspeed/sets/72157644111734232/





Finally–the elusive Hooded Mergansers!

4 02 2014

Others too, but the Hoodie was my takeaway victory of the day.  These guys have always stayed at the OTHER end of ponds from where I am shooting until this most recent time.
Here are the shots from the day.

1. Mr. Hooded Merganser

Mr Hooded Merganser (Lophodytes cucullatus) by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

2. Mrs Hooded Merganser

Mrs Hooded Merganser (Lophodytes cucullatus) by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

3. Headless Heron

Headless Heron (Ardea herodias) by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

4. Black-Crowned Night Heron… AWAKE!

Black-crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

5. Juvenile Bald Eagle

Juvenile Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

6. GBH in flight – evening light just starting to kick in.

Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) in flight by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

I hope you enjoyed them.  Others at:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/dragonspeed/sets/72157640478024716/





2013 In Photos

1 01 2014

I took a bit of time and made a "2013 in Review"

The Year 2013 in Photos by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

If you click the link, you can see the larger size.








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