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

Williams Lake Bantam Female T-wolves claw to silver at Kamloops rep tourney

Timberwolves win silver at Kamloops Bantam Female Rep Tournament

Asbestos: What to know before renovating your home

Asbestos is an odourless, colourless, naturally occurring mineral

Wolverines take championship at Merritt co-ed hockey tournament

The Williams Lake Wolverines skated to a first-place result at the Last Minute Co-Ed Tournament

UPDATE: Two missing snowmobilers located safe east of Williams Lake

CCSAR search manager Grant MacPherson said they received the call at about 6:15 p.m. Nov. 17

High-end B.C. house prices dropping, but no relief at lower levels

But experts say home ownership remains out of reach for many for middle- and lower-income families

Worker killed in collision at B.C. coal mine

Vehicle collision occurred at approximately 10:45 a.m. this morning

B.C. asking for tips on ‘dirty money’ in horse racing, real estate, luxury cars

Action follows a Peter German report on money laundering in B.C. casinos

Canadian dead more than a week after plane crash in Guyana: Global Affairs

Global Affairs said it couldn’t provide further details on the identity of the Canadian citizen

Children between 6 and 9 eligible for $1,200 RESP grant from province

BC Ministry of Education is reminding residents to apply before the deadline

Victoria spent $30,000 to remove John A. Macdonald statue

Contentious decision sparked controversy, apology from mayor

Privacy concerns over credit card use for legal online pot purchases

Worries follow privacy breaches at some Canadian cannabis retailers

NEB approves operating pressure increase to repaired Enbridge pipeline

The pipeline burst outside of Prince George on Oct. 9, now operating at 85 per cent

Most Read