Thursday, November 17, 2011

Shovelers, Sapsuckers and….

Kind of an interesting day!  Mother nature continues to remind us of what she has in store for us in the coming months…we started out with hail this morning…

Snow squall up the valley

then it cleared and we saw a bit of sun…during our walk there was a snow squall happening up the valley and the temperature, that had reached 5 degrees, is now back on the way down…

Wigeon and Shoveler

Not a tremendous amount of ducks out there today, but I did notice a pair of Northern Shoveler just off of the log bay mixed in with the American Wigeon…the female is in the bottom middle of this photo and the male never did co-operate for a distant photo.


I’ve tossed in this ‘file’ photo of a male Northern Shoveler…at first glance they look a lot like a Mallard but that long flattish bill is the telling factor, as well as the yellow eye and the ‘chestnut’ coloured side (A Mallard has a chestnut coloured breast).  We don’t see a lot of shovelers here at the estuary but every once and a while one or two will show up, like today.

I should mention there were 2 Swans way out as well….first I’ve seen up this way since the initial sighting a few weeks ago, but there are at least a hundred hanging out in Harrison Bay on a regular basis.

Red-breasted Sapsucker

back to today and another surprise was spotting a Red-breasted Sapsucker along the trail…not surprising to see these guys in spring, but a bit out of season to see it today.  There were Black-cap Chickadees and Golden-crowned Kinglets in the same area.

Eagles on the flats

Out on the flats, the numbers of Bald Eagles was truly astonishing!  I stood on the viewing platform and started counting and guesstimate that there were easily a thousand out there, on the flats, in the trees along the river and flying overhead.

more eagles on the flats

there is another section…

Should also mention that 4 Rough-legged Hawks were seen on the hillside to the west of the estuary this morning.  I didn’t see them, but a neighbour least from his description that is what they had to have been…

Bird archive photos 1223

This is a file photo of one taken here in the area a number of years ago.

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