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

Editorial: Go out and play

How much is too much screen time?

Fort St. James businesses get into the Christmas spirit with decorating contest

Northland Automotive Ltd. won first place in Fort St. James Chamber of… Continue reading

Couple selling fake jewelry in Fraser Lake, say RCMP

A man and woman have been defrauding local residents, offering fake jewelry for sale

Gitxsan forming cross-sector salmon management team

Nation again declares closure of fishery in territory for 2019

Omar Khadr wants changes to bail conditions

‘My life is held in suspension’, says the former Guantanamo Bay detainee

Sissons scores OT winner as Predators beat Canucks 4-3

VIDEO: Vancouver battles back to earn single point in Nashville

Lions announce seven members of coaching staff not coming back for 2019

The operational moves come two days after the Lions announced DeVone Claybrooks as the team’s new head coach

$12K awarded to atheist family who oppose Christmas, Hanukkah in B.C. classroom

Gary Mangel,May Yasue said holidays, Remembrance Day and Valentine’s Day not appropriate in preschool

Coach accused of sexual assault says apology letter was misinterpreted

Dave Brubaker has pleaded not guilty to one count of sexual assault and one count of invitation to sexual touching

Give the gift of nature this holiday season

Please don’t be mad, but I bought you a moose

Aboriginal poet faces backlash for calling out NHL-themed totem poles

Rebecca Thomas says she received backlash for asking a drugstore chain to remove NHL merchandise

No plans yet for free WiFi on BC Transit buses

BC Transit says they are monitoring the roll-out of free WiFi on Translink vehicles

Some Kotex tampons recalled in Canada and U.S.

In some cases, tampon users sought medical attention “to remove tampon pieces left in the body.”

Most Read