Wednesday, May 25, 2022

One month later

 My goodness!  I guess I have been remiss.  Hadn't realized it had been a month since I last posted anything.  Admittedly, I was away for 10 days or so, but still....

Where to begin?

I guess the best place to begin is how green everything is.  The spring has continued to be cooler and wetter than normal with everything just a bit further behind than normal, although as you can see, the native trees have, and continue to flower beautifully.

water levels are up although not as high as would be considered normal for this time of the year since snow packs have barely started to melt.  This photo, taken last week, shows fresh snow on the tops of the local mountains, something that has been a common occurrence up until this past weekend.

Despite it all....

summer visitors are arriving, like the Bullock's Orioles....

Western Wood Pee Wee

Savannah Sparrow

Yellow Warbler.....etc. etc.

and babies are starting to show up too, like this Canada Goose family

whether intentional or not, it has been nice to see that the sides of the dykes haven't been mowed so the dandelions have been able to go to seed and as a result Pine Siskin (like this guy) and Goldfinch have been feasting on them constantly.

a number of Red-breasted Sapsuckers were regularly seen a couple of weeks ago, guess they are nesting now and harder to find.

Speaking of nests....there was activity at one of the eagle nests yesterday although couldn't see any young yet.  The other nest has been eerily quiet.  Not quiet are the Osprey, there seem to be more than usual right now.

We are still waiting for the Purple Martins to show up.  Cedar Waxwing are just starting to appear but haven't settled enough for a photo yet and we keep watching for a Lazuli Bunting to arrive.  Some are in the valley, but not here yet.....of course I'm about to disappear for another couple of weeks so things will have probably really changed by the time I get back.

Monday, April 25, 2022

White-crowned Sparrows galore!

There are times when you can still be astonished by birds - and today was one of those days.

 this is the time of year when you expect various types of sparrows to move through the area, but never have I seen White-crowned Sparrows in the numbers that have been here today!

everywhere you look there are White-crowned Sparrows.  At one point, our tray feeder had 14 of them in it at one time.

there have been a few Gold-crowned Sparrows in the mix as well.

Another surprise today was over along the river....

a Peregrine Falcon. 

So to bring us up to date since we are about to take off for a week or so....

Osprey are back and busy nest building....

American Goldfinch are back too, although not in great numbers yet.

Red-breasted Sapsuckers have been quite active too.

it seems that Northern Flicker have been more visible than usual too.  Of course our continuing, cooler than normal spring may be changing the behavior of some birds as they hole up waiting to move on.

What is also a little unusual is the water levels....they had started to come up a couple of weeks ago, but have since dropped back to their extremely low level

normally, by now, that path would be underwater!

Monday, April 18, 2022

Some nice days, some not so nice days

This is sure one strange spring!

 We've had some beautiful days (this was back on the 13th), but even the sunny days have been chilly.

there has been more shorebird activity than I recall in recent years.  Lot's of sightings of Greater Yellowlegs Sandpipers.....these on the 14th at the estuary.

here is a contrast....a yellowlegs and a Canada Goose.

Easter Sunday was a lovely day.....everything is greening up nicely

there have been lots of these little guys - Ruby Crowned Kinglets....

and Robins of course

and guess what.....another sandpiper down there.

here is a good close look at a Greater Yellowlegs Sandpiper in breeding colour.

Other days, like today...

aren't nearly so pleasant, although in reality, today was the first really wet day in a while.

we did find some Band tail Pigeons....

and a pair of Common Loon were fishing in the bay - this one in breeding colour....

and this one, not.

An Osprey was flying over the other day, but haven't seen it since.  Heard that a large flock of Ring bill Gulls were in the area yesterday as well, but I missed seeing them.  Did see a pair of Red breasted Sapsuckers yesterday, but couldn't get a picture and I've yet to see an American Goldfinch.  

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Continuing cool

This unseasonably cool weather continues....but despite that, spring continues to progress...

 walking can be risky business as dark storm clouds move around, you never know if it is going to rain, hail or snow!

you can tell from this Dark-eyed junco's hairdo, that it is also very windy pretty much all the time.

even so the visitors you'd expect right now, are here, like the Yellow-rump Warblers....unfortunately this is the best photo I've managed so far.

lots of these little Ruby-crowned Kinglets as well...

 a couple of Townsend's Solitaire as well....again, unfortunately, not great photos.

Yesterday's walk....

there were a pair of Common Loon (only one in this photo) and a pair of Canada Geese....what this photo shows is just how big loon actually are!

there were also a pair of Greater Yellowlegs Sandpipers on the beach, which is slowly disappearing as water levels continue to rise, albeit very slowly.

and just to prove that yes, it really is spring....a Mourning Cloak Butterfly...

and if you needed proof of the important role the dandelions play in supplying food for the bees....this picture pretty much says it all.  Dandelion patches have been humming!  Speaking of 'humming', the lack of Rufous Hummingbirds is a little alarming.  Very few are being seen.

We are seeing Turkey Vultures....Osprey should be showing up soon.

this is the time of year when there are masses of Dark-eyed junco and occasionally you find one of these Leucistic or piebald ones.

For a number of reasons, we didn't even get for a walk today, but this was yesterday, probably one of the last walks along the beach.....once weather starts to warm, water levels will really start to rise.

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Some exciting sightings

 Late yesterday the horrible weather finally subsided and we were able to get out for a walk....

and were thrilled to see, at the martin boxes, a small flock of Mountain Bluebirds!  This is the first time in several years that we've seen them here.  They used to be a common sight every spring as they migrated through to the interior.

here is a closer look at one of the males....

and a couple of females....

and the bluebirds weren't the only surprise....

there was a male Yellow-rumped Warbler....and even more surprising...

a Say's Phoebe.....this is only the 2nd or 3rd time I've seen one of these in this area....again, just migrating through to the interior.

lets have another look at the bluebirds....

today was a picture perfect postcard kind of day.....water levels are on the rise 

there continue to be quite a few Northern Flicker around, this one happens to be a mix of yellow shafted and red shafted as he has the red 'moustache' of the Red Shafted, but also showed a faint red V shape on the back of the head, which is one of the typical markings of the Yellow shafted.

and a familiar call alerted us to the first White-crowned Sparrow of the season.  They will be regulars now for the coming months.