Welcome to the Island Rambles Blog

Hi my name is Nora and Welcome to my blog world. This is a nature and birding photo blog about Vancouver Island, B.C. Canada. I am trying to be a birder and I take photos of the birds and scenery I find. I hope you enjoy your time here and please come back again. PHOTOS WILL ENLARGE IF CLICKED. The photos are slide show enabled if you click on them. If you click on the top lighthouse photo it always takes you to the most recent summary list of my postings.

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Monday, July 30, 2012

Crabbing and Caspian Terns

Caspian Terns on Sidney Spit, B.C. Canada...they are so much fun and make such a racket. You can hear them long before you see them. They make a loud throaty call.  Raaaaa....ck.
There were a lot of small needle fish in the bay and in the shore pools and they were feasting on them. It was a wonderful hot summer day with very low tide and I had to walk way out on the beach to get these shots. I was so far out there no one could see me anymore. I liked the feeling of the wind and the sound of the waves and the birds. There were no people out there and I love to experience being part of nature and just having wildlife around me.  So I just stayed there for a long, long time.  I only really feel my true self when I am alone, far away and surrounded by wild things. I had to go back or Captain Ron would leave without me.


O.K. I am not sure what these shorebirds are...I call them peeps because they make a little peeping sound, very sweet, but I think they are the spotted sandpiper perhaps.  They were very unconcerned about me and ran around close by my feet.  In order to get to the spot far out, I had to walk in tidepools up over my knees, in sandals through the eelgrasses! What we don't do to get a shot. Also the tide came in around me!
 
All right, we live on the seashore and we eat crabs, fish and seafood. However, in this case, I don't feel I need to put a warning on the video, most people eat crabs. If you don't like to see crabs or fishing then don't watch. There are strict regulations on what crabs, fish and seafood you can keep and we abide by them. 
You will not see the videos if you subscribe, for some reason I don't think they show up on email or subscribe.  Thank you so much for subscribing by email and by feed, I really am so happy to have you read this blog.
These crabs were put back into the sea.  They were females and not for keeping. The boaters are spot checked to see that they follow regs. You will hear Captain Ron talk about crabs.

Here is the dock at Sidney Spit, B.C. Canada. It is a little island off of Sidney, B.C.  I like to go there early in the summer when there are no boats.  Now it is full of boats. (and too many people).

There will be two videos below if I manage to embed them.  One is on Caspian Terns and the other is on Crabbing but it is not upsetting I don't think, even if you are fond of crabs.

Thank you to these memes for allowing bloggers to share their story.  I may not remember to enter them all but I still list them as this is the quick way for me to do it. I am doing "C" at ABC Wednesday with Crabbing and Caspian Terns and am very thankful for all the memes below and I thank anyone who comments on my blog. I will reply to any comments. 

The Bird D'pot
Our World Tuesday
Sweet Shot Tuesday
Tuesday Tweets
ABC Wednesday
Nature Notes Wednesday
Outdoors Wednesday
Wild Bird Wednesday







edit note:  I sometimes have to republish after I see how many errors I made or links not working.  I list all the memes for the week now as I can only spend a short time on the computer as my eyes get tired. Such is life. To continue reading posts you must click older post below or see the index at the top or the side or pick a popular post or label from the sidebar.

I will try to embed two videos here. If your flash player is not up to date or if your computer is really slow, videos will not work well for you.













