2016/01/17

Winter bird-watching at Fletcher Wildlife Garden

I went to the Fletcher Wildlife Garden today hoping to see some birds (especially this one recorded from two weeks ago).  I did not see the owl but ended up seeing many regular wintering species, and most of them were hanging around feeders or trees with fruits.

Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)
Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)

2016/01/08

Birding at Richmond Nature Park

Yesterday I went to downtown Vancouver with my mother to get Compass Cards for public transportation.  While we were waiting to cross the street in Chinatown, I was shoved to the ground from behind by a random drunk/addict walking by.  I don't come to downtown Vancouver often, but for whatever reason, I always left with a bad taste for this part of the city whenever I do come.

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After the incident, we took the sea bus to North Vancouver just to get away from Vancouver.

2016/01/01

First (bird-watching) day of 2016

I drove to Steveston with my mother today for an afternoon walk.  We stopped at a couple of places to do some bird-watching.

Mountain and Ocean
I miss this view.

2015/12/31

Last (bird-watching) day of 2015

I was hoping to do more nature-related things when I came back home, but various tasks took place and I ended up not bird-watching until this morning when I drove my mother to the library to borrow some books and then went to Terra Nova for a walk.

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I miss this view.  You can't see mountains and ocean (sort of) in the same view back in Ottawa.

2015/12/24

Christmas Bird Count 2015 (Ottawa) & Return back to BC

Hello from BC!  I returned back to BC early yesterday morning for the holiday break.  Before Tuesday, I participated in the Ottawa-Gatineau Christmas Bird Count on Sunday with mostly the same group of people as last year.  As you may already know, it has been a warm December in Ontario and the weather is completely different from the previous year.  Compared to last year, our section did not record as many species, although the region as a whole has received a record number of individuals, with more than two-thirds of the total count (about 25,000 individual birds) being American Crows and Canada Geese (read the news report here).  Unfortunately, I stupidly forgot to put my freshly-charged battery into my camera and was not able to take any photos of the birds we saw.  In the end, I only snapped two photos with my phone.

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The starting point of our bird count early in the morning.

2015/12/06

Bird-watching at Arboretum in a (still) snow-free December

Compared to previous years (2013 and 2014), December so far has been very mild which makes being outside (for humans and creatures alike) more enjoyable.  Before going to school today to grade some lab reports, I made a detour to the Arboretum to do some bird-watching.  I came across a spot where several species of birds were bathing and enjoying whatever food they can find.

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American Robin (Turdus migratorius) taking a bird bath.

2015/11/29

November update

I apologize for not posting anything until the end of the month, but life is getting too busy for me to take breaks just for photographs.  During this month, I bought a year-long student membership to the Museum of Nature (and went there twice already), took up swimming during lunch breaks, and went out bird-watching three times.

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Early November when the temperature was still pleasant enough to sit outside.  I was sitting on a bench and studying for my biological modeling midterm before taking this photo.

2015/10/31

Fall- and bird-watching at Fletcher Wildlife Garden & Arboretum

Near this time last year, the fall colours at the Arboretum were around peak-time, so I came to the Arboretum yesterday and today to see if the timing is still similar.  Sadly, the timing is a bit advanced this year so most leaves are on the ground now.

Yesterday, I came with a friend and we bird-watched as well.  I forgot my binoculars and telephoto lens at home, and only had the OM 50 f/2 lens on my camera (which is why I returned again today).  I discovered a new birding spot behind the Fletcher Wildlife Garden's Interpretative Centre so we spent some time looking for birds there.

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We saw this bird which we think may be a Purple Finch (Haemorhous purpureus).  This is a 100% crop of the original image.
 

2015/10/26

Limnology field trip - Part 2

This past weekend, I was back at Station de biologie des Laurentides for another weekend field trip with the students.  The autumn colours have mostly disappeared from the landscape, and most of the leaves are now on the ground.

Lac Geai
The yellow trees are Tamarack (Larix laricina).

2015/10/14

Searching for fall colours in Ottawa

Since last month, I have been watching leaves slowly changing their colours on my way to school.  This past Thanksgiving long weekend, I finally had some free time to go outside and enjoy autumn up close.

Eastern cottontail (Sylvilagus floridanus)
The week before, I saw an Eastern cottontail (Sylvilagus floridanus) at Sawmill Creek while I was taking a break from sitting in front of my computer all day.

2015/09/27

Limnology field trip at Station de biologie des Laurentides

I am assisting with a limnology course this semester, and one component of the course is going to University of Montreal's Station de biologie des Laurentides this weekend and demonstrating to the students some of the sampling and analyses techniques in limnology.  Then next month, the students will apply the techniques to perform their own research project over a four-day period.

The weather during the weekend was fantastic, but I was too busy with my duties to take a lot of pictures.

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Sign welcoming us to the station, which is about 2.5 hours northeast of Ottawa.
 

2015/09/20

2015 Ottawa CityFolk Festival

My September has been pretty hectic so far with little time to just relax and not think about work.  This past weekend, I attended the CityFolk Festival (previously known as the Ottawa Folk Festival - see last year's photos and blog post here), which provided me a few entertaining hours of folk music each day.  Below are photos from the bands that I want to see.


I just love the beautiful music created by this sister duo even though my French is horrendous.  Their most popular song on YouTube is probably this song, check it out!

Les sœurs Boulay

2015/09/06

Mud Lake and Petrie Islands (Post #1,000)

Knowing that I will be very busy this coming school semester - teaching, taking one class, and working on my own research project, I doubt I will be spending a lot of time outside and enjoying nature.  So for the past few days, I have been going out and taking advantage of the last free days before school begins next Tuesday.  The places I went to were Mud Lake and Petrie Island, and I went to each place twice because there are so many things to see.

Mud Lake

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A lot of Water lilies (Nymphaea odorata) floating on the lake.

2015/08/31

(Wild)life back in Ottawa

I have not done a lot of wildlife-watching since I returned from Baltimore - mainly because I do not have a valid bus pass yet and I only try to go to places within walk- and bike-able distances.  Besides where I live, the other places I go to for the past two weeks are: Sawmill Creek Wetland, the Arboretum, McCarthy Woods, and the university.  Here are some interesting things that I photographed.

Sawmill Creek Wetland

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Milkweed Tussock Moth caterpillar (Euchaetes egle)

2015/08/15

Baltimore and the 100th ESA meeting

After returning back to Ottawa (from Colorado) on August 2nd, I spent most of my days preparing for my presentation at the Ecological Society of America (ESA) centennial meeting in Baltimore (August 9th to 14th).  My labmates and I departed for Baltimore on the morning of the 9th, drove more than eight hours, and arrived at Baltimore just before midnight; and my presentation took place in the following afternoon.

With ESA being the largest ecological society in the world, there was an incredible number of ecologists present, as well as numerous sessions taking place at the Baltimore Convention Center.  Overall, I thought my own presentation went well, and I enjoyed most of the presentations that I attended.  Unfortunately, I was unable to tour Baltimore as much as I would have liked.  Here are some of the photos I took when I was not busy inside the convention center speed-walking from one session to another.

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The convention center lobby.  This place is completely packed in the morning, during lunchtime, and at the end of the day.  I snapped this photo when I took a break between sessions.
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