Birds at Richmond’s Iona Beach Regional Park

A male Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) singing in the marsh at Iona Beach Regional Park in Richmond, British Columbia, Canada.

song spread display red-winged blackbird male at iona beach

“Song Spread” display by male Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) (Purchase)

In early June I visited Camosun Bog in Vancouver’s Pacific Spirit Park but found myself with enough of the evening available to visit another location. I chose to visit Iona Beach Regional Park, in order to take a look at getting some better bird photographs than the last time I visited in the Winter (photographing Snow Geese). Iona Beach Regional Park is well known for the 4km long Iona Jetty that includes a walking/hiking trail. There are also two ponds that are popular with bird watchers and photographers. A lot of long lenses at this park!

The primary bird species I was expecting here in large numbers were the Red-winged Blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus) and I was not disappointed. I’d not seen “tame” individuals before, but I guess enough people visit Iona and feed them next to the parking lot, that some resort to begging when new people show up. One male Red-winged Blackbird even got so close to me on a boardwalk railing I had to back up in order to photograph it. There was a possibility of seeing a Yellow-headed Blackbird (Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus) at Iona Beach, but I didn’t manage to spot it. What I did see was a display by the male Red-winged Blackbird shown above. This posture of hunching forward and spreading the tail (while singing) is called a “Song Spread” display. As with a lot of other bird displays, this one is largely for territory defense and to attract females.

red-winged blackbird male in mountain ash tree

Male Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) in Mountain Ash Tree (Purchase)

While walking around the various ponds at Iona Beach, I photographed this singing male in a Mountain Ash tree. The marsh/pond area there is not a quiet place, with a lot of different species singing and calling. There was also periods of quiet when a Bald Eagle would fly over. The birds here didn’t seem as concerned with the Osprey that kept showing up, fishing in the ponds. I saw it drop down and pick out a fish at one point, and heard it hit the water a few more time after that. It likely had a nest with hungry mouths nearby.

perched tree swallow calling out at iona beach

A Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor) calls at a passing swallow while perched on a Blackberry branch (Purchase)

There are a lot of Swallows at Iona Beach Regional Park darting around catching insects. The park also has quite a number of nesting boxes available the Swallows use, so that likely adds to its popularity. The photograph above shows a Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor) perched in some Blackberry bushes, calling to another Tree Swallow that periodically joined it. At the time I was unaware we were standing right next to one of the nest boxes and once we backed up, these two went back to tend to their nest inside. Ooops!

immature tree swallow landing

An immature Tree Swallow has a rough landing (Purchase)

At another nesting box further up the trail I noticed this juvenile attempt a landing on top of the box a number of times. It would land on the top edge, then slide off the back on its initial attempts. The photo above shows the first successful, if a bit shaky, landing on the top of the box. I presume the other adult swallow present is one of the parents supervising flying and landing lessons soon after this one has fledged.

flock of cedar waxwings perched

Group of Cedar Waxwings (Bombycilla cedrorum) Perched in the Blackberries (Purchase)

I have photographed Cedar Waxwings (Bombycilla cedrorum) before, but never this many in one frame. These birds were fairly elusive when I visited, preferring to stick to the top of some nearby Cottonwood trees versus anywhere I could photograph them. Then I noticed one in the blackberry bushes in front of me. Then another, and another. Can you spot all 5 Waxwings in this photo?

For more of my bird photography visit my Bird Photos Gallery in the Image Library.

London Heritage Farm in Richmond, BC

The London Farmhouse at London Heritage Farm in Richmond, British Columbia, Canada.

london farmhouse at london heritage farm in richmond

London Farmhouse (1898) at London Heritage Farm in Richmond (Purchase)

On the first full day of Summer in 2022 I found myself in Richmond, BC after a quick visit with Peter West Carey at Garry Point Park. It was a bit early for good light at Garry Point, and so I did what I usually do in such situations, drive around and explore. I first came across Finn Slough which I had never photographed before. I’d heard of London Heritage Farm, but only had a vague idea of its location. When I drove past just by luck I stopped for a visit. I do like heritage buildings, especially on farms.

