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Monday, April 21, 2014

No more park for a while

Well there will be no more walks over to the park for a while now....


Easter Sunday was the last day you could make it over there and even then it involved some wading.


here is the first bay, well on it's way to being full.....


as is the log bay.  A fair amount of bird activity over here...there was a male House Sparrow taking nesting material into one of the swallow nesting boxes...


there were a number of American Robins around,


also American Goldfinch.  Saw a number of Ruby Crowned Kinglets, and Rufous Hummingbirds..


not sure what this Common Raven found out in this patch of grass but it flew off towards the hillside with something fairly large in its mouth...


the most exciting find was this male Wood Duck, there had been a pair as well but they flew...hopefully they will find somewhere to nest again....Wood Ducks nest in tree cavities, which of course requires large dead trees to be left standing....they will also next in nesting boxes but no one has put any of those up in this area, at least not yet.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Rising waters

The water levels are definitely rising now....


starting to creep up the boat launch....


won't be long until the path is under water....


there is a Canada Goose on a nest in this shot, taken near the extreme north west corner of the estuary.  Saw a couple of Wood Ducks near here as well but there was no where to pull over so couldn't get a photo.


The American Goldfinch are showing up now,


and Rufous Hummingbirds, this one a female, continue in large numbers.  Other species being seen regularly are Purple Finch, White and Gold Crowned Sparrows and


Dark eyed Junco - I'm hoping this one was just sunning itself....I know they nest on the ground but usually under a bush and not out in the open like this.

The pair of Eurasian Collared Dove continue to show up, I'm waiting for the day when they and the Band Tail Pigeons are out there together, so far that hasn't happened.  Brown headed cowbirds are back although still in fairly low numbers....I'm wondering when we will see the first of the Black headed Grosbeaks.....should be fairly soon.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Wet in a lot of ways

After a couple of days of rain and with no let up in sight, decided to try to get down to the estuary to see how the water levels were doing....


and they were definitely rising....compare this to the photo taken the other day!


and actually made it to the log bay...note that bottom log out there is just about completely submerged.  Not a lot of bird activity around although I did notice an Osprey flying over.


and there was a collection of diving ducks, Common Merganser, Bufflehead and Common Golden-eye in this spot.

Noticed that.....


the flowers on the native Black Twin berry bushes were coming out, I've mentioned before how birds love the shiny black berries this shrub produces.

Lots of Ruby-crowned Kinglets in the bushes along with some chickadees and hummingbirds.


Monday, April 14, 2014

Shores and shorebirds

Finally, today, made it down to the estuary and it would appear just in time because the annual change from estuary to 'lake' is just getting under way....


not really visible in this picture but the Harrison River is rising and is pretty much level with the gravel bars....had I made it to the log bay you would see that the gravel bars are disappearing.  Last year at this time the whole area was already under water.


if you look carefully you will see a Killdeer (one of a pair) and a male Red-wing Blackbird, there were also a couple of Robins in the same area and Tree Swallow flying about.

The really exciting part though was seeing a number of.....


Greater Yellowlegs.....there were 3 in this area and a half dozen or more wandering along the shoreline further up.  We missed seeing them last year due to the water rising so quickly.

Earlier in the day I had sat outside soaking up the sunshine....


and a couple of those Eurasian Collared Doves had come to feed....


I'm not sure what this Steller's Jay was chasing in the grass, but he was pretty intent.


and there was constant activity around the feeders...all Rufous Hummingbirds.


Friday, April 11, 2014

Some area birds

If you can't get to the birds, apparently the birds will oblige and come to you.....at least that is the way it has been here the last couple of days.  First I want to mention that Ernie said there was a flock of small shorebirds down at the estuary today, he didn't get a good look and doesn't know what kind they were.

Yesterday I was standing looking out my sliding glass doors when I spotted.....


this Orange-crowned Warbler going over the plants in the bit of garden.  You can just barely make out the 'orange' crown.  It was a bit of a miracle I spotted it as it is the same colour as the plants and even more of a miracle that I got photos as they never sit still!

