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Sunday, June 26, 2016

Swallow nursery....

Such a beautiful day we had to throw the canoe in the water and head out for a look....


normally water would be a lot higher this time of the year....I guess the good news is that there should be lots of 'shore' for shorebirds to stop at when they migrate through in another month or six weeks.


In all we saw or heard a total of 31 species but weren't able to get photos of many....here, if you look closely are Canada Geese.  Have to be a hundred or so in the area right now but they are molting so keeping a low profile.


headed over to the log jam at the edge of the Harrison River...not much activity there that we could see, mind you water levels were still high enough for there to be no place to land...


heading back down this arm of the Harrison to get over to the Chehalis


where we spotted this female Common Merganser with 2 larger young....


but the most surprising thing was this 'swallow nursery' area.  There were young swallows everywhere! and of 4 different species.  Most were Tree Swallows, but there were also Violet Green Swallows, Northern Rough Wing Swallows and even Cliff Swallows.  Didn't see any Barn Swallows but they nest later than the others...


all the trees on the other side of the river were full of baby swallows...


here are some more....think that first little guy is a baby Cliff Swallow, the next being a baby Violet Green and the rest Tree (I think)


and here is a circle of baby swallows....


further up the river another Common Merganser family - those little guys can move!


heading home but with a sad note....there appeared to be no activity at all around the Purple Martin boxes on the middle piling.  Sadly that little colony that seemed to have established itself the past few years doesn't seem to have returned....too much human pressure maybe?


Friday, June 24, 2016

Damp summer day

They tell us the weather is going to change dramatically in the next day or so....today was another cool damp day but we took advantage and went for a walk over at Harrison Bay....


appearance wise it looked exactly like it did in my last report so am only going to post things we saw that were different....like spotting this Red-breasted Sapsucker right away....


and there were a lot of swallows around including some of these Violet-green Swallows.  Had suspected there were some in the vicinity, we now have proof.


Tree Swallows obviously using this nesting site.  There were a few Barn Swallows flying around as well.


lots of feeding baby birds happening....American Robin above with a mouthful (noticed several months ago that this bird only has one leg but doesn't seem to hinder it)


white-crowned sparrows running around with mouthfuls of food too....


while young Northwestern crows were all over the place following parents around.


Spotted a couple of these male Bullock's Orioles and from the noise coming from the nest there are quite a few hungry mouths to feed.


while Spotted Sandpipers appear to be still in nesting mode, running around frantically if you get anywhere near where their nests might be (they nest on the ground, not in trees but this one seems to prefer to keep watch from the branches)

and lastly....

there were a number of Black-capped Chickadee....this one feeding on the fruit of the Black Hawthorne

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Walk at Harrison Bay....

This afternoon we got for a walk over at Kilby....nice to start getting caught up...


not sure where to start, so we'll start with the first bird we saw...a Song Sparrow and note the berries of the Red-Osier Dogwood, not quite ripe although there were some that are.


and speaking of Song Sparrows....here is a fledgling one.


there were a lot of Spotted Towhee and couldn't get over the amount of Black Hawthorne fruit....not quite ripe here, they will be black when ripe, hence the name.  It doesn't seem that long since I was taking pictures of the flowers.


lots of White-crowned Sparrows too, this one in a Himalayan Blackberry bush....lots of berries to come.


this Downy Woodpecker must have just had a bath....


there were a lot of Bullock's Orioles but didn't manage a photo of any of them, however the above is an Oriole nest, and from the noise, occupied by a bunch of youngsters.  Orioles are one of the species where both parents and even siblings from the previous season help to raise the youngsters.


and it wasn't just birds.....the blue is called Viper's Bugloss....a strange name for a pretty plant that bees love.  The yellow, of course, is a type of dandelion.


this is one I don't know, but am trying to find out...


well this is the common and well known Pink Spirea, also known as Hardhack...

and then this evening I was admiring the scene where there was a Bald Eagle perched on a log with some Canada Geese in the foreground....it wasn't until I downloaded the photos that ....


I noticed that the eagle had a fish....a good sized fish!  Pretty impressive.

Monday, June 20, 2016

First day of summer

It is the first day (or at least part day) of summer and we are back from our spring wandering so time to get back at it....


a beautiful evening out there after a warm but cloudy day.  You can see that water levels haven't budged much in the month or so we've been away.

The few times I've been to the boat launch there has been a lot of bird activity, but of course not when I took the camera....


have noticed a lot of Cedar Waxwings like the fellow above (sorry for the quality of the photo - I think my poor camera may be wearing out)...


A lot of American Robins too, like this young one, busy eating the berries of the red-osier Dogwoods.

Photos of a Yellow Warbler and a family of Black-capped Chickadees didn't turn out but should mention there are also lots of Red-wing Blackbirds and can hear Swainson's Thrush and the Bullock's Oriole.  Also seeing Tree Swallows and a few Barn Swallows.  Can hear Canada Geese out there, no doubt in their molt stage so staying hidden and quiet.  Oh, also saw an adult Bald Eagle this afternoon.

Hopefully we will get over to Harrison Bay soon and maybe out in the canoe for an over view of just what is out there.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

May long weekend

Well it is the middle of the May long weekend and the weather hasn't exactly been spectacular but is what we need....cool, cloudy and showery...  Took advantage and went for a walk over at Harrison Bay...


very green and gray!  Could hear a Spotted Sandpiper down there somewhere but couldn't find it.


there were quite a few White-crowned Sparrows and notice that the berries of these Red-elderberry bushes have already been eaten.


she is pretty hard to see but there is a female Common Yellowthroat down there in the grasses.  Could hear quite a few of them.


American Robins too...this one is perched on one of the branches that blew down last winter and ended up in the fallow corn field...and is now rooting and growing...

and speaking of robins....


here is the first fledgling of the season.

Saw a pair of Bullock's orioles, as well as a female Black-headed Grosbeak.  The Bald Eagle pair were there, from their activity I'd say she is still sitting on eggs.  There is an Osprey sitting on a nest too. 


there was a pair of Black-capped Chickadees being very busy, making me suspect they might have a family nearby.

and flower wise....


the Viper's Bugloss was just starting to come into flower.

Now, wanted to mention that a neighbour had a Black-chinned Hummingbird at their feeder.  Wish I'd seen it!  We have a lot of....


Rufous Hummingbirds around right now, including the first crop of babies like this little guy...

and...



the Anna's Hummingbirds...like this male. (sorry about the photo quality - best I've managed) but would have loved to have seen the Black Chinned.

Now unless something really spectacular happens tomorrow this will probably be the last posting for a while as we are heading off again to see what we can see.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

A short paddle

This afternoon we decided to throw the canoe in the water and go for a short paddle....


the way the water levels are dropping figured better go while the going was good!


Several Canada Goose families were not amused and quickly moved their goslings into the safety of the long grass.


there was a Bald Eagle perched out on one of the partially submerged logs.


spotted this female Hooded Merganser hiding along the shore.


we were a bit concerned that there was no activity or any sign at all of any Purple Martins.  Had to remind ourselves that it is only mid-May, perhaps it is too early yet.


at least the Bullock's Orioles are here - this female was busy on the shore, probably gathering nesting materials.


a pleasant surprise was finding a number of Evening Grosbeaks....none of which were too cooperative about picture taking.


and lot's of Red-wing Blackbirds....think most females are still sitting on nests...  Birds seen but no pictures of were Tree Swallows, Barn Swallows, Turkey Vultures, and Osprey.


Earlier in the day took this photo of an American Robin having a bath in the boat launch.....and have to finish with a photo of these.....


native Foxgloves!  They are just spectacular right now.  These were growing on the bank.