Monday, July 23, 2012

Boating Sidney Spit and Black-tailed Deer

It is summer here where I live in Canada.  So not much text in my blog now.  Also I am trying to learn how to video.  I will take you out in our little boat today for a tour around Sidney Spit, B.C. There will be hopefully a little video of boating and one of the black-tailed deer at the end.  The video will  not show up if you are a subscriber on email or possibly not show on feed, not sure. I have a few subscribers and I really want to thank you for that. I am so happy to have readers of this blog. It means a great deal to me.
I am still following the wonderful ABC meme to keep me blogging and focus my creative mind and give me some control! The letter this week is "B" for boating and black-tailed deer.
I am really enjoying learning how to video on the Canon 7D, not very good at it yet and I am not very good with text so the video helps me feel that I have actually captured the essence of what I want to share with you. I think that is what I am trying to do here at Blogger...trying to share how wonderful and beautiful Vancouver Island is and I need video to do it. Here is an eagle, picture taken from a boat going up and down off the shores of Sidney.
This is a photo of Sidney Spit, B.C. where I love to go each summer. It is one of my favorite places. Long sandy beaches and tide pools to explore.  Lots of birds.
I had to put in some birds as I am very excited that Stewart has started a bird meme so I have another home to go to now with all my birdies! These are some Caspian Terns that flew in here to my blog from Sidney Spit, they were supposed to be for next week...next week is going to be very different. Wait and see. I am so excited about some of my upcoming videos as I can take you to the places I go.  I have done a lot of exploring around by boat and filming on a boat is a challenge. So the boat videos bob up and down with the waves. This first video below on the boat is absolutely terrible and it was ok until I did all the things you do to upload to Youtube and then their editor made the stabilize even worse. It was a great video on HD on the computer but did not upload nicely. Something happened in the video upload.
More of the dock and shore at Sidney Spit, could not find any water shots. It is an island that you can go to by boat or on a little ferry.  It is magical.
Another eagle shot taken from the bobbing boat, these eagles have a huge nest nearby on one of the islands off Sidney and we visit them each year and I love to see the baby eagles. Sometimes they are together on the beach with the parents. They are funny to watch walking around on the sand. I had great difficulty getting video with a 400 long, heavy lens even laying down in the boat, still no good, switched to the 300 lens.  Not much better. There were a lot of huge waves and Captain Ron was scolded for that as he is in charge of waves, I think.
Similar shot of the dock area.  I am so involved in video now that I have not taken many new stills lately.  I have a youtube site but it is not done yet and I have no idea what to do there, not sure why I started it. I will try to put in a video each week. It is a total mess over there while I try to learn it. I have created many videos and will add them public slowly.  The music concert video theme seems to be more popular than my birdies. Sigh.
This also taken from the boat on the water off Sidney, B.C., the eagle has something yummy to eat in those talons. They can transfer prey from their beak to their talons in flight.
Then for some unknown reason I have decided to mix in Black-tailed deer. There are a lot of deer on Sidney island and actually there are too many deer and some of the natural habitat is being destroyed there.  They just swim there from other islands so hard to control. They are lovely creatures but we have a lot of them moving into town!

That is it for now.  I am off to make more videos. The news in the world is so terrible this week, time to escape into some video.
Thank you to these memes for allowing bloggers to share their story.  I may not remember to enter them all.

 Also there is a new bird meme by Stewart at Paying Ready Attention called Wild Bird Wednesday that I am so happy about.

The Bird D'pot
Our World Tuesday
Sweet Shot Tuesday
Tuesday Tweets
ABC Wednesday
Nature Notes Wednesday
Outdoors Wednesday
Wild Bird Wednesday








No proof reader, and not doing corrections either.
edit note:  I sometimes have to republish after I see how many errors I made or links not working.  I list all the memes for the week now as I can only spend a short time on the computer as my eyes get tired. Such is life. To continue reading posts you must click older post below or see the index at the top or the side or pick a popular post or label from the sidebar.

Hopefully two videos will appear below. One taken in the boat very shaky and one of Black-tailed deer.











Sunday, July 15, 2012

American Dipper, Goldfinch and Robin

Here we go again!  Another round of the wonderful meme ABC started by Mrs. Nesbitt and managed so well and faithfully by the ABC team. I will do American Dipper, American Goldfinch and American Robin for letter "A".
This is the American Dipper found out at Goldstream Park.  He has the most wonderful song but I have not been able to video him singing at this time of year.

He is not shy and firmly believes that it is his river there and you are just to be tolerated.

This was so unusual!  I got the Goldfinch just stuffing himself with kelp!!
Who knew that they loved kelp.
Kelp has a lot of minerals in it and he seemed to enjoy it.


