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Saturday, March 23, 2019

A Woodpecker sort of day

For some reason, today has been a day of woodpeckers.  It started this morning when, on our walk over to the log bay in the morning, I spotted what I thought was a pair of Downy Woodpeckers courting.  None of the pictures, taken through bushes, turned out but rather than a pair, as in male and female, it turned out to be two males, so rather than courting, I suspect they were contesting territory!

After lunch, headed over to Harrison Bay for our walk and ended up seeing another two Downy Woodpecker, but also three....


Hairy Woodpecker.  One pair were close to the campground and appeared to be checking out potential nesting sites, while this male was further along and posed very nicely for photos


You can tell it is a male from the red on the back of the head (females don't have that).

Also checking out nesting sites were....


Tree Swallows....this male also chose to pose beautifully!


Robins!  Oh my goodness were there robins....over 50 I'd say throughout the length of the walk.  At one spot, down in the fields, there were a couple of Western Meadowlark with them but no way to get a picture.


lot's of Northwestern Crows as well, several pairs but also a good size flock out in the fields.


European Starling too....some in pairs, even flying about with nesting material while others in a flock in the fields that are greening up rapidly.

On the water, about a hundred swans way out on the bay, 4 Common Loons, lots of Common Merganser again and...


of course Canada Geese....very restless for the most part, flying back and forth from the water to the nice green fields.


and let's not forget the Bald Eagles....the pair were perched near the nest today....notice too the swelling buds of the Poplar trees - sticky bud time!  Spring is definitely sprung!


Shrike!

Getting a little bit behind here so figured I'd better do some catching up!


yesterday started with flock after flock of Trumpeter Swans flying overhead, heading north.  Even so, there were still a good couple of hundred on Harrison Bay when we walked over later in the day.


pleased to see that the water level's continue to creep up, ever so slowly...lots of Canada Geese swimming where it was dry ground.


this one perched on her piling....


lots of Red-wing Blackbirds....this one being a calling female.


a few American Goldfinch are back... still in their dull and mucky winter colours.


also still in winter plumage, this Gold-crowned Sparrow...

but the exciting find of the day yesterday was.....



spotting this Northern Shrike.  A winter time visitor that we don't see every year.


large numbers of Common Merganser continue down on the river.  This group were right in close to shore....accompanied by a couple of Northwestern Crows.


seeing more Northern Flicker now....which is typical for this time of the year as they migrate through.


and American Robins....lots of robins!

and finally....


the flowers of the native Indian Plum are out....so the Rufous Hummingbirds should be showing up any time now.




Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Spring! and Bluebirds

First day of spring....felt more like summer at 24 degrees out there.


unfortunately didn't get to enjoy it very much but the one walk we did manage was worth it...


because there were a couple of Mountain Bluebirds down by the shoreline.  Unfortunately this photo wasn't in focus..


this one slightly better.

Yesterday we did a quick walk at Harrison Bay...


and the only thing of note was seeing that the water levels are starting to creep up.  You can see water at the far end of the bay now where it had been all high and dry.   It should start rising a bit more since this summer like heat is melting snow rapidly and the melt waters have to go somewhere.



Monday, March 18, 2019

Two Eagle pairs

Well it sounds silly but it was really too warm to go over and walk the dike after lunch - think we will give it a try tomorrow morning before it heats up....so we just walked over to the park after lunch....

As soon as we started out...


noticed this pair of Bald Eagles out on the estuary....

Turned around and....


there was another pair in the 'eagle' tree by the viewing platform.

Other than that it was pretty quiet....


some House Finch....this one a male....


sat and watched for  a while.  There were Tree Swallows zipping around but that was all.

Heading back, besides one Anna's Hummingbird spotted this little guy...


a Gold-crowned Kinglet - showing off where they get their name from!

I keep wondering when the first Rufous Hummingbird will show up, but in reality hopefully it won't be for a while because there is nothing for them to eat yet.  The native Salmon Berries and Black-Twin Berries aren't even showing any signs of life yet.  There is only one Indian Plum in the area and although it's buds are showing, they are a ways off from opening yet.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

A couple of 'first of the season'....

Another beautiful day!  Headed over to the park in the morning....


and over there Trumpeter Swans, flying up the Harrison River, heading north....  always a bitter sweet sight.  Nice to know that everything is working as it should, but sad to see them go.


there were quite a few Red-wing Blackbirds at the log bay...


a few Mallard, like this pair...


and the numbers of Tree Swallows are increasing, and already checking out the nest boxes.  Saw a Ruby-crowned Kinglet but couldn't get a photo.

After lunch, headed over to Harrison Bay...


so sunny and warm....this photo doesn't show it, but the south shore is still lined with snow.  The most exciting thing today though was hearing, as soon as we set out, a Western Meadowlark!  That was the first, 'first of the season'....


Not a lot out on the water, but we did spot this pair of Common Loon....there has been one individual out there all winter, but this sighting brought the number to three.

It was after we were back home that the second 'first of the season' showed up....


an American Goldfinch!



Saturday, March 16, 2019

Sunshine! and Swallows

What a beautiful day!


you can't see them, but there were Tree Swallows flying around those pilings this morning.  There were also all sorts of birds all along the trail, all the regulars ones one would expect to see ....nothing out of the ordinary.

After lunch we made it over to Harrison Bay, 


and finally, proof - the Tree Swallows have arrived!

Not a lot of other activity...


here is a pair of European Starlings....


they had been coming and going out of that nesting cavity.


lot's of American Robins....especially near the campground


No swans today but several pairs of Canada Geese, like these ones, with a pair of Mallard behind.  There was a good size flock of Common Merganser out on the river but that was about it.  Of course the sun is shining, it is spring break and the campground is in use so a lot of human traffic along the river.


Friday, March 15, 2019

Swallows

A very short and sweet post - 4 Tree Swallows seen today.....also a pair of Brewer's Blackbirds at the log bay.  No photos....too busy with other chores today...