The London Farmhouse was completed in 1898 by Charles Edwin London. In 1921 London’s eldest daughter, Lucy, purchased the farm and owned it until 1948. The farm primarily produced milk and various produce items. The city of Richmond purchased the London Farmhouse and land in 1978 before converting the site to a park and heritage site. The London Farmhouse has been fully restored with furnishings and other items from that era of farming and living in Richmond. The photograph above shows the front door of the London Farmhouse as seen from the Gazebo in the nearby picnic area. The grounds around the house also contain gardens and a restored barn with a display of old farm equipment.

london farmhouse at london heritage farm in richmond

English Gardens at London Heritage Farm in Richmond (Purchase)

Walking to the east side of the farmhouse, there is an old style English garden with many flowers in bloom (in June, at least). The photo above shows Peonies in full bloom, as well as some other plants including Pinks, Iris, Astrantia, and a Japanese Maple. I also noticed Lady’s Mantle, Foxglove, Calla Lilies, Iris, Snapdragons, and Roses in bloom at the gardens. In the background of the above photo is a small garden shed which holds tools that the volunteers use in the gardens and a small greenhouse.

london farmhouse at london heritage farm in richmond

Peony in the English Gardens at London Heritage Farm (Purchase)

Some of the brighter coloured flowers in the London Farm gardens were these Peony flowers. This photo also shows the Lady’s Mantle (bottom left) and Astrantia, middle right. The building in the background is referred to as “The Workshop” on the farm maps.

london farmhouse at london heritage farm in richmond

Restored Spragg Family Barn at London Heritage Farm (Purchase)

This small barn is referred to as the restored “Spragg Family Barn” in most of the information I’ve found about London Heritage Farm. I couldn’t find any other details about it, but I presume it was built after the London Family no longer owned the property. A display of old farm equipment and tools including a Fordson Tractor are housed on the side of the Spragg Family Barn.

london farmhouse at london heritage farm in richmond

Ripening Red Currants at London Heritage Farm (Purchase)

These Red Currant berries were ripening on the vine along the edge of the English gardens with some other small fruit bushes. Initially I confused these Currants with Gooseberries. You can tell a Currant bush from a Gooseberry bush as there are no thorns on Currants. Also, the fruit on a Gooseberry is individually attached along the main stem, not in groups as seen in these Red Currants.

For more photographs of the City of Richmond visit my Richmond Gallery.

Bog Plants in Vancouver’s Camosun Bog

Round-Leaved Sundew (Drosera rotundifolia) at Camosun Bog in Pacific Spirit Park in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

round-leaved sundew camosun bog

Round-Leaved Sundew (Drosera rotundifolia) at Camosun Bog (Purchase)

In June I’d seen a number of people on Twitter talking about Camosun Bog in Pacific Spirit Park as a good spot for various flowering bog species at the time, so I decided to head out there and see what was still in bloom. I was also thinking a lot about the possibility of seeing Sundews again, a species I haven’t seen in person since a University trip to Burns Bog back in 1999 or so. I visited Camosun Bog for the very first time last September. As this followed the Heat dome natural disaster earlier that year and a relatively dry/hot summer, things were pretty crispy in Camosun bog then. After a lot of rain this winter the bog looked replenished and relatively healthy this spring. I was a bit too late for a good flower display from the Bog Laurels, but there was more than enough species of interest to spend over an hour making photographs.

The first plants I looked for were the Sundews which were easy to spot and fairly plentiful. The photograph above shows a rather large group of them mixed in with some Sphagnum moss and decaying leaves from last year. This particular species is the Round-leaved Sundew (Drosera rotundifolia). Like other Sundews, the Round-leaved Sundew is a carnivorous plant, and more specifically an insectivore. The photograph below is a zoomed in version of another Sundew plant I photographed, and shows the sticky red tentacle-like hairs that tempt insects both with their red colour and nectar in order to trap and then digest them.

round-leaved sundew closeup

Round-Leaved Sundew (Drosera rotundifolia) at Camosun Bog (Purchase)

