Strawberry island is a small island in Tofino’s harbour. You could swim to it. It’s owned by Rod Palm. A very interesting man in his own right. Rod has been the eyes and ears for whales in the Tofino area for many a year now!

On his island are two tree spires that Ernie and Ethel love to perch on. When I know there are zero clouds to the west,I sometimes come down here to try and get a few eagle/mountain shots! If there are clouds to the west,the setting suns light will be snuffed.

I went down a few nights ago and basically stood around for 1 1/2 hours and nobody came to perch? Strawberry island is about 500 yards away from me, and those mountains (Strathcona) are 22 miles north of Tofino.

I went tonight to see If anybody was home and sure enough there was! I think It was Ethel? Hard to tell at this distance? I say Ethel because she’s taken off before. It’s like she senses me looking at her and so bugs out! Ernie doesn’t do that,but she does. So I think it was her.

From the time I arrived to the point she took off was only a few minutes. I waited for 70 minutes more but nobody came home.

Glad I got her at least,even If she doesn’t like me very much.



  1. Outstanding Eagle-Snowscape photos, Wayne! And it’s interesting about Eagle Ethel – her behavior seems a little bit reminiscent of Rita Raven at times. Very happy for you in your successful photo op today.

    1. Female eagles do not take a shine to me. I do not know if it’s a male thing or a me thing? Not all eagles are ok with me getting close to them. Actually most are not! So I search for the ones with more relaxed personalities.

      1. You’ve certainly found some engaging and relaxed personality Eagles in Romeo and The Daredevil. Though how chill can an apex predator really be? Maybe Juliette and Delilah and Ethel are more reserved or skittish because of their female role as egg bearers, nurturers of the nest? Not to get all sexist about Eagles of course! Anyway really striking photo series – wonderful timing out there.

      2. For whatever the reason, each animal I meet out there has a unique personality. Like humans, we don’t always get along with everyone we meet. Basically the ones that run or fly away, I’m forced to leave alone and the ones that don’t run or fly away, I get to know over time.
        Thanks for dropping in Babsje!

    1. Yes, actually It was Audrey. The main reason why………I had to stand still. If I was hiking about, no problem but staying still does allow the cold in. Same thing on my boat. I’m not moving and so occasionally get chills.
      Glad you enjoyed the shots.

  2. So enjoyed your photos of Ethel, Wayne. It takes great patience and dedication to get those great shots. Her wing span against the white snowy mountains makes a good contrast! 😁

  3. Great shots, Wayne, thanks!!. I always know it’s Ethel or Ernie when I see those trees! By the way is that snow on those hills in the background? Goodness, that’s more than we’ve had all winter combined.

  4. It is wonderful to share a few moments with you and Ethel, Wayne, in this spectacular setting. I liked hearing about your observations and activities. Fantastic photos, as always.

  5. You got some great shots, and that background – big wow!! I immediately thought of the Beatles song, “Strawberry Fields”, and replaced ‘fields’ with ‘mountains’. Super, Wayne!

    1. Yes,It’s a beautiful island! Rod lives in a Ferry! It was the first ferry used in Vancouver. It went from Van to the north shore I believe?
      He brought it up onto land. Really unique place to live!
      Ethel is her own master. I know of a few other eagles who don’t get spooked but do not allow me to get close either.

  6. Lots of snow in those mountains there Wayne; very beautiful landscape. We don’t often see the snow so close up. So, Ethel is fickle. We all like you, so tell Ethel that.

      1. I was reminded today of the Mute Swan who did not like me taking pictures of him and his mate and climbed out of the water and ran after me, so today I stood a respectable distance away. They are big buggers.

      2. I’ve found If you stare at an animal, they become nervous. Some nervous animals do lash out, others flee.
        Because your attention is towards them, they get nervous.
        I’ve often wondered If putting a 45 degree attachment on my lens would make them less nervous? Your pointing in another direction, not towards them. This is also great to get pictures of people!

      3. Wow – how cool is that? You think they are seeing the lens pointed at them and they freak a little, so this is the answer. Interesting. I was thinking the clicking noise also gets their attention, now I know differently. That Mute Swan was scary. Yet, the other one was content to stand next to me. When they are on their feet and walking around, they are almost as tall as me!

      4. I’ve always wanted to get one this babies! You can take pictures of people without them knowing and so they are more natural!
        It’s the staring at a animal that makes it nervous. That’s exactly what a predator does before it attacks and that what makes them nervous!

      5. OK, I see – but if you’re wearing sunglasses, they don’t see your eyes – but you are standing motionless and that probably worries them as well. You should get one of these lenses – a present to yourself.

    1. that is an optical impression Emma. The bigger the focal length (400mm>) the greater this “compression” factor. I like to use it as much as possible. I use it when shooting the moon. It makes the moon appear larger.

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