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Saturday, April 22, 2017

There 'otter' be!

On earth day (although in my mind, everyday is 'earth' day!)....there 'otter' be something special....


and out there, swimming along....


was this River Otter....  we watched a while as he snorted and snuffled along....


and came up with a fish....not sure what kind...looks kind of strange...

The Otter wasn't the only special sighting....


This male Common Yellowthroat was at the first bay.

While there was a lot of 'yellow' at the log bay...


American Goldfinch everywhere you looked!


this shot shows a female on the left with a male on the right.


male Red-wing Blackbirds....busy calling and establishing territories...


and swallows...all varieties are back now....think this is a Northern Rough-wing Swallow but even saw a Barn Swallow today....they are always the last to arrive.


American Robin.....this one by the viewing platform where also saw this 



little guy...a male Rufous Hummingbird.  Definitely not the only one seen but the only one that sat still for a moment.


Monday, April 17, 2017

A few minutes at the log bay

It is always amazing what one can see when you just sit and watch for a few minutes.  That is what Dempster (my little dog) and I did this afternoon...


over at the log bay.  We are sitting on the bench that parks conveniently placed in this spot.


the female Mallard was preening herself on the end of the log while her mate snoozed in the water nearby.


Steller's Jay were working over the logs....not sure what they were up to.


a pair of Canada Geese was on the point to the north of the bay....



Red-wing Blackbirds were calling back and forth...



an American Robin came down for a bath...



quickly joined by a male American Goldfinch....and since yesterday was the first day we'd seen a goldfinch this season....


it is deserving of a second photo.


Song Sparrows have been quite active.....


and so have the Spotted Towhee....


and Ruby-crowned Kinglet are in just about every willow....you just have to watch for a minute and one will show up.


apologies for the quality of this photo, but did want to post it, partly to mention the Rufous Hummingbirds that are zipping around everywhere, but also to show it feeding from the flowers of the native Black Twin Berry that are just starting to bloom.



also in flower, finally, are the Salmon Berries.  Last year they were in flower before the end of February!

wandering back home....


there was actually a Bald Eagle in one of the 'eagle' trees.


at the boat launch, there was this little herd of Bufflehead...I'm surprised that they are still here, would have thought they would have headed north by now.


and those Common Merganser that have been hanging about for several weeks now were there as well.  They, of course, do nest here in the area although the males will take off and leave the females to raise the young.

I could hear Killdeer out there too but couldn't spot them.  One other item of note, saw the first Orange Crowned Warbler of the season this morning....hadn't taken my camera on that walk....you'd think I would have learned by now to always have it with me.







Saturday, April 15, 2017

Some exciting sightings.....

Our changeable weather continues...   


yesterday we were determined to get a walk in over at Harrison Bay, and despite some ominous skies we did manage to stay dry.  The campground was completely full so didn't expect to see much there.  Did notice the Hairy Woodpecker was still working on the nesting hole, but since it is located right at the edge of the campground, didn't want to draw attention to him by taking a photo.


this male Downy Woodpecker was back in basically the same location we'd seen him last time too.


a few American Robins.....


and White-crowned Sparrow.  Spotted something 'different' which turned out to just be...


a European Starling....a bit different to just see one.  Probably a mate is nesting nearby as these guys are also cavity nesters like the woodpeckers, flickers and tree swallows.

The most notable species were...


Yellow-rump Warblers like this guy.  There were quite a few of them but they just kept moving ahead of us so difficult to get a decent photo.


all the Canada Geese nesting on pilings were crouched down really low as there was increased pleasure boat traffic on the river, and the ones normally hanging out on the beach were taking refuge in the adjacent farm field.

Today's walk was just to the park....but as we started out I thought I heard and exciting call....a Sandhill Crane.....listened for a bit and heard it again...


that is the best I could do for a photo.  It isn't the first time I've heard Sandhill's here but what was unusual was that this bird was all by itself.  Normally Sandhill's, at least during migration, are in huge skeins and the rest of the time they are always in at least pairs.


for those that aren't familiar with them....this is a Sandhill Crane family photo taken at Riefel Waterfowl refuge a number of years ago. Sandhill's are one of the success stories of the avian world with their population soaring so rather than just being found in the far north during nesting season, they are now being found throughout the country...at least west of Ontario.


there were a number of Ruby-crowned Kinglet today.....


and the usual Song Sparrows.  What wasn't usual and almost as exciting as the crane, was a Western Meadowlark....spotted it down in the grass by the first bay as we were returning  home....couldn't even manage a bad photo of it.


so here is one from my files....this one is doing it's call which is so welcome in spring time. The one today was completely silent.  Again, not the first time we've seen them here, in fact we saw that big flock of them over at Harrison Bay a few weeks ago.  They do venture up here to the estuary but not every year.

