Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Canada: some other animals

It wasn't all about the birds... well, it was, but here are some pictures of some of the other wildlife we encountered during our 7 weeks in Canada. 

Black Squirrel:

Eastern Chipmunk:

American Red Squirrel:

Common Garter Snake:

Black-tailed Deer:

Otter (and Salmon):

Harbour Seal:

Steller's Sealion, male, surrounded by females. Now that is what I call a gender difference:

Stellar's Sealions, females. Quite sensibly, in the water.

Purple Starfish, man:

Sea Otter:

Gray Whale:

Vancouver Island Black Bear:

Columbian Ground Squirrel:

Golden-naped Ground Squirrel:

Least Chipmunk:


Stag Elk. Can I state the obvious? "Look at the antlers on that!":

Black Bear:

 Big-horned Sheep:

There is enormous variation in the Black Bear population. From cool-looking Black Bear...

... to dopey-looking Black Bear:

Striped Skunk:


And Humpback Whale, a three stage experience. First, the blow (allowing me to achieve a lifetime ambition of shouting "There she blows!" from a boat at a whale):

Secondly, the hump that gives this species it's name:

Finally, and most spectacularly, the tail:

Just to ensure this is not an entirely birdless post (I have the rest of my time in Cuddesdon for those), here is a self-portrait with a Clarke's Nutcracker in the Rockies. Quite rightly, Parks Canada forbid the feeding of wildlife in the National Parks. But those of you who know me well, will recall my daily habit of sitting with a nut placed on my outstretched hand at around 1pm. "How was I to know a Nutcracker would land there, officer?":


  1. Brilliant Tom,Very envious :-)

    1. Thanks Badger, it was absolutely momentous (in terms of planning, cost, time off work and in the experiences we had)! Without doubt the best country and wildlife I have yet seen, highly recommended.

  2. I've also seen Black Bear on Vancouver Island but I must admit I kept much further away from it than you did.
    Canada is a lovely country but of course nothing beats old Blighty although I have read the occasional article that the Cuddy environs sometimes leaves a bit to be desired.

  3. Don't worry Camboy, all my pictures of Black Bear were taken from the safety of a car or boat. A 400mm telephoto helps them look closer too. Often after a few weeks away I feel ready to come back to England... but not after our time in Canada, we could have easily stayed longer. Adding Treecreeper to the Cuddesdon year list today, wasn't quite the same as watching 20 species of American Wood Warbler in a day...

    1. I have a nephew who lives in Vancouver and a mate living in Regina. I must admit I am so wrapped up in Oxon wildlife and its desperate needs (latest is Buzzards) that the many invitations to holiday in that super country are turned down. I despair for the future of not only our wildlife but my Children and my Grand Children's future profit seems to be the winner over common sense and fair play with the corporates falling over themselves to satisfy their shareholders insatiable appetite for more and more.
      I met a Black Bear on the island when I was "taken short" and can recommend it as a cure for constipation.
      Super pics especially Black Bear. Maybe the Tree Creeper is more of an achievement?

    2. I completely agree with you Camboy, it is very hard to feel optimistic about the general direction that the world appears to be heading in. I expect to see the extinction of the African Elephant and the Tiger in the wild in my lifetime, directly but irrationally, caused by demand from east Asia for ivory and tiger-related "health products". Significant fish stocks will also continue to diminish - will I live to see Cod extinct too? And nationally the situation appears dire. We currently have an Environment Minister with close links to the shooting community. Scientific research show that Buzzard-related game bird kills only account for a tiny proportion of deaths? Issue a licence to kill them anyway. Research shows a badger cull would be an ineffective waste of time and money? Start the cull anyway. Government policy appears rooted in the predjudicial views of gamekeepers and their landed masters. The antiquated practice of shooting - lets face it, it is killing for pleasure - tramples over the environmental needs of our native species. I despair.