A raft of (mostly) Northern Pintails (Anas acuta) drift past two old pilings during high tide at Mud Bay in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada.
A Parting in the Clouds at Mud Bay (Purchase)
Earlier this year I visited Mud Bay Park in Surrey, British Columbia in the hopes of photographing some shore birds of some kind. Mud Bay is at the eastern end of Boundary Bay and is surrounded on 3 sides by south Surrey and Crescent Beach. I didn’t see many birds all that close to shore on this day, however. The tide was all the way in at first, and most of what I could see nearby were large rafts of ducks. I walked several kilometers east along the trail from the parking lot. There are very nice ocean views here, and often lots of wildlife, but this experience is somewhat countered by the fact the trail/shore is just meters from Hwy 99. So it isn’t a quiet birding spot! As always though, I may have subjects in mind when I go to a location, but I’m always looking for just about anything to photograph. The image above came to be as I was watching the interesting clouds in the sky. It wasn’t stormy, but it wasn’t one of those “boring” overcast days either. I was trying to work with these two old logs/posts sticking out of the mudflats, and lined up the gap between these passing clouds in between. As I was doing so, a raft of Northern Pintail ducks (Anas acuta) drifted past and into the photograph. This was not part of the plan, but they form a line almost parallel with the horizon and I think it works here. By the time they drifted past, the clouds had as well, so I continued down the trail.
Great Blue Heron Wading At Sunset on Mud Bay (Purchase)
After I’d turned around and headed back toward the parking lot the tide had gone out. Mud Bay is quite shallow, so even 30 minutes later the edge of the water was a significant distance from the shoreline. This revealed many different patterns in the mudflats and tide pools. I noticed this Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) wading in what were some pretty vibrant orange sunset light reflections. One of the reasons I have (too) many heron photographs is they often stand still, or move slowly and then stop. This makes for a relatively easy wildlife subject compared to more active species. In this case, however, it made things a bit more difficult. As this was going to be a silhouette, I wanted there to be a gap between the birds head and the dark mud in the background. The heron was not interested in moving and just stood in one spot for many minutes. Eventually I stood on a rock, and held my tripod and camera up in the air to change the perspective so there was a small gap which separated the bird from the background. Luckily the color reflecting from the sky held out for the duration of this! The cranes you can see in the background are at GCT Deltaport near Tsawwassen.
Sunset Reflections on the Mudflats of Mud Bay (Purchase)
As the sunset light color was fading I made the photograph above of some interesting clouds along with the patterns in the mud and sand of the mudflats. If you want to see some more more photographs from the city of Surrey visit my Surrey Gallery.