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Saturday, April 9, 2016

It's that time of the year

Water levels are rising dramatically.....the estuary is no more and is turning into a seasonal lake and it is time for us to hit the road and do some traveling of our own....not sure when we'll be back, it may not be until late June....so don't expect any updates for the next month or so....see you in summer.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Rising water

It is that time of the year....went for a walk one day, the path was bone dry...


24 hours later it was under water!  A combination of warm weather then some heavy rain had it's effect....whether levels will drop again or whether this is it and levels will continue to climb - only time will tell.

We attempted a walk over at Harrison Bay yesterday between downpours....


the wind was so strong that there were white caps on the bay and nothing much in the way of birds although we did spot the first Brown headed Cowbirds of the season.


all winter it seems all area Eurasian collared Doves hung out at Kilby but now they have spread out and we are seeing, and hearing them all over the area.


not a great photo...but does show that American Goldfinch are back although not in great numbers yet.  Rufous Hummingbirds are still pretty sparse too.  White crowned Sparrows have been seen the last few days....pretty much right on time.

Expecting a Band Tail Pigeon to show up any day now.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Swan????

If someone had just told me that there was a swan at the boat launch this morning I would have figured it was an April fools joke....


but see that white dot out there.....


it is a young Trumpeter Swan!  I wonder if it is the one we were seeing back in the fall that seemed to be all on it's own although it hung around with another family.  Swans have pretty much all headed north now, will be interesting to see if this one stays or manages to find it's way north on its own.

The last few days have been record breaking in the heat department with temperatures in the low 20's....


it is amazing how much everything has leafed out in just a few days...that of course is a male Red-wing Blackbird.


it has been quite quiet bird wise, at least as far as a variety of species.  There are lot's of Tree Swallows, with a few Violet Green mixed in.  A few American Goldfinch have been spotted and there was just 1 Pine Siskin one day.  Rufous Hummingbirds are still being elusive...have seen one a couple of times but certainly in the numbers you'd expect by now.

The other evening...


this Great Blue Heron flew in and proceeded to do some fishing in front of us. 

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Easter Weekend

A beautiful start to the Easter Weekend....


heard a large flock of swans heading north early this morning...


lots of Tree Swallows now...


and a lot of Red-breasted Sapsuckers busy drumming on what ever they can find.  In this case that is a street light.


Singing Song Sparrows....


and calling Red-wing Blackbirds.  Also saw the first Rufous Hummingbird of the season and have heard that an American Goldfinch has been seen as well.

Did manage a distant photo...


of one of those elusive Evening Grosbeaks that have been hanging about for the past week or so.

and speaking of elusive....pointed the camera in the direction I saw a bird disappear in...


thought it was probably a Towhee but when I downloaded it...turned out to be a Fox Sparrow.

Lastly....


the Eurasian Collared Doves seem to be established back in the area now after being absent all winter - although they weren't far away, seemed to hang out at Harrison Bay.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Steppin' into spring

Since it has officially become spring we seem to be back into the showers scenario.  Have managed to get out for walks between the rain...


this was the 'first bay' yesterday and it looked much the same today.  Water levels are sure low but that is pretty much typical for this time of year - the erosion of that bank isn't though.  All that has come about in just the last year or two.


the Red-breasted Sapsuckers are back.  Unfortunately this guy was way up in the top of a very tall tree so not the greatest photo.  Should mention that today I saw an intergrade Northern Flicker - cross between a Red-shafted and Yellow-shafted....didn't manage a photo but if we are going to see them, this is the time when it is most likely.


female Red-wing Blackbirds are back...


the males are of course doing their thing....not as many of them around now as most have moved on....I hear the swans are back in the Yukon which explains why haven't seen any here recently....


Steller's Jay are getting quieter and sneaky as they do when they start thinking about nesting.


in plants...the Black Twin Berries are just coming into flower...


as are the Dandelions.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Last day of winter.....

In less than 2 hours, as I write this, it will be spring....the last couple of days have been more like spring than winter....


high cloud today but nice and warm...up to 15 c degrees.


lots of Tree Swallows flying around the nesting boxes...hope those boxes hang on for another season!

Even spotted....


a male Yellow-rump Warbler today ~ the first of the season.


lots of Song Sparrows hiding in the bushes.


Chickadee's, both the Black-capped like the guy above....


and Chestnut-backed like this one are busy checking out nesting sites.  The Black-caps seem to prefer the more open bushy areas while the Chestnut back prefer the denser areas.


and the Salmon Berries are in full flower now.  Still waiting for the first Rufous  Hummingbird to show up.  My daughter on Vancouver Island had one in her yard yesterday so they are on their way.  I did hear some Evening Grosbeaks today...hopefully they'll return for a photo opportunity.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Mid March

Here we are, over half way through the month, and so far there hasn't been a day when it hasn't rained for at least part of the time....today being the best one so far so we headed over to Harrison Bay for a walk...


the most activity was in the cornfield beside the dike...


think this European Starling was collecting nesting materials....


Killdeer were calling all over the place but virtually impossible to see they blend in so well!


This Canada Goose pair were also in the field while others were out on the bay and in nearby farm fields.

The Blackberry hedgerows were enjoyed by...


some American Robins....and


Spotted Towhee - this one was enjoying a good stretch in the sunshine!

Back up at the estuary end...



it has been pretty quiet too...


am wondering if this Mallard pair are thinking of nesting in the log bay area as they seem to always be there.


quite a few Dark-eyed Junco around right now as well, which is typical for this time of the year.  Am still waiting for the first Rufous Hummingbird of the season to show up - should be any day now.