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Sunday, March 1, 2015

March already!

Here we are....March already and finally, after computer issues and a battle with the flu, got out for a walk again...


water levels are back to more where one expects them to be this time of the year, of course this year is proving to be one for the record books so who knows how the season will unfold.


The first thing I noticed were the numbers of ducks!  Especially Northern Pintails (in the rear).  We've often seen a few pintails but they were the primary species today, must have been close to a hundred in the area.  This photo also has a pair of Mallard.


There was one Great Blue Heron out there, I understand about 3 of them have been hanging about lately.


also spotted a Killdeer at the edge of the water.

This was my first walk to the park since the district did their work on the trail....


fortunately it wasn't as civilized as I'd feared it would be.  The edges of the path have been widened but that should fill in again if allowed to do so.  Didn't see any birds along the path with the exception of.....


this male Anna's Hummingbird!  He was actually perched singing....had never heard one sing before.  No doubt the Rufous Hummingbirds should be showing up soon.  The Tree Swallows have already arrived back.


Things were very calm over at the 'fallen' log bay...this photo shows that water levels are still higher than their lowest levels....


There was quite the collection of critters out in this grassy point....


mainly Canada Geese and American Wigeon but also some Green-wing Teal and even a couple of female Barrow's Goldeneye (not in photo)

Now just before I end I want to mention that we've had an unusual regular visitor for the past few weeks....


a Mourning Dove!  It isn't the first time we've seen Mourning Doves here but they aren't that usual.  This one, with the bluish sheen to the head and neck is a male.  The Eurasian Collared Doves are still around as well but not being seen too often now as they are probably already nesting.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Feeding eagles

February isn't a month when we are normally posting lots of eagle photos but today is an exception!  To start with our normal walk through the park is out of commission for the moment as the parks department is doing work on the path....not sure what they have in mind but I guess we'll find out what they're up to once they've finished.  Since we couldn't do the normal, we went over to Kilby where there wasn't much of anything happening until we noticed...


way over against the far shore, the resident pair of Bald Eagles busy hunting something...they kept circling around and diving down to the water levels....these pictures are really zoomed and really cropped but the pair of them are in the above one.


in this one, one of the eagles is right in the water - right in the middle of the photo...


and what ever it was they were after, they got, as the one on top of the log is now ripping it apart.

Headed home we did the normal run along the side of the estuary and down in this corner....


right beside the road, we spotted....


quite the collection of eagles on the ground.  There were actually 4 juveniles when we stopped, only 3 in the photo, and one adult.  There were others perched around the area.


we couldn't tell exactly what they had been eating.


This adult seemed to keep it's distance..


while this young one was right down below us.  Had to take the photo through the bushes rather than take a chance of scaring it....about two seconds after taking this photo a large truck roared by and this and all the rest of them took off.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Sunshine continues

Our sunny 'winter' continues although temperatures have edged back a bit more towards normal.


It is very pretty but it has also been very quiet 'bird wise' perhaps because the nice weather brings out more human activity, hard to say just what is going on.  Still if you really pay attention you can spot some things of interest....


like this female Northern Flicker that was working over those shrubs on the collapsed 'log bay' yesterday.  Usually flickers are seen regularly all winter but this winter they have been in short supply.

What have been seen regularly, at least in the park is this...


male Hairy Woodpecker....took this yesterday when he was working away deep in a grove of trees.  Today I saw a female so that is good news, we obviously have a pair in the area.

Yesterday was interesting as there were a number of...


Varied Thrush.  We usually expect to see these guys on dark rainy days, not bright sunny ones.  Today there was a flock of Golden-crowned Kinglets down low working over the bushes, unfortunately didn't manage a photo of those active little guys.


Song Sparrows are becoming more and more visible as they are pairing up and staking out nesting territories.


this little guy was drying out after a bath.  Song Sparrows were probably the earliest nesters in our area, at  least they were before the Anna's Hummingbirds arrived on the scene.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

and this is winter?