The next species I photographed were these flowering Bunchberry (Cornus canadensis) plants. I’ve seen Bunchberry before in person and in other photographs, but had not made images of them myself until now. I’d always thought they looked like miniature Pacific Dogwood Flowers (Cornus nuttallii) and there is good reason for that, they are in the same genus – Cornus. Bunchberry, unlike its larger cousin, grows as a relatively short ground cover in fairly moist forest floor/bog environments. The flowers mature into glossy red berries.

bunchberry flowers cornus canadensis

Bunchberry (Cornus canadensis) flowers at Camosun Bog (Purchase)

I also made several images of Northern Starflower (Trientalis arctica) plants, which were mostly blooming when I visited Camosun Bog. I am not entirely sure which is the preferred name for this species, but it is also often listed as Arctic Starflower (Trientalis europaea ssp. arctica).

northern arctic starflowers camosun bog

Northern Starflower (Trientalis arctica) (Purchase)

One of the most recognizable species in a bog, Labrador Tea (Ledum groenlandicum). Labrdor Tea isn’t as flashy as a lot of the other species such as flowering Bog Laurels, but does have these very nice white flowers in the spring. As the name suggests, the leaves can be used to make a tea (steeped, not boiled) which is described as “floral” in flavouring. Labrador Tea resembles a rhododendron, and for good reason – an alternative name for it is Rhododendron groenlandicum.

labrador tea flowers ledum gorenlandicum

Labrador Tea (Ledum groenlandicum) Flowers (Purchase)

The most commonly thought of plant in a bog is likely Sphagnum Moss (Genus Sphagnum). I am unsure as to which species this photograph below illustrates, as there are roughly 12 species of Sphagnum in Camosun Bog alone! I do try to ID every species/place/mountain/building I feature in a photograph, but sometimes I have to draw a line!

sphagnum moss

Sphagnum Moss (Genus Sphagnum) (Purchase)

For more photographs of Native and Wild plants of Southwestern British Columbia visit my Native and Wild Plants Gallery.

Virginia Rail (Rallus limicola) Adult and Fledgling

A Virginia Rail (Rallus limicola) foraging in a Fraser Valley Wetland.

virginia rail rallus limicola adult wading

Virginia Rail (Rallus limicola) Adult (Purchase)

Recently I was walking through a Fraser Valley park and saw a bird run across the trail – and it was unlike one I’d seen before. It struck me as the shape of bird that I’d normally see on the shoreline near the ocean, but this was well inland and in a fresh water marsh/wetland area and had interesting orange colours going on with its chicken like gait. New species are fun to discover! While I had no idea what kind of bird this was, I stopped and hoped that I could improve on the few, hurried, photos I made as it headed into the tall grass on the side of the trail. I knew it was still just a few feet into the grass as i could hear the occasional call here and there. A horse and rider ran by (a shared equestrian/pedestrian trail) but the calls didn’t stop, so I guess this particular bird wasn’t too bothered by traffic nearby. Soon it reappeared, not lingering anywhere but wading past with its attention to the water for invertebrates to eat, I presume. I consulted my phone app for bird identification (Merlin) at the time and it seemed likely this was a Virginia Rail (Rallus limicola) which I have since confirmed.

virginia rail rallus limicola chick fledgling

Virginia Rail (Rallus limicola) Chick (4-14 days old)

My app also indicated this bird was rare. Upon further research it seems they aren’t rare exactly, but rare to see, an important distinction. While its existence is not aided with the draining of wetlands, the population remains in sufficient abundance to not be currently “threatened” (listed by the IUCN as a species of Least Concern). At any rate, I hadn’t spotted a Virginia Rail before so this was quite interesting in itself. Even more interesting was what I saw next. I’d seen a small black shape scamper around in the water/grasses near the adult, but had initially dismissed it as small rodent of some kind. Once it crossed some water and struggled to get up a small incline, I saw it flapping tiny wings during the attempt (photo above). This was a Virginia Rail chick likely quite recently out of the nest. Evidently newly hatched chicks only remain in the nest for 3-4 days before they get out and start moving around. They also molt for the first time at around 2 weeks of age, with the black feathers giving way to new ones. So this chick was likely somewhere around 4-14 days old. Another thing I didn’t expect! When the Virginia Rail parent made another pass I made the first photograph above, and left the area as there were likely more chicks around and I didn’t want to draw any attention to them.

