Victoria Day weekend – camping at Manning park – birds and animals.

22 05 2012
Red-breasted Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus ruber)Barrow's Goldeneye (Bucephala islandica)Gray Jay (Perisoreus canadensis)Clark's Nutcracker (Nucifraga columbiana)Mount Frosty, E.C. Manning Provinical ParkTownsend's Warbler (Dendroica townsendi)
Columbian ground squirrel (Urocitellus columbianus)American black bear (Ursus americanus)Female Barrow's Goldeneye (Bucephala islandica)

2012-05-24-Manning, a set on Flickr.

A quick smattering of pictures from camping this past weekend in Manning Park. We actually got to WATCH ice-off. There was only about a 10 foot stretch of visible water when we got there, and by the time we left most of lone duck bay was ice free.

Winter Camping at Manning Park with the 40th Marpole Scouts

31 01 2012

Camp Scouts Winter Manning Park Marpole

The Scout section was out camping at Manning Park last weekend.   (pictures: )


We arrived on Friday to find 50 Army Cadets and all their associated leaders busy moving into Lone Duck 2 (with all the gear that the military brings with them) and 3 Scout groups already settled into Lone Duck 1.  The parking lot was like Highway 1 at rush hour… you couldn’t move anywhere!


We unloaded and chose the area we were going to camp….  The meadow area was undisturbed, except for a little detail.  There were about 4-5 feet of snow on the ground!   We dug and dug and dug, until around midnight we were all finally in our tents, cozy, with the outside world at about -8C.


Saturday morning was chilly and a light snow kept falling.


By late Saturday afternoon, the weather had warmed up and it was now rain.  Yeach.  We persevered, and all the Scouts did a great job at handling the weather.  It was tough.  Dinner was a welcome, warm addition. 


We spent a bit of the evening in the shelter talking to some of the other scouts, but then called it a night at 2100 – we were all bagged. 


It rained A LOT on Saturday night, with some real winds whipping it around all night long.  By Sunday morning, all the snow was gone from the trees.  We had a good breakfast, a scout’s own and due to the logistical problem of our planned departure time (the cadets had two buses that were going to be in the parking lot at noon!) we opted to load up and get out of dodge without having lunch.   A wise decision. 


All in all, I’m really glad we didn’t go the weekend before – the dangerous roads just were too much, although  I WOULD have liked it if it had been a bit colder and stayed SNOWY the whole weekend while we were at camp.  C’est la vie, I suppose!



Rufous Hummingbird – A Study

13 06 2011

Yesterday afternoon was a great day for watching my backyard birds. I sat and watched the hummers zip in and out and the adult male chasing off pretenders to his throne… A few shots from the afternoon’s watching:

Comments and Critique welcome!

1. Female/Juvi close-up:

Study of Hummingbirds #6 by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

2. Female/Juvi at the feeder:

Study of Hummingbirds #5 by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

3. Male in flight:

Study of Hummingbirds #4 by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

4. Male in flight:

Study of Hummingbirds #3 by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

5. Male in flight:

Study of Hummingbirds #2 by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

6. Male in flight (giving me the business end!):

Study of Hummingbirds #1 by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

Steller’s Jay – A study

13 06 2011
3 hours of sitting still paid off. The Steller’s Jays are starting to almost come closer than MFD… Still working on feeding by hand… They aren’t THAT comfortable with me yet.

Comments and Critique welcome.


Steller’s Jay by DragonSpeed, on Flickr


Steller’s Jay by DragonSpeed, on Flickr


Steller’s Jay by DragonSpeed, on Flickr


Steller’s Jay by DragonSpeed, on Flickr


Steller’s Jay by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

Three from the Backyard

13 06 2011
Three from sitting around on my balcony yesterday:

Comments welcome – Don’t be shy!

1. Pine Siskin

Pine Siskin by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

2. Female Black Headed Grosbeak

Female Black Headed Grosbeak by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

3. Mr Downy Woodpecker

Mr Downy Woodpecker by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

Went for another walk around Reifel yesterday

31 12 2010

As you can tell, the Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary is quickly becoming one of my favourite places to go spend 4-6 hours wandering around with a lens :)  Yesterday I went out with Mrs Dragonspeed.  She used the 100-400 most of the time while I shot with the 70-200 + 2X converter.  That  being said, I even slapped the 2X onto the 100-400 to get a couple of the shots below (1 and 5) for 800mm of manual focusing goodness on the 7D

It was forecast to be clear, and for a change the weather man was right! It was a cool clear, crisp day. It made for some good shooting. Here are a few from the walk.

