Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Campbell Valley Regional Park

On our way back from Blackwood Lane winery in Langley (more about that another day - really excellent wine though), we stopped at Campbell Valley Regional Park and went for a brief stroll. It was hot, so we didn't walk too long, but we did manage to see some winged and furred creatures!

This flight of swallows was actually snapped in Delta. And apparently, even though they are perched, flight is the correct collective noun for swallows. I love collective nouns.

It's so hard to take pictures of dragonflies; right after I got the Nikon for my birthday, Davis and I spent the day at the Japanese gardens in UBC trying to snap dragonflies. An hour later and all we had were two hundred blurry pictures. I guess it's appropriate that we were doing this in a Japanese garden - the exercise in patience is probably zen... or something. If I'd been thinking faster I would have upped the shutter speed, but I was just trying to get a picture of the little bugger.

Some berries. Or hips. Or something. Botany was my lowest grade last year.

Birds were always darting across the path and munching on little goodies they picked up along the way. They were moving so fast we were working on a shoot first, identify later rule. We identified this as a probable song sparrow.

A delicate little wisp of a Wilson's warbler. Do you think he feels emasculated that I said that? The photo turned out a little grainier than I would have liked - the bird was about 15 feet away and darting around in the leaves, which made focusing difficult. Even with my 200mm zoom lens, I had to crop the photo to get as much detail as I could.

We tentatively identified this as a young rufous-sided towhee. We thought young robin at first, but it doesn't seem nearly speckly enough and it was a little on the small side for that.

Cheeky chickadees always make good models. This was a particularly bold crowd - not quite to the point of landing on our fingers and palms, but they followed us down the path hoping for handouts and buzzed around the bushes only a foot or two from me and my camera.

We were lucky enough to catch this brown creeper working its way up a mossy tree.

We saw quite a few Douglas squirrels in the forest, but they're so quick and shy that we would usually just see a featherduster tail disappearing into the brush off the path. This dark grey squirrel was scavenging for nuts someone had left, and he was hesitant to leave this goldmine until we were nearly upon him.

A day of wine and birds - can't ask for much more than that!


  1. What a great gallery of photos! It's so impressive that you know what type so many of the birds are. The dragon flies are certainly tricky to photograph--I tried one day and gave up. You got a good one, though!

  2. Oh I love these photos! Especially the one of the "rufous-sided towhee." He looks like he's greeting you on his front porch, hee hee. It's not a nest though, so i don;t know why I said that, lol :) Enjoying your photos!

  3. I like the dark squirrel! Sounds like a fun day.. I need to get out of the house more this Fall and it's a good inspiration :)

  4. Really great photos! You even captured the dragonfly! Awesome!


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