I found this baby Common Merganser all by it’s self.I couldn’t see it’s mother anywhere? If it can’t find it’s mother real soon,it’ll be preyed upon for sure!
A Common Merganser was swimming around in front of this bear.I’m not familiar with this bear but suspect it is the one I’ve seen here several times in the past.Bears will hang around a given area as long as there is food & no other bears.
In the second shot you can see a small white spot on it’s fur.Thats a Sala flower.All the fruit bearing bushes are blooming right now.The flowers not only sweet with nectar but also sticky.
Went down to Grice bay today.Grice bay is several miles east of Tofino.It’s a large shallow bay.So shallow that it almost empties at low tide. You can only get down here at high tide.This fact basically keeps this place free of human activity. I’ve found animals use to boat traffic will tolerate intrusions,but the ones that don’t see very many boats tend to be a skittish group.
These Mergansers took off almost instantly upon my arrival.As well as two eagles.
If I find a good spot for photography,I’ll keep coming back.This introduces me to the locals & they accept me soon enough.Grice is a poor place to practice this for me.I only go out to shoot three hours before sunset.The statistical odds that I’d have a high tide happening during that period is slim. So I drop in from time to time to see whats going on? The Trumpeters also like to Winter down there.
I just about didn’t go out tonight. Actually felt a little tired,but after getting the cool breeze in my face,I snapped out of it & headed to Gunner inlet. It was later than normal too,so I had to get there fast. Once again,the tide was high so I wasn’t expecting to find any bears but was still hopeful!
After arriving in Gunner I realized none of my furry friends would be paying me a visit tonight.Waited around for a few minutes & booted it!
With time being short I headed back right away! I did stop off at Tsapee as per usual to visit with the Daredevil. He was there standing guard over his territory! When he came across the narrows he was travelling so fast that he had to slow down by standing vertically! Remarkable to wittiness actually! Delilah was nowhere to be found? I’m pretty sure she’s on the nest!
Got a few good ones of my feathered friend. He never disappoints me!
Thanked him & said goodnight. Took off & headed to Morpheus to visit with my girl Maggie! True to form,she was waiting & flew over to greet me!
She & Romeo bring out the biggest smile on me! The light by this time had gone south……as in it began to get poor! Plus a stupid con-trail was marking up the sky! I took a few of my friend & told her I had to go because of the poor light. I pretended she understood.
It was a short night tonight but my eagle friends made it all worth while!
The weather broke during the night! I already knew it would & was expecting to get out today. The sun is now setting a little past 8:30pm! Making me leave much later in the day now. When I headed out,the tide was coming up & near high. I knew it would be poor conditions for finding bears,but kept my fingers crossed? I went into Gunner Inlet & immediately saw one at a distance! Once I got closer,I realized it was my little friend “Li’l Jackie”! She’s 2 1/2 at the moment & looking excellent!
I remember many months ago watching her mother chasing her away & than listening to Li’l Jackie crying. She was so frightened & could not understand why her mother was being so mean? It was time to cut the cord. I’ve seen a few of these “partings” & they are always heart wrenching to watch & to be honest……,I hope I never see another! It was very sad to witness,but alas………Nature cannot be denied.
At any rate,Li’l Jackie & I have always gotten along. Oh yes,she keeps a eye on me but has always allowed me to enter into her flight zone.
She has started doing a strange behaviour? She’ll be walking along fine & dandy & than for no reason start to run! As if something frightened her! I thought there might be something spooking her but she never turns around to check? I think (for whatever reason) she just enjoys running. She’s young but already has personality! I think she may be the bear for me this year. Each year,one bear shines above the others. The last few years it’s been “Diamond”.(haven’t seen her this year?) I think Li’l Jackie will turn out to be the one who captures my heart this year!
Had a most excellent shoot with my fine furry friend! I was constantly talking to her. Asking her things like “How was your Winter?” has she seen many other bears about & so on? She’s certainly not a chatty bird.
Said goodnight & headed over into Fortune channel to see if any of her cousins were out & about? Turns out……………not a one! She was the only one. It was high tide so I wasn’t shocked.
Headed back & stopped off at Tsapee narrows to visit with both the Daredevil & Delilah. That nice black shadow has once again (because the sun is setting further north) come back! I always love shooting them in that spot! There simply isn’t a more attractive place…….other than a great sunset/clouds in the background.
The Daredevil did something that surprised me! He flew in from behind me & came within a foot of striking my head! I felt the pressure wave!
He scared the hell out of me & I let him know too! He does do things like that & is the reason I chose the name for him! Of course he would never “come in” if he didn’t think he could! He is a master at what he does & he simply takes my breath away sometimes!
Said goodnight to my fine feathered friends & headed into town for sunset. I did stop to visit with Maggie on Morpheus island. When I came around the north end,she saw me & flew over to greet me! I always love when she does this! Only Romeo & her do this.