As I walked away from the Virginia Rail family, I noticed this male Mallard Duck (Anas platyrhyncho) swimming nearby. I am not sure if it was my presence alone, or some other event, but this Mallard seemed mad. I have not heard one of these ducks utter such a cacophony of sound before. It seemed really ticked off, and flew away shortly after I photographed it. I felt compelled to name this particular photograph “Beaking Off” as a result.

mallard duck calling

Mallard Duck (Anas platyrhyncho) uhm… Beaking Off (Purchase)

You can see more of my bird photographs in my Birds gallery.

Storm Clouds Over South Surrey

Storm clouds from an incoming thunderstorm darken the sky over farmland in South Surrey, British Columbia, Canada.

dark thunderstorm clouds over south surrey farmland nicomekl river

Thunderstorm Clouds Darken the Sky Over South Surrey Farmland (Purchase)

A few weeks ago I had a few hours to spend at Elgin Heritage Park in Surrey. I was mostly interested in photographing birds, and was not expecting a storm. Previously I’ve found a lot of birds on the marsh areas as well as along the shoreline of the Nicomekl River. At lot of the marsh plants seemed to be flatted by previous high water, so there aren’t as many old stems for the birds to perch in at the moment, but that will change as the foliage grows this spring. After looking for Red-winged Blackbirds and other birds along the shore, the darkening sky to the north and west was of some concern. I could see rain falling not too far across the river at times, so I was wary as to when I might have to head back to the car due to heavy precipitation or lightning. I made the first photograph here from the bank of the Nicomekl and from then on the sky received more of my attention than the birds. Although, I did photograph a Greater Yellowlegs which seemed to occasionally get bogged down in the mud while foraging. The Yellowlegs seemed pretty unconcerned about the potential for rain.

storm clouds over nicomekl river south surrey farmland

Storm Clouds and Rainfall over South Surrey Farmland (Purchase)

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The wide panorama below shows the amount of precipitation that was falling from these clouds at times. At one point the rain was just across the river, and I was pretty sure I could hear it. Only a few drops on the side of Elgin Heritage Park though, which I did not mind. My gear is weather sealed but I generally don’t want to test that!

bands of rain fall from storm clouds south surrey elgin

Wide Panorama of the Bands of rain falling from the storm clouds (Purchase)

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In my most recent post I wrote about not really wanting to photograph Herons anymore and then not only photographed a number of Herons, I posted 4 to that blog post alone. I should point out that while there is a Great Blue Heron in the photo below, it is not a “Heron photo”. It is a stormy cloud photograph that merely happens to have a Heron in it, in my defense. 🙂 There seemed to be some territorial jostling going on with the Herons at the river on that day – they were chasing each other off quite often. Lots of squawking and honking sounds (these are not songbirds) with some physical intimidation can help when attempting to convince a rival to move down the river, apparently.

storm clouds and the nicomekl river with heron

Nicomekl River, Storm Clouds and a Heron (Purchase)

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For more photographs from the City of Surrey visit my Surrey gallery.

Bird Photography at Tsawwassen’s Beach Grove Lagoon

An adult Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) flies overhead at Tsawwassen’s Centennial Beach in Delta, British Columbia, Canada.

bald eagle in flight at boundary bay in delta

Bad Eagle in Flight at Centennial Beach on Boundary Bay (Purchase)

In yet another example of parks I’ve been to, but not fully explored – I ventured out into Boundary Bay Regional Park north of Centennial Beach in mid February. While I was watching some ducks forage along the edge of the tidal zone a woman who was walking by asked a question about my photography (a long lens and a tripod attracts conversation). She pointed out there was a heron just down the way and I said the words that would set the tone for the rest of the evening (and this blog post). I stated that I was mostly done photographing herons at this point as I have too many heron photos. I used Bald Eagles as another example of birds I don’t seek out intentionally unless there is something new and/or interesting about the potential photograph (there are tons of Bald Eagles around Boundary Bay). So naturally a few seconds later I made the photograph above as this adult Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) flew just overhead. I don’t think I have many Eagles in flight photos, so this was something new and also worked out quite well. I should have known what was coming next.

