Month: January 2011
Bert or Ethel?
Tomorrow should be good for light.
I went out to the beach for the afternoon and while I was riding out and saw either Bert or Ethel on top of Strawberry Island. I like this angle and have been shooting it for many years. It really projects the eagles against a fantastic wallpaper!
I love this backdrop and cannot use it enough!
Those mountains are at least 20 miles away in Strathcona Park!
The board they use is large and they also use a long paddle. Kind of like stand up canoeing ,but the canoe has been flattened!
She was cutting across the front and getting a face full of surf!
I’ve found that when people are intensely into their own personal zone,they are always smiling!
It’s not for anybody else to see but simply an expression of how they feel!
Feeling the energy of Nature is a very powerful force and affects everybody in the same way!
Each person has a unique way of expressing themselves!
One, every time the Lighthouse tower flashed. It’s roughly 11 secs or so.
I’ve never been able to even use it properly ! We all have our own talents!
Frank and Frieda
Frank was wiping his beak off. They always clean themselves up after eating.
A Eagles nest has it’s own eco-system.
They even have grass growing around the edge! All of that food they bring up produces it’s own soil after a few years of constant use. Kind of like having your own compost built into your nest. They throw bones,feathers etc over the edge ,but not all of it gets ejected. I’ve heard of nests weighting several tons! I’ve seen one that had to be 12 feet across and 3 feet deep!
They all eventually come down and the rebuilding starts again!
Waves are constantly hitting this point and the explosions can be very large!
You can also see “Long Beach Lodge Resort” in the background.
Many people run on the beach. They drive their cars to the beach and than go for a run. They would get more exercise if they rode a bike there and then go for a run,but thats just me. I’m biasis because I get around by using my bike.
Tofino is such a small town that a bike is perfect to get around on. We have a great bike path too, but almost everyone uses their cars.
Juliette Comes In
I figured 10% of something is better than 100% of nothing!
In other words,acouple of hours out in the boat was worth alot to me. I love getting out and if I do not get out,I soon become ” a grumpy camper”!
I missed the shots after she hit.
You can see how the muted light makes their feathers much less than what they could be!
Light is all it’s about really!
If I had shot this in golden light,you would see and feel a huge difference! The intensity is ratcheted up a few notches!
I went over to Morpheus Island to see if Moe or Maggie were around. I scoped out all their favorite perch spots and couldn’t see them. I decided to leave and was getting up onto a plane when I saw Moe coming in from the mudflats to the north.
I spooked this Heron when I arrived and panned a few shots as it went by.
Maggie Comes In
Unknown Boat,Ahoushat Pride and Coast Guard
The older style boat in the foreground had no name on it. The large aluminum boat is called the “Ahoushat Pride” and the Orange Zodiac is the Coast Guard coming back into the harbour.
The Ahoushat Pride was heading north to Ahoushat. I always watch out for this boat. It moves fast and produces a large wake. I’m in a 10 foot boat and have to be careful with large waves. I usually just stop and allow the wake to pass.
The Happy Couple
I found not one,not two,but three video cameras concentrating on these two surfers. They must be good to get their own video crew! I zoomed in on the guys and did not recognize them,but that doesn’t mean much.I know very few surfing faces anyways!
I went out to the beach today and dragged the camera along just for something to do. The light was terrible! I normally do not bother when the light is like this. But even I get bored!
The Comings and Goings of Frank
I tend to always shoot from the same angle.
The “Wishing Star” in a Northwester
The wind was screaming in from the northwest!
The rear end of that Frontal system went over Tofino around noon and there is always a strong wind when that happens.
The clouds broke as well and I decided to go out to the beach,cause there was no way I was going out in the boat with that Northwest wind coming straight at me where I put my boat in!
Mind you ,it was only the harbour that was capping. Up in Lemmens Inlet and Browning Pass it was calm. Meares was producing a wind shadow(Lee) .
I took one shot of the harbour with the “Wishing Star” anchored. You cannot appreciate the capping that was going on,but it was what I would call “poor canoeing weather”!
I continued on out to Chestermans beach to see what was happening. I found a kite surfer and even stronger wind!
The access to Frank Island was still covered by the retreating tide. I shot this Kite Surfer for a hour or so and waited until I could walk across. I was still chancing it!
