The light at sunset can be truly magical at times. I had been walking around the pond at Carburn Park, following a pair of Redheads, when the sun began to approach the horizon. As it did the reflections off the pond became more and more golden orange, and I knew I would have a great opportunity to make some silhouette images. I literally ran around the pond to get to the right spot and had more than a few people laughing at me as I ran past with all my gear. As it turned out it was harder to get the birds in the right position than it was to get myself to the right side of the lake. I eventually got it right and had plenty of time to spare!
Castle Mountain is in the Rocky Mountains about half way between Banff and Lake Louise. It is a very scenic spot that looks good in all sorts of light and weather conditions. I love to see it when it is being lit up from the side because the shadows in between each of the parapet like peaks falls into deep shadow and makes the mountain look even more rugged than normal.
We were passing by at just the right time the other day to enjoy the sunrise. It was a particularly beautiful thing when the Alpenglow dropped down the face of the mountain. I love the Rockies!
We see many different Hawks in the Calgary area at various times of the year. Rough-legged Hawks in the winter and early part of the spring, go up north for the summer, and then return in the fall. Swainsons Hawks and Red-tailed Hawks migrate from the South later in the spring, and stay until the late fall. In fact many Red-tails stay all year. There are lots of other species of Hawks and raptors as well, but these are the most common. And they usually show up in their most common color patterns.
But every once in awhile we’re lucky enough to see something different. I’ve seen very few Dark or Intermediate Morph birds, and the ones that I have seen have typically flown shortly after I arrived. Of course that’s true for most raptors, but the Light Morphs are far more common and therefore it’s more likely to find one that’s willing to cooperate…
So I was very happy to find this Dark Morph Swainsons Hawk, and even more so when I realized that it was going to help me out. All Hawks are beautiful to me, but there’s something a little extra special about Dark Morphs that makes me want to spend more time with them. Some birders may actually argue that this bird is really an Intermediate Morph, but that’s a pretty subjective decision and there aren’t very many experts out there that will actually take a stand one way or the other unless they actually saw the bird in person. Either way this bird is beautiful to me!
I went downtown the other night to try to make an image of the cityscape while the Olympic Torch on top of the Calgary Tower was burning. The flame was lit in honour of the Olympic Torch relay run passing through Calgary while enroute to Vancouver for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.
Unfortunately I only had time to make a couple of close-up images of the Tower itself before the flame went out. Since I was already there I took the opportunity to make a new panoramic image of the skyline.
I’ve made quite a few images from the same spot over the last couple of years. I really love the look of the city lights reflecting on the ice covering the Bow River, so I really prefer to make these images in the winter.
I see shorebirds in the sloughs to the east of Calgary all the time. There are a huge variety of species that pass through the area, but most of them are common and repeatable. Some are a little less common and it’s always very interesting for me to try to figure out exactly what they are. I am definitely a photographer before a birder, but I definitely have a bug in me for birds and I always get excited to find a species I’ve never seen before. This is the only Western Willet I’ve ever seen and I was fortunate that it let me get very close and watch it for a long time! In fact I eventually had to leave and it stayed right there the whole time while I was packing up my gear and when I walked back to my truck.