1. A RARE visitor to Southwest BC – Northern Hawk Owl
Northern Hawk Owl by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

2. Always a treat to see the Bald Eagles soaring
In Flight by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

3. Even the Juveniles!
Working the new wings by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

4. You can really see why they are called "RED Tailed Hawks"
Looking for Lunch by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

5. Rodent’s nightmare
Rodent’s Nightmare by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

6. I’ll leave you with this happy thought…
Happy New Year by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

Mink vs Mallard

26 10 2010


You don’t get to come across this many days!!

I know it’s old (I took these back in July) but it has taken me a while to figure out a way to best present these..  I was walking along the boardwalk down at Piper spit on Burnaby Lake when I suddenly heard a sound below… I looked down and thought… Oh… that poor duck.  The mink got her.  Then my photographer’s instinct kicked in.  Below are some composites of the whole event…

It looked like a mink had taken a female mallard by surprise…  She was lifeless and limp.  He had captured himself one heck of a meal!
Mink vs Mallard Part I

Suddenly in a whirl and splash the mallard kicked to life.  She dove under water and the mink went down with her.  Then, briefly the mink opened its mouth to breathe.  The moment she had been waiting for!!! She dove under one more time and pushed hard to escape!
Mink vs Mallard Part II

In the end, she escaped – definitely wiser and and a bit ruffled.  The mink swam off under the boardwalk to wait in ambush of a better target.
Mink vs Mallard part III
I’m not so sure about the happily ever after – particularly on the Mink’s part.

It was quite am amazing sight. I was pretty thrilled that I got some decent shots of the whole episode!

West Coast Vancouver Island Birds

18 08 2010

I was out in Ucluelet for 3 days last weekend.  We stayed at the Black Rock Resort – More on that later… What a great place!

Our room looked right out onto “Big Beach” and this gave me a great opportunity to go down and crawl in the seaweed to find a few sandpipers

Spotted Sandpiper:
Sandpiper BC Canada Birds

Least Sandpiper:
Sandpiper Ucluelet BC Canada Birds

We also explored a bit up island and ended up at a place the locals call “The Blowhole”.  While the blow hole didn’t really put much effort out for us, we did see some eagles (unfortunately the evening sun was BEHIND them).  I scrambled like a mad a fool and managed to get on the sunny side of a pair of Black Oystercatchers. They are a funny looking bird and the beak seems out of proportion to the rest of the bird.  Perhaps because it’s bright red.  Here’s one:
Oystercatcher Birds Ucluelet BC Canada

We also drove up to Tofino and checked out Long Beach with the hope of finding more shorebirds.  The weather fogged in badly, but I did get this shot of a juvenile gull (species anyone?):
Gull Tofino BC Canada

It turned out to be a pretty good bird photo opportunity weekend.   We had a great time and look forward to heading back again whenever we can get the time. 

Thanks Ukee!

Moonset over the Mountains

13 08 2010

Last night’s planetary alignment was a bust for me, the haze in our air making it impossible to see anything other than Venus  and the moon.  So…  The moon it was:

moon crescent sunset vancouver bc Canada

moon crescent sunset vancouver bc Canada

The colours are natural!  No colour specific PP was done to these photos.


6 05 2010

I seem to have been too busy living life to write about it.  Good?  Kind of.

Well, here’s the good news for the semi-regular readers of my random postings of pictures and blurbs…

There’s another trip coming up soon, and I WILL be blogging as we travel.  (Not like my disastrous attempt at blogging while in Africa)

In the meantime – our latest visitors to our backyard are hummingbirds. Cheap food and easy feeder.  Love it!

Here’s Mrs Hummingbird – it’s the best I’ve managed to hit so far… I’m sure I’ll get better as the summer progresses.

hummingbird birds Burnaby BC Canada

Shot with the Canon 7D at 400mm F/5.6 1/800s ISO 1250

Wood Duck Portrait Session

12 04 2010

I managed to book Mr and Mrs Wood Duck in for some portraits yesterday:

Mrs Wood duck was in her Saturday best. It was a bit windy, but she posted like a champ

She preferred this shot… showing off the irridescent highlights in her hair.

Mr Wood duck wanted the "Tough Guy" shot":

The classic shots however were what Mrs Duck said he should stick with:

A full bust shot

The two of them even went for the artistic couple’s shot:

While I think they liked the pictures, they mentioned something about "bills" and not paying, so I think I’ll have to chalk the whole session up to a learning experience 😉

This is funny….