Shortly after the Eagle incident I found this curious American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) hopping along the driftwood logs on the beach. I know Crows aren’t exactly a big target of birders, with some exceptions, but they are often doing interesting things. Previously recognized as a separate species, the Northwestern Crow (Corvus caurinus) was recently renamed the American Crow. As it turned out, via some genetic studies, Northwestern Crows were usually found to be hybrids or actually C. brachyrhynchos anyway. I wish they could have renamed it the North American Crow. This individual did eventually spy a tasty morsel in the sand and flew off to enjoy it with a bit more privacy.

american crow perched on driftwood at boundary bay

American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) Perched on Driftwood at Boundary Bay (Purchase)

Walking down the trail from Centennial Beach I approached the Beach Grove Lagoon and Spit area of Boundary Bay Regional Park and, as one might have predicted, found some Great Blue Herons (Ardea herodias) in interesting light. As I’ve often seen them do at Blackie Spit in Crescent Beach, there were a number of Herons hanging out in a grassy field near the shore. Some were sleeping and having a nap but others were slightly more active. The warmer sunlight of the evening with the backlighting on the bird attracted me to this particular composition. I photographed this individual Heron as the feathers on its head and neck were nicely lit by the sunlight versus others who were resting in the shade. I guess one attractive thing about photographing these birds is they often tend to sit still and don’t move around a lot unless they are actively hunting. Probably why I have more photos of Herons than Swallows, for example. Despite declaring them a subject I’m less interested, I published 7 Heron photos from this evening, bringing the total in my Image Library to 42. Maybe I should just change my logo to a heron?

great blue heron at beach grove lagoon tsawwassen

Great Blue Heron Resting in a Grassy Field in Tsawwassen (Purchase)

Also at the Beach Grove Lagoon and Spit was this Heron sitting on a piece of driftwood. It seemed to mostly be enjoying nap time like the Herons in the field. Occasionally it would keep a close eye on a Bald Eagle or other larger bird flying nearby. It may have been resting up for the hunt I saw it begin shortly thereafter.

great blue heron perched on driftwood at boundary bay regional park

Great Blue Heron Perched on Driftwood at Beach Grove Lagoon and Spit (Purchase)

Much of Boundary Bay Regional Park is often a great place to spot a variety of shorebirds depending on the time of year. On this day in mid February there were a number of Greater Yellowlegs (Tringa melanoleuca) foraging along the shore. This one was focusing on this one area in the water, perhaps having spied something on its first pass and was hoping to snack on it this time around. When photographing this Yellowlegs I talked to a young man (~14) who was also trying to photograph the shorebirds. When I saw the Yellowlegs I got off the trail and sat down and waited for them to walk past. His tactic was to walk quickly back and forth on the top of the dike, looming in the sky (from the bird’s perspective) which often dictated their direction of movement. I mentioned this to him and that if he stood in one spot, the birds would wander past and be more relaxed while doing so. He agreed, but lamented that he just didn’t have the patience to do that. I probably wouldn’t have had it at 14 either, honestly, and I’ve see grown adults racing up and down the dike at boundary bay chasing birds too. Also of note for this 14 year old was the lens he was using. I’m pretty sure it was a Canon 800mm which retails for around $22,000 here in Canada. Must be nice (but heavy)! My car was cheaper than that when new in 2004!

greater yellowlegs Tringa melanoleuca at boundary bay

Greater Yellowlegs (Tringa melanoleuca) at Beach Grove Lagoon and Spit (Purchase)

