I would like to introduce you to internationally recognized Important Bird Area, B.C. 033. This Important Bird Area, or IBA consists of the Chehalis Estuary, the lower part of the Harrison River and Harrison Bay. Situated in the upper Fraser Valley of British Columbia, I have had the privilege of living beside the Chehalis Estuary for the past 13 years. For many of those years I posted a blog of this area on the website for the Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival Society, under the name of Kathy’s Korner.
The Chehalis Estuary is a unique habitat. Formed where the Chehalis river joins the Harrison River, this area, for at least 4 months of the year, forms a shallow ‘lake’, the rest of the year large expanses of grasslands and gravel bars are exposed. The estuary is bordered by a mix of deciduous and coniferous forest as well as residential areas all of which contributes to a growing list of bird species. That number is closing in on 175 at this point.
I walk this area a couple of times every day, so let me introduce you to various spots that you will see again and again. The above is what I call the ‘boat launch’ ~ this is how it looks on a beautiful sunny, late summer day.
If you look just a little to the west of the ‘boat launch’ you can see the road that forms the western boundary of the estuary.
Looking eastward, you see Mt. Woodside which forms the eastern boundary. The Harrison River runs along the base of Mt. Woodside. You can see that water levels are low this time of the year….although they will get lower yet…
Eagle Point community park is a linear park that protects the estuary from the residential areas along the western edge. This area is in Eagle Point park and I call it the ‘log bay’. You will find I refer to this area quite often….especially those 4 logs to the right of the picture…they make great water measuring sticks! During high water, that topmost log will be submerged.
Of course the whole point of this blog is to share with you the natural wonders of this unique spot. Today, there were a number of Greater Yellowlegs poking along the shoreline….
and since September 6th until a couple of days ago, we had this exciting visitor ~ a Great Egret!
That is one of the wonders of this area ~ you just never know what will show up!
This time of the year, Pacific Water Parsley is in full bloom throughout the grassland areas….this plant is much loved by an assortment of insects.
Douglas Aster also give colour to the landscape during late summer and into Fall.
Here is a close up view of the Douglas Aster.
Now I have introduced you to this area, I hope you will come back, as I share the wonders of the estuary with you throughout the seasons and in all sorts of weather. In a few weeks Chum Salmon will be spawning attracting hundreds of Bald Eagles…Trumpeter Swans will be arriving in late November to spend the winter with us……