Posts tagged “wildlife photography

A Snowy owl’s elusive smile

A Snowy cry - © Christopher Martin-1524

This Snowy owl had been chirping at some ravens nearby when it was perched on a telephone pole and they were flying above.  Eventually one came too close which prompted the owl’s leap into the air.  She looped around the pole once before settling on another one further from the mischief makers.  While banking in the turn photographed above she cried out again.  This time proved an excellent opportunity to photograph her “smile”.


An eagle in the woods

Redwood Eagle - © Christopher Martin-0573-4

There was a murder of crows circling a wooded spot east of Bragg Creek that caught my attention.  I was driving into Calgary and pulled over to see what was going on.  At that moment, this Bald eagle flew out of the trees and blasted through the middle of the group.  They scattered and the eagle landed on a branch close by.

Redwood Eagle - © Christopher Martin-0533

Redwood Eagle - © Christopher Martin-0568

Whatever had drawn these opportunists in must have been deeper in the woods as I couldn’t see anything from where I was parked.  While the eagle looked around I had time to switch lenses in favour of the longest one I have so I was able to get in quite close.  The detail in the feathers was nice especially with the strong lighting – the relatively low angle of the sun in winter helped me here.

Redwood Eagle - © Christopher Martin-0574

After a couple of minutes the eagle launched and banked into the forest.  The crows had not yet returned so I imagined that he was hoping to finish his meal before being bothered again.

 


2014 Favourite Wildlife Photographs

Bald Eagle in the Prince Rupert harbour - 2014 © Christopher Martin

Eagles, owls and bears were chief among the highlights when I look back over my wildlife photography in 2014.  I spent time with Grizzlies in the Khutzeymateen Provincial Park, Kananaskis Country and the Banff National Park.  Eagles were often elusive, spiralling far above or banking around a corner, but I had great encounters in Prince Rupert and in the Great Bear Rainforest.  Closer to home, Great Gray Owls and Great Horned Owls let me find them now and then in the foothills and out on the prairie.

(Please click on any image to open the gallery of 2014 wildlife images)

A flight over wildflowers - 2014 © Christopher Martin

Beyond these animals, interesting and beautiful wildlife in Mexico, Arizona and around southern Alberta also grabbed my attention.  Taking a bit of time to enjoy recalling all of these highlights, I created a gallery with 45 images that meant the most to me.  If you are interested in having a look, please click on any image or this gallery link to open a new webpage with my collection of these photographs.  It was a good year and I’m looking forward to more exciting encounters, taking more opportunities to learn more about the animals I photograph and to keep learning to see deeper and to create interesting imagery that tells some of their stories.

Banff Grizzly Bear - © Christopher Martin-8215


Dawn Osprey in Cabo San Lucas

Dawn Osprey - © Christopher Martin-7052One morning while I was set up for sunrise in the rocks on the coastline, one of the resident Ospreys flew low overhead looking for fish.  Her sharp eyes picked me out easily and she looked at me for a couple of seconds before banking back towards the open water.  The pink light from the eastern horizon softly painted the belly and underwing covert feathers.
Dawn Osprey - © Christopher Martin-7060
Dawn Osprey - © Christopher Martin-7046

 


One lizard’s camouflage

Lizard in Los Cabos - © Christopher Martin-4373

This iridescent green lizard had a black tail – with that colour scheme and pattern of spots, bands and spikes – he blended in well with its surroundings.

Out of the shadows - © Christopher Martin-4367

Whether peeking out from the shadow under a rusting metal lid or wound into a wall of leaves off to one side of the garden I found him in, he seemed able to choose when to appear and when to disappear.

Lizard climb - © Christopher Martin-4411

And when he chose – to strut like a peacock!

Lizard in Los Cabos - © Christopher Martin-4394

Note: I did include a couple of other photographs of this fellow in an earlier post on Los Cabos lizards here previously.


