Anything but common

Into the air - 2013 © Christopher Martin

A great variety of wildlife shares the Khutzeymateen Inlet with the Grizzly Bears.  With coastal wolves and orcas being more elusive during my trip, any disappointment vanished in the face of the diversity of birds on hand or around just about any corner.  Several types of gulls would congregate at the mouth of creeks where bears were catching fish upstream.  The loose bits floating down drew them in for an easy meal.  Eagles, both Bald and Golden, surveyed the waters from perches in the towering cedars lining the bays.

Black water landing - 2013 © Christopher Martin

One bird which consistently captured my attention was the Common Merganser (Mergus merganser).  They gathered in small flushes on open water and in the wide estuary at the end of the inlet.

Female Common Mergansers perched - 2013 © Christopher Martin

When they take flight, they step along the water once they get airborne and remain low with their wingtips occasionally dipping into the water as they fly along.

High stepping in the Khutzeymateen - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Wing dip - 2013 © Christopher Martin

This activity was great fun to watch and photograph while waiting for some of the more celebrated wildlife to visit.  I didn’t mind the waiting at all.

Long steps to takeoff - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Flight and reflection - 2013 © Christopher Martin

5 responses

  1. Hi Christopher. Beautiful photos! The first photo helped me to identify the birds I saw today. That was the wing I was looking for! I used the photo in one of my blog posts (I referenced you of course). Hope that is ok. I moved to Calgary a few months ago and I’ve really enjoyed seeing your pictures of nearby natural spaces.

    November 18, 2014 at 8:42 pm

  2. That’s amazing….

    September 26, 2013 at 10:01 pm

  3. Vicki (from Victoria A Photography)

    Stunning images. You’ve not only captured the moving birds really well, but also the light.
    I’m envious of your skill as I can mostly only photograph motionless birds or subjects. If I’ve ever caught a moving bird, it has been by sheer luck (not skill). I’m too slow.

    September 26, 2013 at 7:16 pm

  4. Those are wonderful action shots. I love watching them take off. So far these shots have eluded me but I’ll keep waiting.

    September 26, 2013 at 4:36 pm

    • The Mergansers in the Khutzeymateen were very obliging. I was hoping for the frontal approach shots as they were so accommodating – that didn’t happen. But I’ll be back and I hope they may reconsider!

      September 26, 2013 at 4:42 pm

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