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:

Some Time at Burnaby Lake

15 04 2013

I went down for an hour to Burnaby Lake to see what I could see.  I was rewarded with a nice sunny time and a few lovely subjects:

1. The classic Wood Duck

Male  Wood Duck  (Aix sponsa) by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

2. Green Winged Teal

Male  Green-winged Teal (Anas carolinensis) by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

3. Greater White-Fronted Goose

Greater White-fronted Goose (Anser albifrons) by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

4. Red-Winged Blackbird

Male Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

5. Mrs Lesser Scaup

Female Lesser Scaup (Aythya affinis) by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

6. Mr. Lesser Scaup

Male Lesser Scaup (Aythya affinis) by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

More from the day at:


Some wetland birds from Sunday

25 03 2013

It was supposed to be sunny yesterday.. I hate the weatherman.

Here’s what I could get, given the lighting and conditions of the day:

1. Male Wood duck – always a fave of mine

Male Wood Duck (Aix sponsa) by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

2. The ever present male Mallard

Male Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

3. The diminutive Green-Winged Teal

Male Green-winged Teal (Anas carolinensis) by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

4. Male Common Goldeneye

Male Common Goldeneye (Bucephala clangula) by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

5. Male Ring-necked duck.

Male Ring-necked Duck (Aythya collaris) by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

6. Fox sparrow to round out the set.

Fox Sparrow (Passerella iliaca) by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

There are more at:

Hope you enjoy them!

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.

Burnaby Lake Birds

6 01 2011

Some Burnaby Lake Birds.  The ice around all the local lakes and even on Burnaby Lake forced the usually shy birds to come in much closer.  The mergansers have NEVER been so close.  Monday was a good day to shoot.  (It also was probably our last sunny day until late May Sad )

For those of you following along at home, if you know the ID of the two sparrows, please chime in.

1) Unknown Sparrow (Fox?) – These guys will pose for peanuts Wink

Sparrow (ID?) by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

2) Another Sparrow (?)

Sparrow (ID?) by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

3) I’m a crow – REALLY!

I’m a crow.  REALLY. by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

4) Male Green-Winged Teal

Green-winged Teal by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

5) Male Wood Duck

Male Wood Duck by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

6) Dragon Boats

Dragon Boats by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

7) Female Common Merganser

Steady on… by DragonSpeed, on Flickr


5 01 2011

These pretty little ducks are ever so elusive.  They generally seem to want nothing to do with people.  They have enough ocean that they don’t normally have to hang out with us.

Thankfully for me, their local haunts were pretty frozen the past few days.  This meant that they were nice and close at Burnaby Lake on the 3rd.

Some highlights of these fun little ducks:

Some Buffleheads from Burnaby Lake on Monday.  Since Reifel was all iced up and most of Burnaby Lake was too, that left only a small area where they could hang out.  GREAT for photo ops!

1) Buzzing the flight deck:

Buzz the flight deck! by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

2) Look out… I don’t know if I can get enough clearance!

Look out!!! by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

3) Too much Christmas dinner?

Bufflehead in Flight by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

4) Getting up to speed

Bufflehead in Flight by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

5) Whadda ya mean – FLY???

Too much Christmas Dinner? by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

6) Cruisin’

Male Bufflehead by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

7) Shy Mrs Bufflehead

Female Bufflehead – finally close enough by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

I hope you like ’em.  They were an interesting challenge to shoot!

May 30, 2010 Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic

1 06 2010

We had talked about getting up to see the sunrise on the tower.  Since sunrise is at 0406, I figured we could get away with getting out the door by 0430 to shoot.  Francis and Maggie joined me in my early morning venture.  As we walked out the front door we were disappointed to find the sky heavy with clouds.  There would be no sunrise shoot :(  We decided to wander the streets and alleys a bit to see what we could shoot. I was amazed at the large number of partiers coming HOME at that time.

We called it a shoot at 0530 and I fell quickly back into a deep and blissful slumber…  to be disturbed by Mrs D poking me at 0730… “Get up for breakfast”

We enjoyed ground poppy seed paste on little danishes and an assortment of fruit, cheese, meat and eggs.  I tried the eggs and I swear to God that they were powdered.  Yeach!  I had a nice yogurt and some OJ to round out my breakfast.  I then headed up to my room to ensure that my photos were transferring while waiting for the others to finish their breakfasts.