Bobcats through the trees

 

Alberta Bobcat Lynx - © Christopher Martin-8851

There has been a bobcat and her kitten spotted several times over the past month in the forest that wraps around the community of Redwood Meadows.  The mixed forest and light snow provide excellent cover for these medium-sized cats so they can disappear without notice which makes actively searching them out a challenge.  Up until yesterday, I had yet to see either of our native lynx species, the Canada lynx and the bobcat, in the wild.  The mother was tawny almost having a tiger’s colouring when it slipped into the shadows when its kit had caught up and they went deeper into the woods.

Bobcat prowl - © Christopher Martin-8857

Driving into Redwood in mid-afternoon, we saw a cat crossing the road.  Nothing unusual until we drew a bit closer and realized it was much larger than a house cat and its spotted coat and bobbed tail indicated it was a lynx of one type or the other.  The reddish-tawny colouring was unlike any Lynx images that I have seen but a lack of direct experience saw me do a bit of research to confirm the identification.  The prominent spotting, colouring and white/black tip on the tail ruled out Canada Lynx leaving me sure that I had spent a bit of time with two beautiful bobcats.

Bobcat kitten - © Christopher Martin-8860

I couldn’t be more pleased to have had this opportunity to see this pair and in my own town.

Alberta Bobcat Lynx - © Christopher Martin-8853


Osprey along the Sea of Cortez

Los Cabos Osprey - © Christopher Martin-7440

There are two ospreys (Pandion haliaetus) who are residents at the Hacienda del Mar resort in Los Cabos.  Ospreys are another favourite animal that I am fortunate to be able to photograph quite often at home.  It is a bit surreal to see them living in a warm, southern climate as I think of them (myopically) as being a bird of the lakes in and near the Rocky mountains where I usually see them.

Los Cabos Osprey - © Christopher Martin-5933

 

If any images appear grainy or pixelated, please click on the image to open a higher resolution version.

 

Los Cabos Osprey - © Christopher Martin-7437

Los Cabos Osprey - © Christopher Martin-7441-2

They own the palm trees that line the pools and sun decks which overlook the beach using them as viewing towers to find fish near the shore in the Sea of Cortez.

Los Cabos Osprey - © Christopher Martin-6159
Los Cabos Osprey - © Christopher Martin-6132
Several times during our stay in Los Cabos, I had great opportunities to watch these beautiful birds fly to and from the tree tops and glide over the beach and rocks nearby.

Los Cabos Osprey - © Christopher Martin-7790

Los Cabos Osprey - © Christopher Martin-6119

Los Cabos Osprey - © Christopher Martin-6120

Los Cabos Osprey - © Christopher Martin-6121


Pelican dawn


Pelican dawn - © Christopher Martin-9167-2

(If the image appears pixelated, please click the picture to open a higher resolution version)

We fled the cold and are now warming up under the sun in Cabo San Lucas.  This morning I trekked along the beach to an outcrop of rock that I thought would be lovely for sunrise.  Along the way, a squadron of Brown Pelicans flew by and were silhouetted against the early glow that preceded the sun.


A visitor on the deck

Fawn hills fauna - © Christopher Martin-9466

Bobbi and the kids watched a Lynx walk around our house and into the woods behind yesterday.  I wasn’t home so that wasn’t a show meant for me but we do have less elusive wildlife that comes around.  Particularly in the winter, some of the mule deer who live in the community clip clop onto the deck looking for seeds underneath the bird feeder.  This doe was bold enough to visit during the daytime.  She was rewarded with a pretty good snack being the first visitor in a couple of days.

Deckside deer - © Christopher Martin-9445


Before dawn on the Highwood Pass

Kananaskis Bighorn - © Christopher Martin-9961

 (Please click the image to open a higher resolution version)

This bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) was snacking on salt roadside and was unsure of my intentions as I drove by.  A flash was needed as the morning was still waiting for night to loosen its grip.  I was just west of the Highwood Pass on Highway 40 in Kananaskis Country – likely my last drive over this spot before it is closed for the winter.


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