I received an email from Tess van Straaten of our local Vancouver Island based CHEK News. She was contacting me to let me know they would be featuring my photo of a black oystercatcher on the 5PM News for their weather photo. It’s always nice to find out ahead of time, to help spread the word, and so FUN to be featured on the news. Thank You Tess!
You can see a very brief glimpse of my black oystercatcher photo at the 17.54 mark in this CHEK newscast right here.
On the day that I photographed this black oystercatcher, it was a gray, gray, rainy winter Vancouver Island day––pouring and pelting down rain for almost the entire day. I set out in my car early in the morning, determined to make photos that day, with a “no matter what” attitude. On Vancouver Island you can’t fight the rain in your head and be happy. You gotta love it, dress warm, get out into it, and make the most of it. Being outdoors in nature is one way through it. Spring will be here soon!
I arrived at French Creek in Parksville and went to scope out the situation on the beach, hoping for birds. As I got closer to the water, the skies opened up with some glorious morning light and sunshine. Yes!
The salty sea was quite wavy with a wind that I loved, and the frothy white ocean waves crashed along the rocky pebble beach, and as I walked, feeling grateful that I was the only one out there. Just me and the birds––seagulls and black oystercatchers, and glorious magical beautiful warmth-filled light.
I was bundled up warm in a few layers, wth a wool toque on, wool socks, my trusty grippy hiking boots, warm gloves and rain gear, and a too-heavy water-resistant camera and telephoto lens hanging on my shoulder.
In my experience, the only way to get these birds photographed is to get down low to their level, and to move slowly. Most are pretty skittish I have found, and that’s a good thing––they should stay as wild birds and they should be afraid of us.
The long and pointy, brightly coloured orange-red-yellow beaks of these comical shorebirds appear to change color with the direction of light and the sun. I LOVE their beaks.
If I can get my camera to focus on that orange-rimmed yellow eye at just the right time, I am happy. I have my photo. And so I did. He/she has one eye on a food source and on the ocean, while also keeping a good eye on me and our connection at the same time.
I feel blessed when I get a photo that I love of a bird, as it requires trust on their part. The bird must trust that you won’t cause them harm, that you will stay your distance, and their gift to you, is they will stay put. Taking tiny baby steps and holding my breath, usually works, to inch myself as close as is possible into their circle of personal space. Birds always tell you when you are close enough.
I hope you enjoy this photo as much as I did, making it. Take in some of that glorious beautiful morning light. If I could only have bottled up the feelings and sea-scent that went with it in the moment.
Thanks for taking the time to visit my blog, and oh, YES! My photos are for sale as both prints and as prints on canvas. Please email me at brenda @ brendajohima (dot) com to inquire and I would be happy to give you a custom quote. There’s nothing like hanging local Vancouver Island nature on your walls. Thank you! Brenda