After I chatted about wildlife photography and Yellowlegs the Heron I photographed sitting on the driftwood earlier had flown a short distance to the edge of the incoming tidal water from Boundary Bay. I watched it catch several small fish before it flew to the other side of the dike to join those napping in the grass.

great blue heron resting at boundary bay regional park

Great Blue Heron Hunting at Beach Grove Lagoon (Wildlife Area) (Purchase)

On my walk back to the car as the light became dim there were several Herons in various trees either individually or in groups. This particular Heron was perched on top of a dead Birch tree trunk that had clearly rotted to the point of breaking off at some point. There was a Flicker poking around in one of the lower parts of the old trunk, an intrusion the Heron didn’t seem to mind. Granted this was a bit less noisy than when Flickers engage in their favourite spring pastime and bang away on metal chimneys in the early morning.

great blue heron resting at boundary bay regional park

Great Blue Heron Perched in the Evening at Boundary Bay (Purchase)

For more photographs of the Tsawwassen and Boundary Bay area visit my Delta Gallery in the Image Library. I don’t have a dedicated Heron gallery. Yet.

A Snowy Walk at Derby Reach Regional Park

Fresh snow creates an outline on each branch of this thick deciduous forest at Derby Reach Regional Park in Langley, British Columbia, Canada.

snow on the trees at derby reach regional park near the fraser river

Snow Outlines the Branches in a Deciduous Forest (Purchase)

In early January we had a light snowfall overnight here which actually stuck around through the next day. So often even a large dump of snow is a bit slushy the next day, or everything turns to rain, and there aren’t many photography opportunities in those conditions. I can often see snow on the mountains without such conditions down here closer to sea level, but snow covering the trees like in these first two photographs is certainly more elusive. As this was something I’ve been waiting for I actually made a photo from the backyard of a tree across the street that was lit by a street light in case everything was gone by morning! Luckily, that didn’t happen.

As the conditions looked promising I headed out to Williams Park which is a small local park I like to visit, often just for a walk. There is a creek running through the length of it and the sound of water is always a good accompaniment to a 2-3km stroll. It can also be nice with snow around, but the scenes there weren’t speaking to me that day so I headed north to Derby Reach Regional Park. Forest scenes can be a tough subject to find a composition with – so many branches and plants heading in different directions can create quite a mess of sorts. With some snow on the branches, however, it is a bit like a highlighter has been drawn on all the branches and they stand out in a more individual fashion. I photographed the scene above, one I’ve seen a dozen times without really noticing any distinctiveness to the flow of the branches, but the snow changed that. It was pointed out to me that this first photograph would make a good jigsaw puzzle. For those who enjoy a lot of frustration, I suspect.

snow on the trees at derby reach regional park near the fraser river

Fresh snow on branches of a tree at Derby Reach Regional Park (Purchase)

Further down the trail this individual tree grabbed my attention again due to the fringe of snow on each branch that makes the tree (a Red Alder in this case, I think)

snow on the trees at derby reach regional park near the fraser river

Tugboat Towing Barge of Sawdust Down the Fraser River (Purchase)

When I visit Derby Reach Regional Park I tend to frequent an area called Muench Bar which gives a nice view of the Fraser River and on a day of good weather – the Golden Ears Mountains. I tend to photograph these peaks too often frequently, as previous posts in this blog will attest. When I’m along a big river like the Fraser, there is usually some boating activity and I’ll often photograph them as they go past my location. Here I had both subjects available, so I photographed this Ledcor Tugboat towing a barge full of sawdust down the river – with the Golden Ears (Mount Blanshard) in the background. The clouds were frequently obscuring then dissipating from the mountain peaks but I was usually able to wait until they became visible.

snow on golden ears blanshard and ice in the fraser river

The Golden Ears and the Fraser River (with ice!) on A Winter Day (Purchase)

We don’t often have a cold snap long enough to form ice on the Fraser, but this happened a few times this winter. At one point parts of it were frozen over, which isn’t that common. During this cold spell there were again chunks of ice flowing in the river, and I included the pilings in the foreground mostly due to the nest boxes at the top. These nesting boxes are for the Purple Martin (Progne subis) I believe – though they might be used by other species as well.

snowy golden ears mountains at derby reach

Fresh Snow on the Golden Ears and Derby Reach Regional Park in Langley (Purchase)

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As I was heading back to my car from Muench Bar after sunset there were some more interesting blues in the sky and I again made a panorama from my favourite view of Mount Blanshard. I have previously photographed Mount Blanshard from this same spot in the spring. I should try to get a photo like this in every season to complete the series.