She’s the largest of the eagles I’m friends with but that doesn’t stop her from flying back & forth above me! If I haven’t gotten the exposure,I tell her (& point) to go back to her perch & wait. She’s just going to get tired waiting for me & often does!
Stayed awhile with my girlfriend & said goodnight. I wanted to go visit with Romeo & Juliette. When I came around the north end of Stone island I could see the wind had whipped the surface up! I hate when that happens! There is no reflection,so the ocean appears dark. Shooting silhouette’s against a dark background is not a great scenario!
Romeo did come to greet me but than headed straight over to the island instead of perching upon his rocky “throne”. Could only stay with him for awhile. The wind was constantly blowing me into the shallows. The wind is my Bain!
Said goodnight & looked for “anything” to put in the foreground? I saw at a distance,someone rowing a small punt! I rushed as fast as I could. I had to get on the other side of him & get the sun in behind quickly! He was about to go behind a island & the sun was very low in the horizon. So low that it would be gone by the time he came out from the shadow of that island! I was only able to get a handful off before he went in behind.
The highlight of todays shoot was obviously the quality time I spent with my furry friend Li’l Jackie!
Everything else was icing to my cake!
Our weather was fantastic today,so I got out while I could!
It was high tide so I thought I’d go down into Grice bay to check things out? With the Lions & the Trumpeters gone,I was hoping to find a bear out & about? At high tide the only place I would be able to find them would be down in Grice. Even at high tide there are grassy areas still available for dining.
As I suspected,……….nobody home. I only found these Common Mergansers.
I left Grice & went up into Fortune Channel to check once again for any bears,but with no shore line available because of the tide I wasn’t surprised when I found zero Bruins!
Returned & stopped off at Tsapee Narrows to visit with both the Daredevil & Delilah. He caught me off guard & came out out of nowhere! He seems to do that from time to time. Said goodnight & went to Morpheus Island to visit with Moe & Maggie. The sun was falling behind Nelson Island to the west & snuffed the contrast considerably! Had to move on,if I don’t have the light……. I don’t have a picture!
Moved on to Deadman Island with Romeo & Juliette. Romeo came to greet me at his rock! He hasn’t done that in a few months. I have no idea why he does or doesn’t? The light was on the verge of decreasing,so I went to the nest to see if I could get a shot of Juliette in the nest while I had golden light but was surprised not to find her there! 10 minutes later after the light was gone,she poked her head up! She had been sleeping! Guess she couldn’t of done that a tad sooner! I had a nice visit with Romeo anyways!
Said goodnight & thanked them both.
Glad to see they have another egg. I assume it’s just one because they never seem to have two. There “could” be two?
We will know soon enough!
Because the tide was high,I decided to go down into Grice Bay & check things out? No bears down there today but there was a flock of Mergansers! On the way back,I also saw a Heron on a large log at Indian Island. I liked the background setting.
The weather was perfect today! Our stretch of great weather is starting to break records! No rain may seem great but this is a “Rainforest” after all!
I went out of Grice up into Fortune Channel for bears & found one! When It’s high tide,they go take a nap. They wait for the low tide to have access to the rocks/crabs. Sometimes I find a bear out & about at high tide & tonight was one of those. I actually found 6 bears tonight! But only the first one was in the light! All the others were in the shade. I came across “Patch” & her triplets. This must be her first set of cubs? She is so protective of them! I can never get close to them before she makes them go into the forest. RATS!
I couldn’t get too excited anyways……….they were in the shade!
I didn’t recognize the first bear I came across,but it didn’t mind me being around at all! (not like Patch) A female I believe?
I stayed with her for awhile,but when she walked into the shadows,it was bye bye.
I found my old friend “Harry” in his bay waiting for the water level to drop. He really likes that log! It’s kind of like a diving board! Gives him a good view of the fish I suppose.
Headed back in when the sun slipped in behind Meares. Once the sun goes for the area……….so do I!
I started to head back in but not before stopping & taking a few shots of “Logan” at Tsapee Narrows. Most of the eagles are gone right now to the spawning grounds,but if they come back,they are usually so stuffed they can hardly move!
Said goodnight to Logan & headed back into the harbour for sunset but a offshore fog bank decided to snuff that idea quick enough! I went over to Deadman Island to see if Romeo & Juliette were around? Romeo was but I couldn’t see Juliette anywhere? He like Logan just sat up there looking at me!
Understandable when you’ve filled yourself with lots of tasty salmon!
Said goodnight to my friend & called it a night. Even with high tide, I managed to find a bear,so it wasn’t too bad tonight! It’s always great to get out in the wilds of Tofino!
There was a flock of Common Mergansers at Kootowis creek. They took off and spooked the Heron I was trying to shoot. I think because nobody ever goes down here,that they are extra sensitive to the intrusions.
Because the wind was up a bit,they gained height quickly!
I found these two down at Tsappee Narrows and they gave a better show than the Daredevil’s mate. She just sat there watching me.
This flock of Mergansers was by the shore of Opitsat.
These birds travel fast and are hard to get a good picture of as a result.