One last thing of note...


I've been noticing this robin for the last couple of weeks.  It is memorable due to the white markings on the head which are a bit more than normal, and the buff coloured feather by the wing.  I think it is a female as it is always with a male and in the same general spot so I imagine they are going to nest close by.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Water is rising

Nothing too exciting to report the last couple of days.  Haven't had a chance to get out much between some necessary shopping trips, trying to get some work done at home and the changeable weather.  Did make a point of walking over to the park yesterday....


because as you can see the water is now rising to the point that the path is getting covered so not sure how much longer we will be able to make it.


the 'first bay' is filling up....


as is the log bay.


there have been quite a few Bufflehead the last couple of days.  This female was in the log bay...have never seen one in there before....


and this Mallard pair was right in our boat launch tonight....


this photo...taken this evening shows the changeable weather....that is Sasquatch Mountain there in the distance (formerly known as Hemlock)....it was very 'black', in fact we'd had a bit of thunder this afternoon and as I write this, it is suddenly pouring....again.

There was a Northern Flicker drumming on one of our street lights tonight, but too dark to attempt a photo.


Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Some catching up

Time flies, have some catching up to do....had so many photos to download last night didn't get to the actual blog posting...

So lets see...

we've had some off and on again sunshine....today it actually lasted all day!  As this picture plainly shows the water levels are definitely on the rise now.  How high they get? well only time will tell.


for several days there were a number of Northern Flicker in just one part of the park...this one a definite inter-grade between the Red and Yellow shafted....having the 'V' on the nape of the neck like the yellow shafted, and it's 'mustache' being a mix of red which the red shafted has, and black which is what the yellow shafted has.  


managed to get a decent photo of a Ruby-crowned Kinglet....

while yesterday a large flock of...

Gold-crowned Kinglets moved through.  Should mention I've also seen a Yellow rump Warbler, but no photo yet.


the other morning this male Hooded Merganser was busy snoozing just out from our boat launch.  I mentioned before that there have been a number of Common Merganser around and I hear that a pair of Wood Ducks have been seen in the 'first bay'.  I know Wood Ducks, which are cavity nesters, nest here....just wish I could figure out where!


Yesterday we walked over at Harrison Bay....was fairly nice when we started, but that changed quickly!


the first pair of Osprey showed up a few days ago and immediately set about nest building.  This looks like a rather uneven surface but the bonus is it is far enough from land that hopefully they won't be disturbed by unethical photographers....as has happened in the past.


at least 3 sets of pilings are claimed by Canada Geese who are also nesting.  I am attempting to be a good 'citizen scientist' and reporting all these nest to 'Nest Watch'.  Not as easy a task as 'Feeder Watching'....with a feeder all you do it put the food out and wait and see who shows up....finding nests isn't easy to begin with and trying to figure out what is going on at them is a challenge too.


I'm sure there are Downy Woodpecker nesting right now as a while ago we were seeing pairs of them every time we walked, yesterday only a male was visible and a few times before that none were seen.


this male Hairy Woodpecker was working on what appears to be a new nest site....will watch for a while and see if it gets used or abandoned.  


there is somebody in that nesting cavity but couldn't see what....maybe a flicker or possibly the Pileated pair or maybe just a starling....will keep watching and hopefully will figure it out soon.

A big surprise yesterday wasn't a bird at all....


but this rabbit....which I think might be one of the sub species of Snowshoe Hare that live in a small area on the north side of the Fraser River.....they stay brown year round.  I'm also wondering if there was a burrow there as it didn't seem at all inclined to leave.  Something else to keep an eye on.

Lastly, I'll mention that there are apparently some Evening Grosbeak in the area....haven't seen them yet but my husband came home with pictures of them....maybe tomorrow.