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Sunday, March 22, 2015

Interesting day....

Weather forecast was for fairly nice weather, at least until mid-afternoon....so


started out doing a bit in the yard and getting a few pictures like of this Pine Siskin...


and this Dark-eyed Junco....and then we decided to go for a longer walk over at....


Harrison Bay....notice the snowline on the mountains in the background....the lowest it has been for a while.


lots of Canada Geese scattered all across the adjacent farm fields.


American Robins were  much in evidence....


There were a few Tree Swallows flying around...this one settled on a wire long enough to get a distant shot.


was thrilled to see some activity at the Bald Eagle nest.  It is hard to see but they had sticks and were working on the nest....of course by the time they get down to business the tree will be leafed out and we won't be able to see anything.


back near home we took this shot, just to show the water levels....


this pair of Canada Geese are perched in the lower left hand corner of the above photo.

Back at home in the afternoon....


this 'intergrade' Northern Flicker showed up with the black 'moustache' of the yellow shafted and the normal coloration of the red shafted.


then a bit later, looked out and there were two Band-tail Pigeons at the tray feeder with an Eurasian Collared Dove perched on a branch above.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Spring

Today was the first full day of spring but seems our spring weather has deserted us.  The rain finally let up mid-afternoon, at least long enough to get out for a breath of fresh air.


water levels continue to rise.  We've never had water like this in March before.  Sure is going to be interesting to see how it plays out this year.  Should mention that there has been a Marsh Wren singing down here the last couple of days.  Haven't been able to spot it yet.


You would think that after all the rain the birds would have had enough of water, but there were Dark-eyed Junco bathing in puddles all over the place.


This Sharp-shin Hawk spent a long time preening trying to get dry.


Here is another look because  we don't often get opportunities to see them this well.


This Spotted Towhee was singing happily after the rain.


and it isn't the greatest photo but the first Band-tail Pigeon of the season showed up a couple of days ago.  Still waiting for a Rufous Hummingbird!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Walk at Kilby

We're not sure where it is all coming from....


the rain stopped days ago but the water keeps rising....that is the path to the park!  Obviously we aren't walking that way these days, so we headed over to Kilby.


noticed a lot of debris coming down the river, again, not sure from where.


decided to walk along the dike....you can see the trees are starting to leaf out.


those green fields had quite a few Canada Geese scattered all over.  Despite the sunshine there weren't a lot of birds visible....


some courting Northwestern Crows....


and some tapping led us to this Pileated Woodpecker....


just off from this turn around point....


there were two Common Loon out on the river (only one in photo)


and of course there were a few American Robins around...


lots of Salmon Berry flowers....usually the Rufous Hummingbirds arrive about the same time as these are in flower....no sign of one here yet...at least that I've heard of.

and speaking of flowers.....


Dandelions are coming into full bloom....these play such an important role in the over all scheme of things.

Monday, March 16, 2015

A bit of rain

We've had a bit of rain the last few days.  How much rain?  Well here is......


the log bay as it looked on Friday, the 13th....


and here it is today, the 16th.....


the first bay last Thursday....


and the first bay today....notice too the little bit of snow on top of Mt. Woodside!  It has been a little while since we've seen that.

Not a lot of birdlife around today...



The little male Anna's Hummingbird was on guard in his usual spot.  No sign of a Rufous yet although my daughter in Parksville had one on Friday, so they are on their way.


There have been a number of Pine Siskin.....this photo, taken yesterday, gives an idea of how hard it was raining.


and lastly these are a few of the Canada Geese that were down there this evening.



Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Purple Finch

Have been seeing.....


Purple Finch for the past week or so with more of them showing up every day.


Notice the one at the far left, this is an orange variant of the normal Purple Finch male which the other four are.  There is also a little Pine Siskin down in the corner.


This photo isn't clear, but dos show the colour better.

Down at the flats today....


it was another unseasonably warm day with temperatures reaching 18 degrees.


there were some Canada Geese out on the flats....


the Black-capped Chickadees were busy excavating their nesting site...actually we heard Black-capped Chickadees all over the place.

There has been a lot of territorial drumming going on the last few days....


mainly by these guys, the Red-breasted Sapsuckers.


Monday, March 9, 2015

Swallows, swallows, swallows

Already mentioned that the Tree Swallows were back earlier this year than ever before (Feb. 26th)....


Finally managed to get a photo of one....but why stop at one?  The last few evenings the numbers of swallows down at the estuary in the evening has been astonishing....


photos never give the full effect but this should give a bit of an idea!  I'm pretty sure there are Violet Green Swallows mixed in with the Tree Swallows.

The incredibly mild weather continues with temperatures up into the high teens the last few days...


and water levels continue to drop.  There is starting to be a lot of searching out nesting sites going on as well.  The Tree Swallows have been checking out all the bird houses...on top of that piling...


while a European Starling was at this one.


a pair of Black-capped Chickadees were at another....won't say exactly where.  Have learned to not give out the location of either bird nests or rare birds...draws too much attention to them!


Spotted a Pine Siskin today.  Have been watching for Mountain Bluebirds.  If we are going to see any this is getting to be the time of year when they will be passing through.


Northern Pintails continue to be the predominate species of ducks in the area.


and we've noticed that the Trumpeter Swans have been getting really restless the last few days...it is a bit early them to be heading north but then it has been a weird year already.  The above photo was taken this evening.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Really!!! Why???

So got out for a walk over to the park today and all I can say is really! Why?


It seems chain saws have been busy in the park.  Less than 3 years ago that was a perfectly healthy tree.  Then it suddenly and mysteriously died.  As soon as it was dead that gave the excuse to deem it 'dangerous' and this is the result.  At least enough was left that if allowed to remain standing, the stump will be come a home for various cavity nesting birds.  As if this one wasn't bad enough, a little further along we come to....


this.  This was a perfectly healthy Cedar tree that has, from the size of it, stood there for probably a hundred years through numerous wind storms, snow storms and even ice storms and now suddenly it has been deemed 'dangerous'.  I won't put into print what I think of that!

So lets get over to the log bay.


Is it just me or how sad is this?  What has happened to this place?  I should have looked up and found some photos from previous years to compare...maybe I'll do that tomorrow.  Right now lets find some birds, because there were a few...


American Robins....a number of them were busy bathing...it must be spring!


Red-wing Blackbirds were scattered through the bushes....


This Song Sparrow seemed to be quite possessive of this particular rose bush...Song Sparrows are thinking nesting already and the base of this bush is just the sort of place they like.  Unfortunately it is quite close to the trail so I sure hope that if a nest is under construction everyone keeps themselves and their pets on the trail.


Speaking of nesting there are obviously some Anna's Hummingbirds sitting on nests in this area as this little male was back on guard today.


It isn't just birds that have 'family' on their mind.  This is one of two Douglas Squirrels that were racing around after each other in one of the cedar groves.

Not in the park but because we haven't had an opportunity to get photos of


Pine Siskin this winter thought I'd throw this in since a flock of thirty or so stopped by today and finally....


again because they tend to be a little camera shy, this Eurasian-collared Dove that I managed to capture a picture of yesterday.  And before I go, want to mention that there have been Purple Finch around the last few days....the season is definitely under way!