Wildlife photographer Clive Bryson captured an image of an adult grebe taking a piece of plastic to a chick. He is concerned the baby will die if it accepted the offering and worried by plastic pollution both at the Salmon Arm wharf and Peter Janninck Park. (Photo contributed)

Photographer snaps ‘disturbing’ photo as bird offers chick a plastic bite

Wildlife photographer laments proliferation of litter in Salmon Arm Bay

  • Jun. 29, 2018 11:30 a.m.

Throwing one piece of plastic on the ground or into the lake may seem unimportant, but the effect on wildlife can be deadly.

On a calm, serene afternoon on Shuswap Lake, talented wildlife photographer Clive Bryson was at Peter Janninck Park in his quest to photograph members of the local grebe population.

Using a high-powered lens, Bryson was able to zoom in on a mother grebe paddling toward one of her babies.

He was shocked and horrified to see that the mother was not carrying a fish in her mouth, but rather a piece of rigid plastic.

“I’ve never seen that before, it’s disturbing,” he says, pointing out the parents sometimes catch huge fish and the babies swallow them. “Subsequent photos do not make clear that the baby took it; sometimes they dip their heads under the water so you can’t see anything, but if it did, it would be dead.”

Peter Janninck Park near Churches Thrift Store is Bryson’s second favourite spot in which to photograph, with the wharf being his preferred location.

Visiting either location three or four times a week to capture images of osprey, grebes and any other wildlife that come into view, Bryson says plastic pollution has been increasing since he moved to Salmon Arm 25 years ago.

“I’ve noticed from the wharf that when the water is low, you can see a lot of plastic in the mud – all types of plastic pollution, and at Peter Janninck, tires, tarps, pop bottles and beer cans are all in the water.”

Bryson suspects much of the plastic pollution is thrown from some boaters who party on the lake and throw their trash into the water.

“We should somehow educate the public about plastic pollution on our lands and waters,” he says.

Kelowna Conservation Officer Ed Seitz agrees with Bryson about the need to educate. He says while most people respect the environment, there are those who treat it like their personal garbage dump.

“We all have to live in the same environment, so let’s keep it clean and tidy,” he says.

For those who don’t get the message, there are consequences under the BC Environmental Act.

Conservation officers and police are able to hand out tickets in the amount of $115 when they see someone throwing something on the ground. That’s the minimum cost, Seitz says, noting tickets for larger offences could be as high as $575.

He recommends that anyone who witnesses littering or dumping report a violation to the Conservation Officer Service online or contact the conservation officer 24-hour hotline to report a violation at 1-877-952-7277 or #7277 on the Telus Mobility Network.


@SalmonArm
barbbrouwer@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

College of New Caledonia announces early childhood educator training

Fort St. James student may benefit from the program expansion

Vulnerable B.C. communities receive funds for structural flood mitigation

Communities throughout British Columbia that have been partial to flood risks in… Continue reading

B.C. students to benefit from internship investment

As someone who has ample experience going through the often tedious process… Continue reading

BC Coroners Service urges public to drive with care

With summer officially here and upcoming road-trips with family or friends looking… Continue reading

Highlights and winners from the Binche Fishing Derby

The third annual event was a massive succes

Here’s what you need to know about Day 1 at the BC Games

All 18 events kick off on the track, riding ring, fields, courts and lake in the Cowichan Valley

Seal attacks kayakers in the Broughton Archipelago

“It has to be one chance in a million of this happening.”

Victoria-area park sign removed after glitch redirects to porn site

Resident looking to learn more about workout equipment discovered the problem code

Special Olympic athletes take on BC Games during special anniversary

Known as the Global Day of Inclusion, July 20 marks the first Special Olympics in 1968 in Chicago

Scammers dressed as Mounties threaten to arrest senior if she doesn’t cough up cash

Pair of fraudulent officers threaten to arrest 90-year-old woman

Fundraiser to help mom of jogger detained after crossing U.S. border

Cedella Roman, 19, was held in U.S. after accidentally crossing border in South Surrey

Trump slams Federal Reserve rate hikes

Fed raised benchmark rate for a second time this year in June, and projects two more hikes to come

Okanagan Wildfires: The latest on wildfires and evacuations

A Friday morning look at the major wildfires impact the Okanagan and Similkameen.

UPDATED: 1,500 residents on evacuation alert as Peachland under state of emergency

The Mount Eneas wildfire has forced an evacuation alert of 596 properties

Most Read