Monday, March 19, 2012

Spring Birds at Haig-Brown House

Fox Sparrow

This week has brought some of the nastiest winds Campbell River has seen in a while. A south-easter ripped across Discovery Passage and into town, uprooting 130 foot high firs and tearing large limbs off countless trees.

When the weather abated this week I got out to take some shots of the birds that are singing in the garden here. The Fox Sparrows here on the West Coast are so much darker than ours on the prairie, and they have an almost uniform brown tone on the back, reminiscent of a Hermit thrush, which also has the russet tail. Here is another shot of a Fox sparrow taken right in front of the house:

Of course some Fox sparrows have been here all winter, but now the odd one sings (listen to a sample here from the Cornell Laboratory page on the Fox Sparrow). The Song Sparrows are much more vocal (listen to a sample here on the Cornell Laboratory page on Song Sparrow).

The Spotted Towhees have also been singing this week (listen to a sample here from the Cornell Laboratory page on Spotted Towhee). Here is a male, with what looks to me like very light spotting compared to our interior Spotted Towhees in Saskatchewan.

Finally, though they do not sing, these two twitterpated bald eagles were making a racket in one of the big firs, high above the Haig-Brown world, where Roderick once estimated he had seen hundreds, even thousands of eagles roosting atop his favourite fir over the years.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Writer in Residence Experience--on video

Crocuses have been up for two weeks here. . . .

The local cable company here in Campbell River (I still have five weeks of my winter Writer-in-Residence time here remaining before we return home to Saskatchewan) has produced a couple of segments I thought I would post here.

This first one is a short piece on the Writer-in-Residence program and my time here this winter. Some shots of the property and the river, and I get to talk a bit about the Haig-Brown legacy--which will also be the topic of a lecture I am presenting for Earth Hour on March 31 (here is some information on that event.)

The second video is a half hour show on the community channel talking about the Words on the Water Writers Festival here in Campbell River on March 23 and 24. Co-founder Trevor McMonagle and I talk about the festival, the writers who are coming, and about books and the rapidly changing landscape of publishing.

Here is a shot of the rainforest above Elk Falls, in the provincial park just west of Campbell River.

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