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Sometime around 1979, I was fly-fishing in a creek near Carpenter Lake, BC. The creek was a very fast flowing and I wasn’t thinking I could get a bite. Then to my surprise, I got one good “hit” on the fly. Previously, I had seen an Osprey circling high up overhead and she – I’m assuming “she” for no good reason! – promptly dropped down towards me and hovered where I was fishing. Suddenly, she dove straight into the rapids, ten feet in front of me and emerged with an 18 inch trout! 

Carpenter Lake BC (image by Rofal 14)

My trout!

Hope she enjoyed it – grrr!

It would have been wonderful to get a shot of the event, but this was long before digital photography.

Nonetheless it was a wonderful, “never forget”, wildlife moment – of which, I’m happy to say, I’ve had my share.

Osprey (photo by C. Rankin)

Over the ensuing 40 years I’ve seen osprey in the distance occasionally, but never managed a photo until today at the Pitt Addington Ecological Reserve next to Pitt Lake. This area is home to 200 bird and 29 mammal species so it is a treat for nature-lover’s. There were three osprey nests along the trail, with two of them close enough for some pics. I finally have my osprey shots after 40 years.

I also saw two osprey eating trout. Darned ospreys! No wonder I can’t catch any trout!

Osprey in nest (Photo by C. Rankin)

We also saw bald eagles; mallard, wood and ring necked ducks; common mergansers; red-wing blackbirds; cedar waxwings; a great-blue heron; white-crowned sparrows; tree and cliff swallows; gulls and crows and a few unrecognizable LBJs (“little brown jobs”) that rapidly disappeared into the foliage. There was also a family of otters.

Osprey in nest (Photo by C. Rankin)

It’s a beautiful wilderness area for hiking, bicycling or bird-watching, less than an hour away from Langley, Surrey or Vancouver.  

Oh, and it’s all flat, a bonus for my crummy knees. 

Colin Rankin

Colin “Birdman of Langley” Rankin, for Travel Rich Die Broke (TRDB)

Other birding articles by Colin Rankin that you may enjoy:

Wildlife in Antarctica – a Photographer’s Dream! (Penguins)

What Makes The Falkland Islands Worth Visiting? (Albatross, penguins, caracaras)

Costa Rica – Finding your Inner Bird!

Birding in San Blas, Mexico

Wonderful Woodpeckers

A Cluster of Buntings (Lasuli and Snow Buntings)

A Pleasant Surprise (The Cape May Warbler)

Birding Rio Lagartos (Mexico Birds)

“Keepers” – what makes a great photo?

Even More LBJ’s – The Bewick’s Wren (Little Brown Jobs)

Puffins (Newfoundland)

Little Green Jobs

Bird Photography – Novice no More!

Revenge of the Water Thick-Knees

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