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2015 Calendar Bird Edition

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The Great Horned Owl on the cover page was taken across the street from where I live. During the summer when I took the dogs out before going to bed I heard a screech sound that was unfamiliar. A bit of research indicated it may be a young Great Horned owl, so I went looking the next time I heard it. Two showed up in a tree, and I managed to get this shot.

January

The Hawk Owl is seen in our area in the winter time. They nest further north, and individuals searching for hunting grounds are seen often in the high country. This one was beside the road on the way to Salmo surveying a field for voles to eat.

February

This Great Blue Heron was seen at Bird Marsh Creek, a very nice place to spend an hour.

March

The Blewett side of the old Taghum bridge is a rich environment worth checking regularly. One day this spring the light was golden and the Trumpeter Swans were posing for photos. This is a young bird who was being watched carefully by the adults.

April

The steely gaze has to do with the blood on it’s beak; are you edible (yes), can I take you down (no). Then it looks away for a more promising source of a meal. This was at Kokanee Park, and this Pygmy Owl let me get quite close.

May

The Townsend Solitaire is one of the early arrivals in the spring, and is quite pretty with it’s subtle colors. This was taken at Kokanee Park in March.

June

Harlequin Ducks arrive in May to nest on the shores of the cold fast flowing rivers. They look like they have neoprene wet suits with painted markings. The males stay around for a short while long enough to fertilize the eggs, then leave the females to hatch the young and teach them how to survive. This was taken on the Salmo River in May.

July

The Varied Thrush is common but not easy to see. They stick to the underbrush and move silently to disappear. Their hollow whistle is heard in the evenings during the summer. They look like a robin with a black stripe on their breast. This was taken on Clearwater Creek road in June.

August

The Common Loon can be seen on the West Arm of Kootenay Lake. This shot was taken at Kokanee Park in May.

September

We are privileged each year to see the Osprey nest and produce young. This is near Woodbury, and was taken in the middle of July.

October

This Hermit Thrush posed for 15 seconds at Champion Lakes this fall. They usually are very shy and hard to get a photo. It was taken in the middle of June.

November

The Northern Flicker is a common visitor to our yards, but I never tire of their colors. This was taken near home at the end of July.

December

Another sighting at Marsh Creek park. I had flushed this Wilson’s Snipe a few times in my walks, so I was watching for it. It saw us as we approached the swamp, hid behind some bushes. I stood still for about 10 minutes until it decided it was safe. It came out from behind the bushes and found a large beetle in the mud with it’s long beak. It took some chewing to break it and swallow it.

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Written by Kite Refrigeration

January 2, 2015 at 3:19 am

Posted in Calendar

2015 Calendar, Mammals edition

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The two calendars for 2015 have been received with enthusiasm, so I wanted to tell the stories behind each shot. They are all local, taken by Derek Kite in his travels, sometimes between jobs.

The cover page is a grizzly bear female followed by two cubs. The shot was taken early October 2014 at Gerrard. Myself and three others left home early to get there at first light. The sow came down onto the beach, crossed the bridge, climbed a hawthorn tree to eat a few berries, then wandered down the east side of the Lardeau river. We moved a mile downstream and watched her swim across the river. The light was perfect, the subject awe inspiring.

January

February

In early August 2014 I was walking the dogs on the beach at 6 mile. Just as it got dark bats appeared and were flying around us. The dogs were looking wondering, and I decided I had to get a photo. Thus began a rather long and involved process of figuring out how to get a picture of a small very fast flying creature that only was available for about 15 minutes every evening in enough numbers to even contemplate the feat. There were a few things in my favor; the mayfly hatch was healthy, and the bats would leave their roosts, fly back and forth on the shoreline before spreading out to feed during the night. The location was limited in size by docks and the shape of the shoreline. I finally managed to get a couple decent shots.

March

Columbia ground squirrels are quite common in our area. I was driving down Six Mile Lakes road and noticed something sticking up from the road. It was a lone squirrel. I took a couple shots, not particularly interesting, but noticed a second one running across the road where it stood with the first one. Much better. All I had to do was take the photo.

April

Six Mile Lakes road near the end of July. This is a Golden Mantled ground squirrel, and the young were busy running about. One was eating a seed so it’s sibling wanted to share.

May

One of the young grizzlies. It was looking up at it’s mom hoping to get a taste of some berries she was picking in a bush. We were concerned that the branches would break and she would fall on the little one.

June

Yellow bellied marmots are common in the summer on rock piles. This is in Nelson just past Maglio Building Center. The two young marmots were getting cuddly, training for a life of leisure where they sleep most of they year to awake, reproduce and eat grass. As long as they don’t get run over or eaten by a predator able to move the large rocks they hide under.

July

A muskrat. I saw this on the Columbia River at the Waldie trail. A neat spot worth visiting, every time I go there I see something different. This muskrat was on the shore eating some weeds and allowed me to get close.

August

The river Otter graces our lake with it’s antics. This one was at the old Taghum Bridge on the Blewett side last winter.

September

The second of the bear cubs coming down the beach following it’s mother.

 

October

Another pair of Golden Mantled ground squirrels. This was right beside the road up Six Mile Lakes road, and one came out of hiding from it’s den.

 

November

A chipmunk posed for me at Apex.

 

December

The grizzly sow enjoyed hawthorn berries, gently picking it with her tongue.

Written by Kite Refrigeration

January 1, 2015 at 7:16 pm

Posted in Calendar