Noticed one of those 'odd ball' junco's yesterday too but didn't get a decent photo of it....


this White-crowned Sparrow was one of several.....

then today I spotted this....


a Eurasian Collared Dove, the first one I've seen right in this area although they have been at Kilby for a while now.  Not sure if it is a good thing or not as this species seems to have moved in and taken over at an alarming rate the past few years.

and then there are the Rufous Hummingbirds...


Don't know if there is another wave of migrants moving through or what but there has sure been activity out there today around the feeders.

Oh yes, we saw the first Brown-headed Cowbird of the season yesterday as well.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Some 'guest' shots

Hello to all you faithful followers that keep checking this blog....I have just spent the last week and a half or so in hospital so haven't been able to do much in the way of birding.  Am home now and hope I'll make it as far as the estuary in a day or so, but mobility continues to be an issue.  I hear that the water levels of the Harrison are starting to rise a little bit.  Checked this time of the year, last year, and was reminded that water levels rose quickly very early last year, in fact by now the whole area was pretty much under water.

I think I have shared some of Norm Dougan's incredible bird photos on here before.  He sent me some yesterday to cheer me up......they are so spectacular  I thought I'd post a few....


This is a Sharp-tail Grouse doing it's dancing mating routine.  Sharp-tails are extremely rare in B.C., in fact are in trouble everywhere due to habitat loss.  This is a species we would never see in our area.


Here is a pair of them.  These photos were obviously taken before sunrise.  Norm is an extremely dedicated nature photographer, most likely set himself up overnight to get these pictures.


Here is a Mountain Bluebird - my husband thought he saw one of these over at the log bay the other day.  We often get a glimpse of them as they migrate through this time of the year.


something that has been missing around here this winter - a Pine Siskin.


wouldn't be spring without those American Robins.


I understand there are still lots of Dark-eyed Junco out there.  This one looks like it could be a cross between the Oregon, that we get here on the coast, and a Slate coloured.  The back looks more gray than brown.

So that is about it.  The Hummingbirds are well established, I hear there were Band-tail Pigeons here for a bit and no doubt there will be more.  Hopefully I'll get to give my new walker a go and be able to at least sit in the sun they have promised and get a picture or two.  My cameras must be going through withdrawal! 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Bed side birding

It is sort of ironic, last year I was asked to write an article for a RV magazine on how birding is a hobby anyone can do, even those with physical limitations, so as I currently find myself with some mystery condition that makes it virtually impossible to sit or walk, I am now having to 'bird' from my bed.  And wouldn't you know that right now all kinds of things are happening out there!  

This morning started with the unmistakable calls of the Trumpeter Swans headed north, and soon I could see the long skein of them from my bedroom window.  The interesting thing is, I checked my blog photos for last year and it was the exact same date that they left last year too.

Yesterday I was laying here and almost jumped out of my skin when a tap-tap-tap sounded right outside my window....


the photo is courtesy of my husband who went out and tracked the source down, this Red-breasted Sapsucker really liked the sound that the little plastic window made.  There was another answering from  near by tree.  Could hear Flickers all over too, my husband counted 17 of them on his morning walk.

Also seen on his walk this morning...


this, which was one of 3 Ring-bill Gulls....  the not so good news of things seen was this...


apparently some flying lessons were being undertaken as it practiced stalling and landing and taking off about 5 times.

Back to the birds though....


yesterday the first White-crowned Sparrow showed up, photo again courtesy of my husband.

We are pretty sure the Band-tail Pigeons are back as well, either that or a bunch of Doves have moved in, there is lot's of 'cooing' coming from the trees but haven't actually caught sight of them yet.  The Rufous Hummingbirds are sure back in abundance!  My husband hung one of our feeders outside the bedroom window and they obviously approve of the spot as I have more coming than I've ever had....