Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Catching up

I’m not sure why but lately I feel a bit like a hamster running in a wheel – getting no where fast!  but there have been some notable sightings over the past few days so wanted to get a report done…

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This past weekend was the Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival and once again the festival lucked out in the weather department with clear sunny skies on the Saturday and at least dry skies on the Sunday.  Temperatures were a tad on the chilly side, especially when you spent 5 or 6 hours standing out in them like I did…but at least there wasn’t the bitterly cold winds that we experienced in 2010.

Private Plane on the flats 

Visitor’s were for the most part respectful of the environment…a couple of children had to be stopped from throwing rocks at the gulls and fish and one visitor decided the taped boundaries didn’t apply to her, but came back when it was pointed out they did.  Unfortunately on the Saturday someone decided to take a walk out on the flats so there were hardly any eagles until later in the afternoon when things returned to normal…and then Sunday we had the above incident of a private plane actually landing on the flats and the two occupants getting out and going for a walk, birds scattering in all directions as they did so…this was a concerning ‘first’ for the area and hopefully will not be repeated.

Couple of female Shovelers

There had been nothing much in the way of ducks at our site on the Saturday, but Sunday a number of ducks hung about including 4 female Northern Shovelers…2 of them in this picture…  Over the weekend of the festival the ducks were staying put in the ‘safe’ area, between the viewing sites.

Snow again

Monday morning we were greeted with another snowfall.  Those tire tracks are from the festival volunteer’s vehicle who was taking down the taped barriers…not someone driving where they shouldn’t be.

Eagles and Gulls

and with no disturbances out there…the eagles were back ‘en masse’

Lots of Hoodies

I have never seen as many Hooded Mergansers as there were yesterday…these are just some of the 26 I counted.

Overgrown trail

I couldn’t get over to the park yesterday, due to the over grown path and the bushes being loaded down with snow…but I could hear a chain saw working over there, which was rather alarming..

Trees by the log bay

the interesting thing was that the chain saw didn’t seem to bother these eagles that were perched in the trees that would be beside the log bay..

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back over my side I spent a while watching this Great Blue Heron…here he’d just caught lunch – I’m not sure what it is, but it has whiskers…

Going for it

here he is going for something else.  The lighting wasn’t the best so the pictures aren’t as sharp as they might be…

Heron and Hoodies

the Heron and the Hoodies were quite happy together…

Heron, Mallard and Hoodies

here a pair of Mallard joined the group…

getting scunchy out there

over night it got windy and warmed up with rain…so a very different looking place.  Put on the rain gear today and bush wacked to get over to the park…this area at the log bay is getting thick with dead salmon…water levels are about as low as I’ve seen them and there are fish carcass’s everywhere…the most I’ve seen for years…

Robin in November

There were a couple of American Robin over there today, a bit unusual for late November.  Also lots of the usual Towhee, Song Sparrow, Junco, etc.  Should mention that on the weekend 3 Red Crossbills were seen here and also a very out of season Black-throated Gray Warbler!  There is a report and picture of it on the Fraser Valley Birding Forum website.

What happened?

and apparently this was what the chain saws were doing on Monday.  I sincerely hope it was the parks department doing this for some reason.  This is – or was, the tree that the Boreal Owl was first spotted in last winter…


across the path another tree had come down…an Alder I think…that one looked like it was rotten in the middle…if I hear who, what or why I’ll post it.  This area, today was absolutely alive with Bushtits and Kinglets…


and back at the viewing platform, this Bald Eagle was keeping an ‘eagle eye’ on us.  There was also a Hairy Woodpecker…not co-operating for a picture and also, at least 7 Evening Grosbeaks were in the area today as well.

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