If a wave surge came in from either side of the access corridor,I’d get soaked, and I do not like to getting soaked!
Catching a Wave
Two More Brave Souls
I did get over to Frank Island and had the entire Island to myself for half a hour or so. These two people saw me and had rubber boots like me. I always wear my rubber boots. It’s very common to see me riding my bike with my rubber boots on.
They made it over as well without getting a soaker!
You can see the Kite Surfer in the background.
I got up onto a high spot in order to get a better perspective.
Lighthouse Wave Crash
Frank’s on the Hunt
He hovered for acouple of minutes and than had to go back to his perch. They cannot stay aloft very long.
Osprey can stay aloft hunting the beach line for a hour! They are the long distance runners and the eagle is more a sprinter. A really big sprinter!
He obviously saw a fish and was waiting for it to come near the surface again so he could swoop down and make a hit!
He didn’t get a opportunity. He flew back to the nest tree where I saw his mate also waiting in the wind shadow of the trees.
Amazing how he could see a small fish over 500 meters away in choppy water! The term “Eagle Eye” comes from well proven reasons!
Wave Crash,Light Flash
The Wishing Star
This Sailing boat has been in the harbour for a week or so. It’s name is “Wishing Star”.
I “wished” they would of anchored a few hundred meters to the east. I could of shot them with Strathconas mountains in behind!
The clouds broke and the light poured in! I made a dash for the boat. I got out alittle later than what I would normally do,but it still was all good.
I was spending time mostly with my fine feathered friends today. They were the only ones that were active.
The moon came out,but it was too late! Meares Island blocked the view from the harbour and it took over a hour to be able to see it. By that time the exposure was all wrong……but I did it anyways! I do not get to shoot the moon very much,so I always make a effort if I can.
Eagles have a unusual way of coming in!
If they are going too fast when they start to swoop in (and they always are) they will put the brakes on. Thats what he is doing when you see him flaring back his wings and he looks like he is almost standing up! They decrease the amount of air going over their wings and thus reduce their speed! At this moment their tail feathers are fine tuning their glide slope.
They do not want to be too fast. If they are,they may miss the fish!
I’ve seen that happen many times. When that happens, they turn very quickly and hit a second time while the fish is still helpless from the first impact.
A eagle will hit a fish hard on purpose so as to stun it! If they miss,they can afford a second run. I’ve seen a eagle’s mate come in for the second strike and get the fish. Sort of like Tag Teaming!
That eagle will fly off to a eating perch and will have it’s fill. It will than leave the fish there and it’s mate(who is close by) will come in for it’s share. They cooperate.
Lots to learn from these guys?
She likes to swing far out and than down immediately! She’s the faster of the two I think?
She showed off even more by turning her belly to me after the hit!
I started tracking him as he was coming up to perch. They use their wings and tail to flair and adjust their speed.
It kind of is like you on a bike. When you go down a hill and you speed up, and than when you start going back up the hill on the other side and you slow down. The eagle is doing the same thing.
They are using their inertia to bring them up gently to the perch spot. Just a few adjustments of the wing/tail , and they touch down softly.
This is the trickiest skill the Immature’s have trouble with I think.
I got lucky and was in the right spot to be able to shoot him as he was perching with his mate looking on from the background!
Classic Vampire Pose
If you haven’t read any of my early stuff,a Vampire pose very simply put is when they pull their wings far forward in one large powerful stroke . It covers their face normally.It looks like a Vampire pulling their robe up over their face. Except in this shot,I’m alittle forward of him and you can see the face inside that first powerful wing stroke!
Junior is Home as Well
I’ve found that if they are hungry,they do not tolerate any of their young very well.
Braking and Turning
They sometimes do this maneuver if they miss a hit!
That is,”in the spot where I saw him” I have never seen him before in this spot! Eagles have a territory they protect 24/7 and the only personnel allowed into that area are authorized personnel only! All other eagles are strictly Verboten from entering into said territory!
This Immature is about 2-3 years old. I use their tail feathers as a ruler for guessing their age. The older they get when they are immature,the more white the feathers will become. The end of the feather will have the last bit of brown on it when they are 4 to 5 years old!
It took off shortly after taking the first shot and flew over to Morpheus Island.