For more photographs from this snowy day visit my Langley Township/Langley City Gallery.

Views from Jericho Pier and Locarno Beach

A sailboat sails on English Bay past the West End neighbourhood of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

sailboat english bay west end vancouver

Sailboat on English Bay near the West End of Vancouver (Purchase)

While it was technically the first full day of fall, an evening I spent last September taking in the views from Jericho Pier and Locarno Beach felt like a late summer evening. There were plenty of people enjoying both the beach and the waters of English Bay. I don’t think anyone was swimming but I saw everything from yachts to sailboats down to paddleboards and kayaks all over the water. A lot of my photos from this evening either have sailboats in them or I had to wait a while until they passed. The photograph above was made of the West End and Downtown Vancouver after sunset from Jericho Pier. The two taller towers are the Paradox Hotel (left) which recently has mercifully been renamed from a previously embarrassing moniker, and the tower in the middle is a hotel called Living Shangri-La.

freighters on english bay sunset clouds

A cloud lit by sunset over English Bay (Purchase)

I don’t often find that a sunset is a subject of much interest in itself. The light at that time can be great, but I tend to be facing somewhere other than west when one is occurring. These freighters were among the many ubiquitously anchored in English bay waiting to load or offload. As seen in the photograph below, I was keeping an eye on the mountains the northwest as a good background. When this one strip of cloud lit up from the sunset I walked a bit to line it up with the two freighters. I made this photograph, like many others on that evening, from Jericho Pier. I’d not visited this pier before, but it seemed like an area that would have good views in many directions, and so after walking around Locarno and Jericho beach areas I settled on it as a spot for the later evening photographs. Unfortunately, like Cultus Lake and a few other locations I visited this fall, the storms this past fall and winter were not kind to Jerico Pier. A strong windstorm during a King tide destroyed some of the pier and it has been closed. Much like the damage to White Rock Pier when a dock and sailboats were bashed against it, Jericho wasn’t able to remain intact after high tides and winds battered it with stray logs/trees from English Bay. The pier remains closed, and I’m not sure if there are plans to repair it.

learning to sail on english bay

Students from the Jericho Sailing Centre sail on English Bay (Purchase)

As I mentioned earlier there were a lot of sailboats in English Bay on this evening. This group appeared to be a sailing class from the Jericho Sailing Centre nearby. With the Point Atkinson Lighthouse (in West Vancouver’s Lighthouse Park) and the Tetrahedron Range (Panther peak and Tetrahedron peak on the Sunshine Coast) in the background I made a photo quickly before they came into the frame. I then thought I should try one including them and I like both results.

west end of vancouver panorama english bay evening

West End and Downtown Vancouver skyline in the early evening (Purchase)

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I do enjoy making photographs of downtown Vancouver and that subject is often one that calls (to me) for a panorama. This photograph shows the buildings of the West End and Downtown areas of the City of Vancouver as viewed from Jericho Pier. On the left you can just spot the Inukshuk at English Bay Beach with Kits Point on the right. I don’t find this skyline nearly as interesting as the view of downtown from Stanley Park but with tall new buildings going up all the time the character is likely to change.

sunset downtown west end vancouver

Sunset at English Bay (Purchase)

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This is an example of a typical sunset photograph of mine – facing east! The light from sunset made a great, warm, glow on the buildings of Vancouver. You can just see the “Golden Ears” of Mount Blanshard and Blanshard Needle peeking out above Eagle Mountain in the background.

For more photographs from this evening and the City of Vancouver visit the Vancouver Gallery in my Image Library.