Viewing Bald Eagles at Boundary Bay

A juvenile Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) perched on a fence post near Boundary Bay in Delta, British Columbia, Canada.

juvenile bald eagle perched on a post at boundary bay

Juvenile Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) perched on a fence post near Boundary Bay (Purchase)

In early January I made a few visits to the dyke trail along Boundary Bay in Delta, BC. These Boundary Bay trails are a great spot for a short (or very long) walk while taking in the views and the wildlife. I’ve previously photographed a number of species here, most notably Snowy Owls back in 2012. Certain spots can be crowded with birders and photographers, so I tend to avoid those locations. I always photograph from the trails, and if I can’t “reach” a subject from there, well, maybe it will sit closer next time. The juvenile Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) in the above photograph was a very easy subject to work with. It was relatively still, had some personality, and I happened upon it in fairly decent light. During January I don’t think the breeding has really started to get going so there are a lot of eagles loitering around on various trees and posts in the area making for good viewing.

adult bald eagle perched in a tree at boundary bay

Adult Bald Eagle (H. leucocephalus) perched on a tree branch at Boundary Bay (Purchase)

Further along the trail I came upon this adult Bald Eagle perched in a tree. So often when I find eagles in trees there are branches in front of them which makes for a difficult photograph. This one was reasonably close and was also not very high up in the tree. There were two other things that made photographing this eagle interesting. The first can be seen in the photograph below. There are a lot of Bald Eagles in the area, and they would occasionally fly over and land in nearby, taller Cottonwood trees. There were a number of times this eagle stretched its wings and preened itself, but it was also not quiet when the other eagles were nearby. The photo below shows this eagle while it was making a fair bit of noise while also stretching. I presume this was some level of warning that this was its tree or something similar. Maybe this was just a particularly cantankerous eagle? This video shows the full sequence of 20 images I made put together of the eagle stretching: https://vimeo.com/396230790.

adult bald eagle stretching in a tree

An adult Bald Eagle (H. leucocephalus) stretches while on a tree branch near Boundary Bay (Purchase)

The other interesting thing I noticed when photographing this eagle was the large number of small insects flying around it. I could see these on my camera’s LCD screen and zoomed in as I was initially alarmed this might be a lot of dirt on my camera sensor. The eagle didn’t seem at all bothered by this, even though they were buzzing quite close to its head much of the time. I don’t know what attracted the insects, but considering what eagles often eat in the area, this may have been a particularly smelly individual.

small insects flying around an adult bald eagle

An adult Bald Eagle (H. leucocephalus) perched on a tree branch (with a small cloud of insects)

While I almost always see and photograph a variety of wildlife on a trip to Boundary Bay – the scenic surroundings are well worth the trip too. On a clear day Mount Baker (3286 m / 10780 ft) in Washington State offers a great view along with Lummi Peak on Lummi Island that can be seen from the bay. This photograph has both a juvenile Bald Eagle as well as Mount Baker all in one photograph – something I’ve been looking for from any of the larger bird species in the area on the clear days I’ve visited.

juvenile bald eagle sitting on driftwood with mount baker

A juvenile Bald Eagle on a piece of driftwood next to Boundary Bay. Mount Baker (Washington) in the background. (Purchase)

For more of my photographs of birds visit my Bird Photos Gallery.

Mount Baker from Huntoon Point

Sunset light in the clouds above Mount Baker – photographed from Huntoon Point, Washington State.

mount baker fall foliage sunset from huntoon point washington

Mount Baker and Fall Foliage at Huntoon Point (Purchase)

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   As I have indicated in other posts, fall is the time of year I usually visit the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest in Washington State. I usually photograph Mount Baker, Mount Shuksan, and the other North Cascade peaks and ranges in the area. Sometimes I am there along with some great fall foliage as well, though it has a much different look than near sea level. Where I live this leaf color is usually dominated by Bigleaf Maples, Vine Maples, and a few other species. Up in the mountains near Mount Baker, much of the color comes from smaller trees and shrubs such as the Vaccinium species (Blueberries / Huckleberries etc) and Sitka Mountain Ash (Sorbus sitchensis) as shown in the first photograph here. There is always a lot to photograph in the area between Picture Lake, the Chain Lakes, and Huntoon Point on Kulshan Ridge, even if there isn’t a nice sunset. One of my favourite spots and I always find new compositions when I am there.

mount baker sunset from huntoon point washington

Sunset at Mount Baker (Purchase)

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   When there is a nice sunset sometimes it can be difficult to photograph Mount Baker in that light. From this area you are looking southwest towards Mt. Baker. This can be problematic if the clouds aren’t cooperating in lessening the bright to dark one finds in looking from west to east across that view. Luckily there was some thin cloud cover in most of the sky, but not far to the west where the sun was free to shine through. These were near perfect conditions for sunset there, which I have not seen before myself. There was even some great light over the mountains to the north (the Border Peaks, for example) as well as above Mount Shuksan to the east.

mount baker after sunset from huntoon point washington

Mount Baker after the sunset (Purchase)

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Visit my Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest gallery for more photographs from this evening as well as the surrounding area.

Mount Baker at Sunset

Last bit of sunset light on Mount Baker/Kulshan from Artist Point at the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest in Washington State, USA

mount baker artist point sunset glaciers

Sunset light on Mount Baker from Artist Point (Purchase)

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   It always seems that there are either too many clouds or none at all when I have an opportunity to photograph Mount Baker. So sometimes I ignore it in favour of Mount Shuksan or one of the other nearby mountains available at Artist Point in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. This time, however, I like the small accents of light that showed up on the side of the peak, which gives this photo a bit more interest for me than others I made at the same time.

Mount Baker from Pitt Meadows

Sunset on Mount Baker (Komo Kulshan) from Pitt Meadows, British Columbia, Canada

mount baker aka kulshan from pitt meadows - british columbia

Mount Baker from Pitt Meadows (Purchase)

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   Growing up in the area around Vancouver, British Columbia, especially out in the Fraser Valley, Mount Baker is a constant presence on the Eastern horizon. Many roads seem to point straight towards Baker or sometimes Mount Shuksan. While I am most familiar with the view of Baker from Langley, it can be seen all the way from Stanley Park in Vancouver, the Southernmost point of the area in Tsawwassen, and from North of the Fraser River – here in Pitt Meadows. I made this photograph from the edge of one of the many Cranberry fields on the road to Pitt Lake. As Baker is such a constant for anyone living out here, it was quite a surprise for me as a kid to realize that it was not a Canadian mountain – it actually is in Washington State. I was young enough that I am not sure I believed that right away.

Panoramas from Baker Lake

1. 8 exposures stitched, Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 macro USM

Panoramas of the forest and mountains around Baker Lake. Mt. Baker from the east near Baker Lake.

mt. baker baker lake

1. 8 exposures stitched, Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 macro USM

Mt. Shuksan from the south (usually photographing it from the west) near Baker Lake.

mt. shuksan baker lake