My Goldfinches eat finch food and chipped sunflower seeds but perhaps I should get some kelp.  Also I found a young Robin who was having a bath and just really having so much fun.  I will try to put in two of my first video series....apologies as they are hand held and I walk around waving the camera at things with great expectations! The videos are not great but the sound of the Swainson's Thrush in background is incredibly sweet.


 Thank you to these memes for allowing bloggers to share their story.  I may not remember to enter them all but I still list them as this is the quick way for me to do it. Since World Bird Wednesday has concluded I am happy to link to Anni at "I'd Rather B Birdin" for her Sunday "the Bird D'pot" meme....lets all fly there and join up.

The Bird D'pot
Our World Tuesday
Sweet Shot Tuesday
Tuesday Tweets
ABC Wednesday
Nature Notes Wednesday
Outdoors Wednesday




edit note:  I sometimes have to republish after I see how many errors I made or links not working.  I list all the memes for the week now as I can only spend a short time on the computer as my eyes get tired. Such is life. To continue reading posts you must click older post below or see the index at the top or the side or pick a popular post or label from the sidebar.












Sunday, July 08, 2012

Black-necked Stilts Videos Vancouver Island



More on the story of the Black-necked stilts that arrived here a while ago and nested.  We have not had these stilts here for around 25 years and no one knows of them nesting here before.  It has been amazing to watch the babies grow and change and how the parents care for them.  On the first video below they are very tired, sleeping baby stilts catching some Zzzzzzzz's. The letter today for ABC is the end of this round  "Z". The second video is better.

The baby stilts do sneak a peak at me now and then but basically I am ignored.  I assure you I used a long lens and am on the road and did not disturb them.  The parents were nearby but for some reason they never use the alarm call when I am there alone, they just looked up and went back to sleep!  Remember that one that came and sat with me on the mud bank for so long....I must be the stilt whisperer.  Anyway I don't like to cause any distress to any animal or bird just for the sake of a photo.

The first video is called sleepy as that is all they do! They snooze. It will be boring for those who see stilts every day.  The next video is when they were wide Awake! and doing lots of funny things.  They were zany and full of zest and zeal, some Z words for ABC meme. I just wanted some video to document them at this age as they grow into those long legs. They may not return next year and I may never see them again.

You can hear red tail hawks in the background and some farm noises and machinery and airplanes.  I am sure I heard a young eagle also. There is a sora running around at my feet and some killdeer and swallows and ducks all around there. The second video has some swallows fly by as the baby wakes up and stretches and does his grooming.

As an afterthought I should have edited these videos and put in more awake parts but I am still in the learning process as this is second video. The next video they are awake.  Videos are handheld or on monopod. Not so good yet.

Thank you to Mrs. Nesbitt for her ABC meme and to the other meme hosts this week.

The memes for this week are:  ABC Wednesday the letter "z". Thank you to these memes for allowing bloggers to share their story.  I may not remember to enter them all but I still list them as this is the quick way for me to do it.

Our World Tuesday
Sweet Shot Tuesday
Tuesday Tweets
World Bird Wednesday
ABC Wednesday
Nature Notes Wednesday
Outdoors Wednesday

edit note:  I sometimes have to republish after I see how many errors I made or links not working.  I list all the memes for the week now as I can only spend a short time on the computer as my eyes get tired. Such is life. To continue reading posts you must click older post below or see the index at the top or the side or pick a popular post or label from the sidebar.