This strange winter continues....we had torrential rain for a day or so, which brought the water levels back up....


this was taken yesterday,  Jan. 26th over at the collapsed log bay on another unseasonably warm day - temperatures reached 15 degrees Celsius!


there was a fair amount of little bird activity in the vicinity like these Pine Siskin that have been starting to show up with a bit more regularity lately.


and Black-capped Chickadees.....


even spotted this female Purple Finch!  First one of those I've seen in months.  There were also some Ruby-crowned Kinglets and I've heard there is a Townsend's Solitaire in the area.  Usually if any of those grey coloured cousins of the American Robin are going to stop by during migration it isn't until late March or even April.  There are a few Robin being seen too.


also spotted lurking in the bushes yesterday was this little guy, a Douglas Squirrel, nice to see one actually in the park.

and not to be outdone, there was this...


Bald Eagle perched over in a tree where we don't normally see them.

Today it was still mild although not as warm as the last few days, we went over to Kilby to see what was around....


as you can see it was very grey and misty!  There was one eagle perched in that far tree but not a lot of anything else on the water.


a flock of Bushtits (this one, with the yellow eyes being a female) were busy going over the bushes in one area along the dyke.


way more Dark-eyed Junco than we've seen all winter, must have been a hundred or more.  Also the usual Song Sparrow, Spotted Towhee, Black-capped Chickadee's etc. and a few Red-wing Blackbirds.  The situation of the sick and dying Red-wings continues to be of concern as the resident flock appears to be getting smaller and smaller.  Also noticed were some House Sparrow, and an Anna's Hummingbird.


Lastly, even though this picture isn't as clear and crisp as I'd like, put it in to show this Steller's Jay with it's white 'eye brow' - this is typical of the jays seen in the interior and more eastern parts of the province.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Harrison Bay

Beautiful day today, just like spring...took the dogs for a walk over to Kilby...


was pretty quiet over there, just like it has been everywhere else lately...


there was this family of Trumpeter Swans in quite close to shore.  Quite a few more further out.


over in the adjacent farm fields there were masses of ducks and geese...


mainly Northern Pin Tail and Green Wing Teal with a few Mallard.


the trees along the dyke were full of Black-capped Chickadees some of them already giving their 'here Penny' breeding season call.


there were a few Red-wing Blackbirds but not many.  Something strange has been happening with this species in this area this winter.  We are finding sick and dying birds and the numbers of the around seem to be dropping rapidly.  Authorities have picked up some of the dead birds, Avian Flu has been ruled out but we are still waiting for word of what is actually happening to them.


and will finish off with this juvenile Bald Eagle perched in a tree in the parking lot.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Oh no! and rainbows....

It's been a while since I've reported anything....it is that quiet time of the year.  Today was one of those spring like days, more like April than January, complete with lot's of showers...


seems every time the sun shone and it seemed safe to venture out for a walk, another cloud would move over and we'd get drenched.  


this Bald Eagle was perched at the edge of the water....the only bird in sight!  In fact apart from hearing some Gold crowned Kinglets working over the cedar tree grove we didn't see another bird all the way to the log bay where we discovered this...


I guess the windstorm we had yesterday did in that top log....it has been perched precariously for a while now....seems strange that it has managed to stay put for almost a century until this year.


here is a closer look.  Certainly ruins the whole ambiance of the area.


the weekends rain also brought up the water levels a bit....no doubt they will retreat again soon....sure is barren out there!  One bright note, my husband saw a couple of robins this morning, they don't usually start showing up in any great numbers until mid-February.  There has also been a flock of Pine Siskin seen periodically the last week or so.

Heading back....


we were treated to this rainbow.  This photo taken from the viewing platform...


and ended with this spectacular double rainbow, so close I couldn't get the whole thing in!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Typical January.....

What with one thing and another haven't gotten out for too many walks lately...


which doesn't really matter because we back into typical, dull, grey, January weather with not a lot of anything much around.  Still a few eagles, some ducks and a heron or two....that is pretty much it.


some times when you walk the trail you don't see anything, other times there is lots of activity like this Spotted Towhee scratching in the leaf litter.

Still watching the Anna Hummingbird activity....


today we had at least 3 different ones at the feeder.  A male, a young one and this one which I think is a female although I'm wondering if it might be a young male just getting it's colour.  Will have to get out my field guide and try and figure it out.

We also have a bit of a mystery happening with Red-wing Blackbirds in the area....will report more when I have some answers.