6 04 2010

Water usage in Edmonton during the Olympic Gold Medal Hockey Game…

Green winged Teals

31 03 2010

I went down to Burnaby Lake on Saturday to see what was out. It was a bit cool and windy so it kept the crowds down a bit. I was trying some “at duck level” shots.  Here’s my go at the male Green Winged Teal:

Shot with the Canon 7D, 100-400mm lens.

birds ducks greenwinged teal Burnaby BC Canada

birds ducks greenwinged teal Burnaby BC Canada

birds ducks greenwinged teal Burnaby BC Canada

birds ducks greenwinged teal Burnaby BC Canada

birds ducks greenwinged teal Burnaby BC Canada

A couple more pics from Vancouver 2010

26 02 2010

Elvis (this guy is great… him and the copper cowgirl):

and the Cauldron with all 5 flames:

I’m sure gonna miss the fun when the show leaves town.

Vancouver 2010 – Welcome World

23 02 2010

I finally got downtown on Sunday – what a SPECTACULAR day!  Here are a few of my shots:

The cauldron:

Winter Games and Cherry Blossoms – LOVE it!

Giant building-side Quatchi:

Quatchi with the rest … HUGE ADS!

Olympic 2010 logo on the countdown clock:

Gold! Gold! Gold!!!!!

14 02 2010

Alexandre Bilodeau wins Gold for Canada in the Men’s Moguls!!!!


Canada finally wins Gold at a games that we host!!!! 


Go Canada!!!!!!!

Camping at Manning Park with the Scouts

1 02 2010

I haven’t posted about our Scout camp at Manning Park for a couple of reasons.  Unfortunately I still can’t really post about all the fun we had that weekend. Hopefully that will soon come to an end and you’ll get to hear all the interesting times that we had while there.  In the mean time, I have a few pictures from our camp.  There are many others, but you know you me – I’m going to start with the Birds 🙂

1) Sitting in the tree – considering coming down

2) Moments later this guy would be down eating from a hand.

3) Is a bird in the hand really worth two in the bush?

4) Looking for food

5) Escaping with the goods

6) Not everyone was so happy with them landing 😉

7) One of our Venturers posing with a new found friend

I’ll have some pictures of actual camp life up later, but the birds are always high on my list. I hope you enjoyed them!

New Year’s Bell Ringing

20 01 2010

I helped the Vancouver Buddhist temple with their ceremony this past New Year.

Buddhist belief has it that one rings a bell 108 times at midnight on New Year’s to ring away the 108 bonno (Earthly Desires) that shackle mankind and keep one from reaching inner peace. In a strict ceremony, the bell will be struck exactly 108 times in keeping with the Buddhist belief that each reverberation symbolically represents the purging of the 108 bonno or mortal desires, such as greed, jealousy and infidelity, that bedevil humankind.  In this one, all comers may approach and ring the bell to help cleanse themselves on their path to Nirvana.

The event started with a small ceremony at the Temple and then we headed over to the asian studies building at UBC.  We set up at 2315 and there was already a line forming.  The crowd totalled easily over 100 if not 200 people.  The rain started off intermittent but as we came up to the midnight hour the rain cleared.  The many people rang the bell well into the New Year, finishing around 0030.  We wrapped it all up and got back to Uncle Dave’s place by 0130 for some New Year’s cheer on our own.  It was definitely an interesting event.

The whole album can be found at:

1) The Main Shrine at the VBT:

2)  The Bell before the ceremony start (at the Asian Studies building – UBC):

3) The Bell – long exposure w/ flash burst

4) All Ages rang the bell!

5.) VBT Sensei Welcoming Bell Ringing Visitors

6) Taiko Drummer

Canada West Judo Tournament – 2009

31 12 2009

Our club, the Burnaby Judo Club hosted the Canada West Invitational Judo Tournament on December 5, 2009.  We had a great range of competitors come from across Canada and the US.  It was a long day but all involved had fun. There was some good judo to be seen.  Everyone agreed that it went really smoothly!

The photos were taken with a Canon 7D and for the most part the 70-200 F/2.8 lens.  Some were taken with the 17-55 F/2.8 lens.  Almost all were taken at ISO 6400

The photo gallery can be seen at my web gallery.

Here are a few highlight shots:

More Birds from Reifel

16 12 2009

Some sandhills and snow Geese from Reifel again…








Things are much wetter now, so the photo ops are going to be fewer and farther between.  Enjoy these!

%d bloggers like this: