20130126-IMG_411220130126-IMG_4120The clouds parted today & I didn’t need to be told twice! I headed out to see what I could see?
Came across this Heron in the harbour. It was drying it’s wings in the winters sun.
I headed east & ran into K19’s gang in that shallow bay just past Tsapee Narrows! They really seem to like this spot! The tide was high so I ventured into the bay to get some closer shots. As per normal,they took to the air long before I could get anything half decent! I looked around on the land for feathers & found a few!
Continued on down Tofino Inlet. With the tide being high,I decided to go into Tranquil. I haven’t been able to get into there the last few times because of ice! I was curious to see if the Trumpeters were down there?
Sure enough they were & I counted 6 in total. Searched for more feathers. The ground had many shallow holes all over the place! I assume the bears were digging for something but for the life of me I can’t figure out what?
While I was there a adolescent Trumpeter came swimming down the creek! It wasn’t aware that I was there? I grabbed my camera & used a large log as cover to approach. These guys are very hard to get close to,so I made the best of it!
Had my lunch of hot soup down in Tranquil in the middle of a light rain.
Headed over to Cannery to check on the Lions. Yes there were a few on the float but I suspect they will be all gone in a week or so? Their numbers this year have been low. The ebb & flow of these boys is controlled by forces unseen!
It was more or less a hit & run with them today. Some clouds had moved in,so the light was poor to begin with,so I couldn’t get too excited!
Headed back to town for sunset. I didn’t stop at Tsapee Narrows on the way back because the light was poor at that spot. It looked much better in town & sure enough it was!
Went straight to Deadman Island to visit with Romeo & Juliette. It was another excellent Tofino sunset & all three of us enjoyed it together!
Took a few of my finely feathered friends & said goodnight to them both.
It was the Full Moon today,but way too late in the cycle to get any good shots! The moon rises just as the sun sets,meaning no light what so ever! I prefer & search for great light on my subject material! If I don’t get it,I’ll take a token shot but won’t go crazy taking shots!
Not a huge day photographically but still very worthwhile!

K19’s GANG

20130126-IMG_413220130126-IMG_414420130126-IMG_415620130126-IMG_415920130126-IMG_416420130126-IMG_416620130126-IMG_4167I found K19 & his minion in that shallow bay just pass Tsapee Narrows again. I haven’t seen his mate K18,so can only assume she has perished? They have a band around their neck as well as their ankles,so even if it fell off from their neck I would see the small tags around their feet! Collected a few feather’s from the spot they like to rest on!



20130121-IMG_3830-2A group of Swans can be collectively called several things……….a “Lamentation,Herd,Wedge,Bevy & a Ballet”.
I like a Ballet of Swans personally!
So this Ballet of Swans seems to be hanging around a shallow bay right beside Tsapee Narrows. It took me awhile to figure out why all of a sudden they relocated from the end of Tranquil to this spot. Tranquil is far more quiet & out of the way. This spot has boat traffic going near it during the day.
Than it dawned on me that the “Ice” must be stopping them from foraging in the shallows! Tranquil is covered at the moment with a sheet of expansive Ice. We haven’t had any wind & the temperature has been below zero. Tranquil creek supplies all the fresh water to the inlet. Fresh water is lighter than salt water & floats on the top of the salt. This fresh water lens freezes because of the temperature & with there being no wind.
The ice would be thicker down where the Swans hang out as well,so they cannot forage for food.
So they have relocated at the moment to this shallow bay until it warms & the ice breaks up.
I counted 8 in the Ballet. (4 adults & 4 adolescents)

UPDATE: (January 23rd,2013) Received some info about K19 from Jim Hawkings with the Canadian Wildlife Service out of Whitehorse. This is what he had to say about K19…………….”Not sure if anyone else (Ruth??) has tracked this down yet, but this is one of the birds captured in Yukon Territory, summer 2003 during the captures for the satellite telemetry study spearheaded by Ruth Shea and Rod Drewien. The bird was captured on 22 July 2003 at Taye Lake, 37 miles NW of Whitehorse (band # 1939-01708). It was not marked with a satellite transmitter. This is the first recovery I know of from this bird, but Ruth (or other folks in Southern BC) may have other sightings that never made their way to the banding lab’s recovery database. The other banded bird in the group was likely K19’s mate, formerly marked with neckband K18.
Sightings such as this help us continue to piece together the migrations and relationships between breeding and wintering grounds for Trumpeter Swans and other birds.”

I got out today & went straight down to Cannery Bay,but when I came around the corner of Tsapee Narrows & noticed the Trumpeters in that shallow bay,I stopped to shoot a few. I continued on down to Cannery & upon arriving was very surprised to find not a one on the float or overturned walkway!
I did find a “Pod” of Lions (12 or so) swimming lazily out in front of the float however. They were moving silently & slowly as one! They were also sticking their flippers out of the water to warm up. Why the heck they weren’t hauled out onto the float where it would of been much warmer is a bit of a mystery for me?
I left the boys & headed over to Rankin Rocks but once again that Ice sheet stopped me. I calculate the ice sheet to be about 5 kilometers in length!
Couldn’t do much down there so I headed back to town. The moon was coming up so I was consciously looking for eagles to shoot with it.
Stopped at Tsapee Narrows to visit with both the Daredevil & his partner Delilah. It’s always nice to visit with them & they always greet me with open wings.
Continued on to visit with Moe & Maggie at Morpheus Island. Both came out to say hi.
Moved on to Deadman Island for a visit with Romeo & Juliette. The sky by this time had a nice dash of wispy cloud! The light was diminished considerably,so only silhouette’s tonight. Said goodnight to my friends & called it a day.
All in all a good afternoons shoot!


20130121-IMG_389220130121-IMG_390320130121-IMG_390920130121-IMG_3914I’m a little confused about these boys?
Their numbers are dropping dramatically & I can only assume that is due to the lack of viable food? Thats not too surprising,only disappointing.
The thing that gets me is their behavior in the water! When they are in the water,they sometimes stick their flippers out of the water to warm up their extremities. The air is warmer than the water,so given this why don’t the silly buggers hop up the float where there’s lots of room & it’s much warmer??
Also,I noted something unusual. When they are on the float they are very voicetress with their barking & growling! I can hear them a mile away!
However,when they are in the water in these tight little groups,they are silent! It almost seems that these gregarious creatures have certain social rituals?
I also noted that when they get into these tight groups that they have their eyes closed for a good part of it. They seem to brush up against each other & move slowly as one,all the while keeping their flippers out of the water.
I’ll have to talk to a few local Biologists to see if they can enlighten me?


20130120-IMG_3526It was another cold,crisp day today in Tofino!
Got my gear together & headed out on yet another great Tofino adventure!
The first thing that caught my eye was the “Cape Ann” heading out. They were heading out to open ocean,so I couldn’t follow.
Than I found one of the Beck island eagles on that rock in the middle of the harbour again.
I continued through the harbour & found both Ernie & Ethel on that rocky islet on the north side of Strawberry island. Lots of eagles out on rocks today I guess!
Started heading eastward down Browning Pass all the while watching the shore intently on finding my wolf friends? No such luck today.
Went straight down to Cannery Bay to check in on my Lion friends & found them almost all gone!! There were only a handful hanging around! Not sure whats up with that? They can’t be leaving so early? The bait fish in the inlet has to be slim to none if their numbers are down that much. Animals ebb & flow like the tides & the reasons behind will remain a mystery to our eyes.
Took just a few shots of the boys & headed over to Rankin Rocks,or I should say “Tried” to! The last few days has been cold & calm. With no wind & freezing conditions at night,the surface water had frozen into sheet ice! (the fresh water is lighter & lays on top of the saltwater)
You hit that stuff with a fiberglass hull & you’ll be dead soon enough! It’ll rip through your hull,the boat will sink & you’ll die.
I saw it at a distance & gave it a wide berth. All of Tranquil Inlet & Rankin was covered in ice! So there was no way I was going down there! I did glass it with my binocs & saw nothing of interest anyways,so I continued on.
Time was on my side,so I decided to visit Rob & the boys at Gunner Inlet. They live there on float houses.I talked too much & the time flew by! I realized the light was going & I had better leave to get some of that sunset. I only got silhouette’s of my finely feathered friends. I stopped at Tsapee Narrows for a few with the Daredevil & Delilah. Said a quick goodnight & headed as fast as possible to Deadman island to get some afterglow shots with Romeo & Juliette.
Got in under the wire! They both were active tonight.
Said goodnight to them & called it a day!
Another great adventure for me today!


20130120-IMG_363720130120-IMG_364520130120-IMG_364920130120-IMG_3652I was shocked to see almost all the Lions were gone from Cannery bay! Haven’t a clue why but I bet it has something to do with hardly any bait fish in the Inlet!
Lots of food means lots of Lions……….simple as that!
It’ll be a long winter if they decide to leave early for me!