I became interested in bird photography after probably about 20 years of birding. I am sure I was somewhat interested before, but I was not happy with the technical options available at the time. I therefore have been taking pictures of birds for about 6 years. My main motivation for taking up bird photography was to create visual records of birds I had seen. Gradually I tried to improve on the quality of the images by reading photographic manuals and by exchanging ideas with other bird photographers. I still have a ways to go in this department. I live in Gallagher Lake a small settlement about 7kms north of Oliver in the Okanagan Valley. I have taken pictures all over B.C. and parts of Canada, the U.S., and some international locations. I use a Canon 50D, which is about 6 years old often coupled with a 1.4x teleconverter and a fixed f4 300mm Canon lens.
I always enjoy taking photos of American Tree Sparrows, as they provide a splash of colour in an otherwise dull time of year. Usually arriving in the South Okanagan in November, they can be fairly inquisitive, and, therefore, relatively approachable for photographic purposes. This picture was taken going south on what is now called Radio Tower Road going south of the intersection of Black Sage Rd, and Rd. 22 near Osoyoos.
Sabine’s Gulls are usually seen in the fall/winter season in basic plumage, and flying at some distance, it was a pleasure to photograph this bird in alternate plumage in the Spring of 2013 when it showed up at the Glenmore Landfill in Kelowna. Unfortunately the brownish, brackish water of the landfill does not provide the greatest of contrasts.
Bewick’s Wren: A bird that was believed to be a non breeder not that long ago in the Okanagan now is found fairly regularly. Photo taken at Inkaneep Provincial Park off Tuc-el-Nuit Rd north of Oliver.
Brown Thrasher: Considered a rare bird in B.C., this one was photographed in a suburban backyard in Cranbrook B.C. in the winter of 2013. For me it was a bit of a consolation prize on a longish road trip that took me to N.E. Oregon to futilely look for a Little Bunting, and then back home to the Okanagan via Cranbrook.
Common Redpoll: Another winter bird that brightens up our landscape. This one, I thought had a significant amount of red in it. Photo taken on a private property near Twin Lakes, B.C.
Gray Partridge: As most birders would agree, a very difficult bird to see, let alone photograph. Most of my attempts were distant through car windows, or of the back flying away after being flushed. In the winter of 2013 I found this one along Nighthawk Rd, near the American border. it was feeding alongside the road after a snowfall that had covered up much of the adjacent sage habitat. I used the car as a blind, turned the engine off, put it in neutral, and just coasted down to a spot where I could get a reasonable shot without flushing the bird.
Boreal Chickadee: Always a fun bird to find, especially when it is reasonably close and sun on. Near Apex Ski Resort.
Northern Shrike: Taken near Okanagan Falls on one of those brilliant sunshine, but, perhaps rare, winter days – Winter 2012.
Yellow-breasted Chat: An Okanagan specialty. Island Road north of Oliver.
Long-eared Owl: Infrequently seen during the day, so was lucky to get this shot. Spring 2012, north of Osoyoos.
Bobolink: Another south Okanagan specialty. This was a rather cooperative individual along Rd. 22.
very nice & clear….Thank you
Beautiful photography. Bruce & Joanne Clayton
Outstanding photos Thor of some very nice birds!
Love all the shots but especially the Boreal Chickadee.
Great shots Thor! Nice and bright and sharp.
Great photos Thor! Your camera?
Frank Schroeder, Hedley. Did my first CBC Vasseau Lake at your back door in December 2014.
HI Frank: Camera description is above in introductory paragraph, I am increasingly using the camera these days without the teleconverter; faster sharper images. My backyard feeders these days have been taken over by the resident Pygmy Nuthatches, along with singleton Hairy and Downy Woodpeckers, House Finch and the odd Mountain Chickadee. Cheers, Thor
Thor I’m in awe of your bc gray partridge shot it’s simply the best I’ve seen in this province!