Blog

9th Migratory Bird Days in the Wadden Sea - East Atlantic Flyway

Millions of migratory birds use the North Sea's tidal flats as a roosting and feeding area. Every year in spring and autumn, they pass through the Wadden Sea on their journey from their Arctic breeding grounds to their wintering areas in West Africa.

The annual Migratory Bird Days - nine days in autumn dedicated to migratory birds and bird migration - are held along the German coast from the Dutch border to the Elbe River and on its seven islands from Borkum to Wangerooge. 200 events offer the chance to experience and learn about bird migration: entertaining - playful - thoughtful - artistic - competent - culinary - there is something for everyone!

I was pleased to have my photo of a Snow Bunting selected for use in this wonderful conservation effort. The photograph is featured on the posters, pamphlets and other printed literature promoting this important event. I thank Gondolf Reichert and the administration of the National Park of the Wadden Sea of Lower Saxony in northwest Germany for this honour. I hope the event scheduled 14-22 October 2017 is a huge success. I would really like to attend this event, I'll be sure to post some photos if I can make it! 

Sad Bear Story

Welcome to my Web Blog, this is my first entry! I debated what would be a fitting subject to start things off. Unfortunately, I must start with an event that had a strong emotional impact on me, a sad case of a wildlife death near home. In May of 2016 with high expectations of a busy and exciting season of nature photography I received a call from a friend that a Grizzly Bear was present just outside town. I grabbed my photography equipment and went to the site that had been described and the bear was in fact still there. He was a great looking bear, healthy and in his prime just feeding along the road right of way. Two or three other photographers were there as well and we enjoyed the presence of this beautiful bear. A biologist acquaintance of mine also arrived at the scene, she happened to be monitoring this bear that had been fitted with a GPS collar as part of an ongoing Grizzly Bear Study in the foothills of the Rockies. After about a half hour the Grizzly wandered out of sight into the forest, what an encounter. A couple of days later I received a courtesy update e-mail from my biologist acquaintance. She regretted to inform me that the bear # G141 had been shot and that the death was being investigated. I was shocked and angered to hear such tragic news, how could this possibly happen. Who in their right mind would kill such a majestic animal and why?

The ensuing investigation lead to the arrest of two "men", one from Edson and the other from Fort McMurray, Alberta. Here is a link to the story as presented by the CBC's Andrea Huncar :

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/alberta-grizzly-shot-1.3651910

At the time of this writing, Feb. 20, 2017 I do not believe the case has been resolved in the courts. Unfortunately, this year saw a separate case of Grizzly Bear poaching in the areas outside Jasper National Park. Grizzlies are apex predators and their continued existence in the ecosystem will depend on societies response to the case of G141, and others. Wanton destruction of bears by humans can not be allowed to be "normalized", it isn't normal! Bears are intelligent creatures and are having a hard enough time maintaining their populations in an ever shrinking hostile landscape. So, started off my little blog by blowing off some steam about a subject that has been on my mind and will continue to bother me I suspect. I am anticipating the resolution of this case in the courts of Alberta. For now, here is a photo of bear # G141 - someone cared about you.