2011 Favourite Photographs – Wildlife

I’ve been carving out a little time to review my photography over the past year.  It’s been nice to recall some good adventures and revisit some of my favourites from 2011.  I spent a fair bit of time sitting in the snow waiting, driving back roads looking and hiking game trails exploring so it was a great year.  I crossed paths with a few animals and here are my favourite images from those encounters.

This moose and her calf were grazing along Highway 40 west of Highwood Pass in Kananaskis.  She was beautiful and here I was able to make a nice side portrait of her as she watched her young one prancing around.

An early spring hike found me exchanging glances with a large female moose after I heard rustling in this stand of slender branches and saw her a few meters away.

I had some bull moose encounters throughout the year and the hour I walked parallel to this pair in West Bragg Creek near Wild Rose was a highlight.

Where we live we have a lot of opportunity to see white-tailed and mule deer.  I photographed many groups and individuals of both over the last year.  This white-tailed buck was wary of me at first but after passing his sniff test he returned to his wandering.

The mule deer at the edge of the forest was flanked by another, possibly younger deer, deeper in the woods.  They stared at me for a minute before I drove on and they leapt further into the trees.

The Great Gray Owls are present throughout the woods and meadows that I often wander through but they seem to appear only when they want to be seen.  I was able to have some long encounters throughout the year and I continue to be amazed by these magical creatures.

I wanted to photograph more bears this year and I spent a lot of time reading about behaviour, habits and their movements through the year.  It paid off and I was able to enjoy some very good encounters where they were not threatened by my presence and I was able to photograph them safely.

This grizzly encounter was a surprise.  Our group was busy photographing the raw wilderness in the Tonquin Valley on the eastern shore of Amethyst Lake when we noticed this boar walking over the rocks and bushes a couple hundred feet away.  He saw us at the same time and though he didn’t seem threatened, he wasn’t interested in getting any closer either.  He made a quarter turn and walked along the shoreline away from us.

This black bear cub was feasting in a dandelion meadow in the Kootenay National Park in eastern British Columbia.

These mountain goats were taking a break from their mineral foraging to look over the river valley along the Icefields Parkway in the Jasper National Park.

The warm springs along the Vermilion Lakes in the Banff National Park opened a stretch of water where an American Dipper came to reflect and enjoy a nice bath.

The ripples from this American Coot distorted the reflection of the dark telephone pole above a pond in Springbank.

The Sula sula (Red-footed booby) birds in Kilauea on Kaua’i, Hawai’i were great fliers that were a lot of fun to watch at the National Refuge there.

This last one is just a brief glimpse of a humpback whale that Bobbi and I had on a sail we went on in Kaua’i.  I like the abstract aspects of the image overall and it is the source of one of my goals which is to photograph more marine wildlife in the coming year.

I felt sad banishing the runner-up images back to the library without giving them a chance to stretch a bit so I’ve put them into a slideshow here. Have a look at the near misses if you are so inclined.  Thanks for taking a stroll through 2011 with me.

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7 responses

  1. Wow, wonderful pictures. They are absolutely amazing.

    January 30, 2012 at 1:37 pm

  2. Val

    I love this selection of posts, Chris. I leave far too long between my visits to your blog and I miss them.

    January 29, 2012 at 5:28 am

  3. Tonquin is real grizzly country but wow that was lucky! and a great shot. I’m afraid I would have had bad camera shake!

    January 28, 2012 at 10:57 pm

    • the cow moose is so beautiful and the colours and lighting in the photo of the bear before Tonquin are stunning. Thank you for sharing your journey…enjoying the visual feast…

      January 28, 2012 at 11:07 pm

  4. Amazing photos. I always look forward to your posts – your pictures are always such a pleasure for the eyes. Thanks for sharing!

    January 28, 2012 at 2:34 pm

  5. As I usually say on your posts: stunning!

    January 28, 2012 at 1:24 pm

  6. Fabulous. So how close are you to the in-flight birds in these photos?

    January 28, 2012 at 12:53 pm

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