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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Unusual season continues

The unusual season continues....


the water levels are slowly dropping but still up over the grasslands so no walking over to the park.  Monday was the day the Christmas Bird Count was done in our area, haven't seen any reports on what were found but did talk to the counters when let them into our complex and they hadn't seen anything too exciting or unusual at that point, which is pretty much the way it has been.  


Lot's of Bald Eagles perched in trees, mainly because there isn't any where else for them to be.  No flats to loaf on this year!  

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Just a lot of water

Haven't been posting much because there just hasn't been a lot of change.  This is the most unusual season we've had since I started doing this.  Every time the water starts to drop down and things seem to be getting back to normal, something happens that is anything but normal.  Last posts we had ice all over, then we got warm rain, it melted all the snow that had been in the hills and consequently we were back to high water.  Now it is on the way down again, but still high.

Headed over to Kilby today....


sunny but chilly and very, very quiet bird wise.  



the cornfield beside the dike had a bunch of Killdeer in it, almost impossible to see until they moved - there are at least 4 in this picture.


The Red-wing Blackbird flock was there as well...


this one has a corn kernel in it's bill.  It is kind of amazing that they are still finding corn in the few stalks left around the perimeter of the field, considering the numbers of birds feeding on them.


This 4 year old Bald Eagle was perched right beside the road as we headed back our way.


We then drove up Morris Valley Road where large numbers of ducks and swans were sheltering.  Earlier the sun had been shining on this area and the swans (mainly Tundra) were in close but all parking areas were taken up with 'photographers', so wasn't able to get any photos.

Tomorrow is the Christmas Bird Count in this area, hopefully all these waterfowl will still be here to be counted.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

5 days later....

How things change in just a few days!  Such a strange 'not yet even winter'!


this was the scene on the 3rd of the month...water levels dropped way down but sheets of ice remained all over the grasslands.


and of course there were Bald Eagles feasting on the salmon that were showing up as the water disappeared.

Fast forward to today....


no more ice and the water back where it should be this time of the year.  There were a lot of Common Merganser, Bufflehead and Mallard in the water in this area, although a bunch flew as duck hunters were also out there today.


on the way down to the foreshore I managed some photos of this male Anna's Hummingbird.  Of course the only one I got showing the beautiful magenta colour of the head wasn't in focus - but this is one of the best photos I have of these guys yet.

After lunch we decided to take a drive over to Kilby....as we drove I spotted this....


Northern Pygmy Owl, perched on a branch, right over the road!  Wondered how many people drove right underneath it without even noticing.  


not a lot of activity out on Harrison Bay today...possibly due to a couple of boats that kept running up and down...


Noticed a couple of Bald Eagles....this guy had been busy preening...


and there were probably several hundred Red-wing Blackbirds along the edge of the cornfield adjacent to the dyke...


and at the other end there were these Eurasian Collared Doves perched on the railway bridge.  

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The cold continues

The last few days have continued, crisp and cool...


during this time the water levels have been receding....leaving large sheets of ice behind.


here is another view.


there is definitely lots of activity out there right now.  Ducks by the hundreds.....


lots of Swans (hard to tell which type, probably both), lots and lots of gulls and of course....


Bald Eagles.....this one an adult.


this one a juvenile. 

 Yesterday there was a large flock of Red-wing Blackbirds in the bushes, the day before it was a mixed flock of Gold-crowned Kinglets, Chickadee's (both Chestnut-backed and Black capped) and Brown Creepers.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Brrrrr

What a crazy 'not yet winter'!  First the rain....


which, when it finally ended, has brought water levels up to spring flood levels!  Again, most of these photos have been taken by my husband.


here is another one....these were taken on November 28th....a day coincidentally when record high temperatures were being set all over the place.

I did get out for one walk once the rain stopped...


and managed this photo of a Bald Eagle perched in the top of one of the Cedar trees in our complex.

Now, skip forward 24 hours .....


back to the log bay...yes, that is ice...we now are setting low temperature records....


there are wicked outflow winds which is what is driving the spray that is coating everything and then freezing.  They say with the wind chill it is close to minus 20 and I must say that when I ventured out for a short walk, I've braved a lot of outflow winds here, but that was the coldest I've ever experienced.

No doubt, because of the bitter temperatures, our feeders have been very busy...


visitors included this male Purple Finch...first one I've seen for a while.


the Anna's Hummingbirds are lined up at the feeder.....


and a lot of birds, like this female Varied Thrush were taking advantage of the sunshine in a sheltered spot to thaw out and warm up a bit.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Never ending rain

Between this never ending rain and other obligations I haven't managed to get out for a walk yet this week, so these photos are courtesy of my husband, taken while walking our two dogs whenever the rain lets up enough to just be 'rain' and not torrents!


all this rain is, of course, bringing water levels back up but there is no shortage of...


Bald Eagles.....they are everywhere right now.  Crossing the highway 7 bridge over the Harrison River yesterday the trees on both sides of the river were full of eagles.


these ones were lined up along the park.  


also, hanging out at the park has been this Trumpeter Swan family, adults and 3 youngsters.

If weather forecasts are right, this heavy rain, dark and low cloud should move out on Friday so maybe I'll actually get out that day.


Friday, November 21, 2014

Eagles galore....

Once again I'm a day late.  Have no intention of venturing out there today in the pouring rain so will share photos from yesterday when there were eagles everywhere!


started out by spotting this group of four perched just behind one of the residences in our complex.


looked over and saw the 'eagle trees' by the park's viewing platform were well populated too.


passed by this Great Blue Heron and a couple of female Common Merganser.....


masses of ducks as well.  Have seen, besides the Common Merganser, Hooded Merganser, Mallard, Northern Pintail, American Wigeon and Bufflehead.


there were also a number of swans out there.  I'm not sure if they all were, but there were definitely at least a few Tundra Swan among them.


and of course there were more Bald Eagles at the log bay over seeing the whole place.


and yet more in the 'eagle trees' down off of the golf course.


here is a close up of one of the juvenile birds that are around.  


it was also very gratifying to see that the trees along the edge of the estuary directly behind our complex are reaching the age where eagles can make use of them too.  We counted over 50 of them in this area alone.

Now not an eagle but note worthy because they are a species we don't often see right in this area....


House Sparrow!  This is an introduced species that people love to hate.  They are usually associated with shopping mall parking lots and other man made areas so I'm not sure it is a good thing they have suddenly shown up here as we've always prided ourselves in being 'rural' and natural enough so as not to attract them.  Sadly that appears to no longer be the case.