Today we headed up to the castle.  It wasn’t too bad a walk.  In the “moat” around the castle, there are 3 bears.  It looks like 1 black and 2 grizzly bears.  Apparently a tradition for the last 300-400 years We paid our entrance and climbed the winding staircase to the top of the castle tower.  The view was wonderful.  Cesky Krumlov sat below us like some small medieval train set laid out below with its red clay roof tiles.  Picture postcard perfect.  Of course, I took LOTS of pictures 😉

After enjoying the tower we descended to the castle proper to see what we could see.  When we got to the ticket booth we were informed that castle admission is only available as part of a tour.  No unattended visitors.  This was different than what Maggie had remembered last time but it’s not like we had any choice.  We forked over our money and waited for the tour.   While waiting, I met a group of professors from Atlanta that were on a tour of the Czech Republic and area. It was interesting to see them actually taking NOTES during the tour.   Our tour guide was quite nice although her accent and mannerism in her English reminded me of a stereotypical “Russian communist guard” from the old days.  “You Vill see to the riiight……”  It was quite the intimidating voice despite her charming smile.  The accent made it a bit hard to hear in the cavernous walls of the castle as she led us from room to room.  There were no photos allowed.  That sucked as there were some beautiful works hanging on the walls as well as in the rooms.  I’m not sure how they manage to preserve the items in the castle as there appeared to be no climate control at all.  There were no lights in most rooms and natural light was your source for seeing as you went through the tour.  It really gave you a feeling of how the rulers lived.

After our castle tour was complete we headed up in the now heavier rain to the castle gardens.  I’m sure in July they will be beautiful, but today the plants were quite small and the colder weather certainly didn’t coax them to grow any faster.  As we made our way from the gardens to the castle pond we encountered a “theatre under the stars”.  The seating was on a revolving amphitheatre and it appears that the different acts of the play would be played out in the fields using natural props.  As each scene changed, the amphitheatre simply rotated to the next point.  Interesting.  would have been neat to watch a play there.

The castle pond was great for me… I found a new duck species – a tufted duck!  I’ll post it later in my pictures. 

We wandered back down through town and ate lunch at 1400 after which Francis and I decided that a nap would be wise thing.  I  was practically falling asleep on my feet.  We agreed to meet the women at the bridge near our hotel at 1730.

I woke in a panic at 1725 and was just getting my wits about me as Francis knocked on the door.  “Coming!!” I said, as I quickly got ready and headed out.  We ended up being a bit late but Mrs D and Cathy had settled in to some hot chocolate so weren’t that picky about the fact that we weren’t quite on time.

We all wandered down to the riverside to walk along the river while watching the sun set on the town.  Some very interesting photos were available with the sun setting against some dark cloud backgrounds.  We had a good time playing with off camera flash and a bit of posing.

The walk brought us around in time to make it to our destination for dinner.  An old medieval tavern.  It really was the same as it had been in the 16th century.  Dark, low rocky ceilings with various weaponry adorning the walls.  The atmosphere was perfect and I could easily imagine coming in from working for the prince to have some good pork and cup of mead to satisfy your belly.

Coincidently, that’s what I had :)  We had pork knee, bratwurst, pike, onion soup and garlic soup – both served in bread bowls.  I drank a cup of hot mead. Most excellent!  I don’t think I can explain it other than it warmed me with it’s aroma flavour and alcohol content.  Wonderful drink for a cold wet day.

We finished around 2115 and were back to our hotel by 2130.  That gave me some time to upload photos and update the blog.  (which is getting further and further behind 😦 )

We went out at 2200 to try some night shots of the tower from a different angle than last night with varying degress of success.

When I got back.. it was photo update time until 0100.

Finally Sleep.

Widgeons and Pintails

24 11 2009

With all the Northern ducks coming back in from Saskatchewan and Alberta an outing to the Reifel Bird Sanctuary in Delta BC can be quite fun now if the weather holds!

Mr Pintail:





American Widgeons:

1. Mr Widgeon

2. Mr. Widgeon

3. Mr. Widgeon

4. Mrs Widgeon

A Cornucopia of Birds!

16 12 2008

With apologies to those with a slow internet connection……

It was cold, sunny weather this past weekend (Note – cold in Vancouver is denoted by below +2C).  I had some great opportunities to go out and shoot some birds.  Down at Burnaby Lake on Saturday morning and then back at the house for the rest of the weekend…

I’m going to break down the birds into a post per species to make it a bit easier 🙂

Downy Woodpecker
Spotted Towhee
Red Breasted Nuthatch
Oregon Juncos
Pine Siskins
Various Ducks
Green Winged Teals
Various Birds

Enjoy them!  It was fun getting out and shooting!

Green Winged Teals

16 12 2008

A few Green Winged Teals from Burnaby Lake
Shot with the Canon 50D 100-400mm @ 400mm mostly.  EXIF is available on the full size (click on the one you see here to get that)

greenwinged teal Burnaby BC Canada

green winged teal Burnaby BC Canada

green winged teal Burnaby BC Canada

Various Ducks

16 12 2008

Down at Burnaby Lake – the ducks and birds were a plenty on Saturday morning.
Shot with the Canon 50D 100-400mm @ 400mm mostly.  EXIF is available on the full size (click on the one you see here to get that)

1. Male Wood Duck
Woodduck Burnaby BC Canada

2. Female Wood Duck
Woodduck Burnaby BC Canada

3. Male Mallard – coming in for a landing
Mallard duck Burnaby BC Canada

4. The multitudes – enjoying the sun.
Ducks lake Burnaby BC Canada

5. Duck Bums
ducks lake Burnaby BC Canada

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