This year I have revived the tradition of including non-bird wildlife, even featuring a lizard for the first time. Technically, a lizard appears twice, but the second time was a “bit” performance, so-to-speak.
Many of the species featured here have not previously appeared in any of my calendars and one was totally new to me – the Acorn Woodpecker.
Last year’s calendar featured no owls – shocking to those who know me. Even though I did photograph owls in 2022, the featured young Barred Owl is from many years earlier. It is a favourite of mine that somehow escaped publication. All the other images are from 2022 or (occasionally) 2021.
Snow Day - These River Otters were actively hunting in the harbour, but took time off to enjoy the rare Victoria snow. Many people assume they are Sea Otters (rare this far south). Peter Pollen Waterfront Park, Victoria.
Rain Again - This individual, along with a female Mountain Bluebird, hung out near the golf driving range for about a month before the weather improved and they moved on. Blenkinsop Driving Range, Saanich.
Big Splash - When our boat arrived at this location we were soon enveloped in a sea mist. We could hear whales but not see them – then this happened!
Hide and Seek - An invasive species native to Southern Europe. The result of a mass release from a defunct zoo that closed more than 50 years ago, they have flourished on the Saanich Peninsular. Elk/Beaver Lake Regional Park.
Lizard Lunch - The male has just arrived with a meal for his family. The female leaves the nest cavity (an old Flicker hole) to take the gift – a Wall Lizard. Unfortunately, the young did not make it this year. Mill Hill Regional Park.
California Sea Lion
Snoozing - This image is deceptively peaceful – the rocks were teaming with seals and sea lions, all competing for a place to rest after some fishing. This guy seems to have found one of the best spots. Race Rocks.
Something Yummy - A fairly common but secretive species, I was lucky to catch this one as it ran past with food for its young. “Lucky”, after spending hours waiting for it to make an appearance. Panama Flats.
Sunshine On My Shoulder - "Makes Me Happy" to quote John Denver. This young Barred Owl found a nice clearing for a sunbath. Timing was everything here – this pose did not last long. I was happy too! Stanley Park.
Snoozing and Grooming - These birds were on a southbound migration stopover that lasted a few weeks. Alternating between frantic feeding and resting, they timed their activities to match the tides. Boundary Bay.
Here’s looking At You - Managed by the Wild Bird Trust of British Columbia, this area is clearly home to other species too. This guy was following some females and snacking at the same time. Maplewood Flats.
Have Acorn, Will Fly – A very rare species in British Columbia. This one took a four day stopover in Ladner and was busy living up to its name. Needless to say it gathered lots of admirers before moving on. Ladner Harbour.
Dashing Through The Snow – A rare snowfall in the area was perfect timing for these birds to put on a show just inside the airport boundary. A slight hill outside the boundary gave me just the right viewpoint. Victoria Airport.