Friday, May 13, 2011

more water, a rare migrant and Orioles

Two nice days in a row…a bit of a record this year!  Before I get to today I want to report the sighting of a rare (for our area) migrant that I saw yesterday as I was heading out for a lunch date….

another look

a Western Kingbird!  I didn’t have a camera with me at the time but the bird was doing exactly what this one in one of my file pictures is doing…sitting on a fence wire.  Yesterday’s bird was right beside highway #7 just across the Harrison Bridge so definitely still within IBA BC033!  This added another species to the list – up to 169 now.

almost to the top

Made it over to the log bay today….you can see it was pretty windy…and also that the top log is well on it’s way to being submerged…


looking northwards….this view won’t change much now, except at the edges…it is just going to be water for the next 3 months or so.

looking south

ditto, looking this way, in fact I expect where I’m standing to be under water probably by the next time I make it over there.

the other way

likewise at the other end, I expect this will be the last view like this for some time.  I could hear a Spotted Sandpiper in this area but couldn’t see it…


Just before the battery in my camera died I spotted this male Bullock’s Oriole, one of several I heard down there….so this gives the opportunity to talk a bit about this favorite (at least for me) summertime visitor.

The first few years I lived here, we never saw an Oriole…then one summer, a neighbour was shocked to have one come to his hummingbird feeder.  The bird continued to come all season long, and then the next year, it returned…this time, with a mate.  The rest, as they say, is history!!  We now have quite the population of them.


The female Bullocks Oriole is pretty much all yellow…as this file photo (taken in my former backyard) shows…

Male with fledgling

for Orioles, raising a family is a ‘family’ affair!  Both parents work at building their hanging nests…they favor Poplar trees for these nests which are usually situated not as high up in the trees as you would expect.  Unlike most birds, the eggs don’t hatch all at the same time so the young don’t leave the nest all at the same time…that is when daddy takes over…as in the above picture…busy feeding this fledgling.

Feeding a wasp

of course mom doesn’t get out of all the feeding chores….

Feeding a wasp

in this series of pictures, taken in my former backyard…mom is busy preparing a wasp for the hungry youngster…

Male at feeder

it isn’t just mom and dad that help raise the family…often the youngsters from the previous year will join in as they take 2 years to mature.  Unfortunately pictures I had of the ‘teenagers’ seem to be missing…this is another adult male at an Oriole feeder.

Orioles have a number of different calls that you will soon recognize, one of the calls is a rattling call similar to that of the Steller’s Jay but in a lower register.

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