Monday, July 02, 2012

Birds in My Yard Video

I think today we will take a tour of the birds in my yard.  Above is the American Goldfinch, I have a lot of them and some seem to be here almost all year.  They love to eat small chips of sunflower seeds and nyjer, niger seed in a bag.  They make the sweetest call, they say "tooooo sweet" and I always agree they are my cutest birds.  This is the male the female is a little less colorful.  They males are quite bossy at the feeder and manage to eat a lot.  I find them to be very tolerant of me and don't fly away much. The background is my rose bush in full bloom right now.  (ABC is nearing the end of this round and the letter is "Y" for yard.)
Next we have the Rufous-sided Towhee. I think they call him Spotted Towhee now.  He is very shy but loves the black oiled sunflower seeds...on the ground as he only goes up to the feeders if he is feeling particularly brave that day.  He nests in low bushes and his call is a raspy, throaty call "whrack".  He is part of the sparrow family. He is above the feeder area.
This is Red-winged Blackbird, male.  They are not always at the feeders but they do like to stop by and pay a visit, I only get a few here.  I have a male and female that have come by.  They are not in a colony around my yard so are not bothersome or noisy.  They just announce their arrival.  The red patches on the wing are used to show the other males how powerful they are for territorial demonstrations and to attract the ladies. He is looking directly at the feeders.
I got mixed up and added another Towhee.  I will let him stay in as I like the Towhee.
Here we have a lovely Pine Siskin.  I never used to see these birds around before but now we have so many of them at the feeder.  They love the sunflower chips and nyar seeds.  I will put in a better picture in another blog as this does not show the yellow on the wing. (I liked the flowers.)  They get along with the other birds quite well and behave at the feeder and are not dominant. He is just below my feeders.  They are very tame and don't bother to fly away when I fill the feeders....they just look curiously at me until I have to almost push them away.  They over eat.
This is all out of order today...above is the female of the Red-winged Blackbird.  She is looking down and about to try out the feeder. She will sit in the tray under the feeder. The Blackbirds that come here are quiet and kind of shy not the noisy groups that gather in the colony.  Well behaved and polite mine are.

This lovely colorful bird is the House Finch, male.  Female is more grey.  I have a lot of these birds always here.  They like to eat everything, all kinds of seeds will do for them.  They are a little feisty at the feeder. They like to stuff themselves.   They love apples.
 I was sitting in the back yard and I happened to just be in the exact spot where the best moss was for the Chestnut-Backed Chickadee.  He did not mind he just came right up to me and collected the moss he needed...this is not cropped! This is our  only Chickadee on Vancouver Island and he has the brown cap and rusty undersides.   They like the sunflower seeds.  He needs to have a nest box with a smaller opening hole so big birds can't take it over.
We had a Cowbird come by a few times.  This looks like a Brown-headed one I guess. Not very familiar with them but they put one of their eggs in other birds' nests.  Bad. Bad.
American Robin here.  I love the song they sing just at dusk.
Bewick's Wren with the white eye-liner.  They are very talkative and make a lot of scolding and raspy calls.  They make nests in strange places.  We had an old nest box laying on the ground this year and they nested in it!
Red-Breasted Nuthatch but I don't see the red breast part so not sure if male or female of baby. They like suet and peanuts and sunflower seeds. They have a nest box beside the feeder with a tiny opening hole.
This is a hummingbird, not sure but probably an Anna's or could be a Rufous.The Anna's have been around here since about 1958 as they are usually more south but they stay here all winter now and have their babies in February.  It is so harsh to see them nest in such a cold time of year.
This is a Downy Woodpecker.  We have a lot of these at the feeder and I have been making videos of the babies.  There will be more pictures of them later.  Well that is the tour of my backyard birds. Hope you liked it.  Cheers.
The memes for this week are:  ABC Wednesday the letter "Y" for Yard. Thank you to these memes for allowing bloggers to share their story.  I may not remember to enter them all but I still list them as this is the quick way for me to do it.

First Video below: My Backyard Birds...hand held, no video head yet, very shaky and no pan.  This is learning video Canon 7D series 1. The noise is the seaplanes.  Hopefully I will improve.   There is no auto focus on video so it is really difficult for me as my eyes will not focus either!!  There may be some errors today as I am rushing and do not have time to proof read.



Not sure all these memes are still on for the summer.
Show off Your Shot
Our World Tuesday
Sweet Shot Tuesday
Tuesday Tweets
World Bird Wednesday
ABC Wednesday
Wordless Wednesday with Words
Nature Notes Wednesday
Outdoors Wednesday


edit note:  I sometimes have to republish after I see how many errors I made or links not working.  I list all the memes for the week now as I can only spend a short time on the computer as my eyes get tired. Such is life. To continue reading posts you must click older post below or see the index at the top or the side or pick a popular post or label from the sidebar.





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