Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas Bird count day

Today was the day for the official Christmas Bird Count in our area.  I’ll be interested to see what sort of a count they got as we started the day with pretty heavy fog or mist and when they got to our complex, our arborist had just arrived and was starting work so not the most ideal of conditions for bird counting!

By the time we got for our mid-day walk it was actually quite ‘birdy’…

Eagles in the trees

Lots of Bald Eagles just about everywhere – I’d guesstimate probably 400 at least if you really were looking…

couple of eagles

Here are a couple that were down feeding just off of the log bay…

More eagles 

the trees down off of the golf course were full too…


as I had been walking along the trail there had been 3 Great Blue Heron…1 each on 2 adjacent pilings and 1 in a cedar tree – the one in the tree flew and sent the others flying as well…one landed down here on this log that not so long ago was surrounded by water…

2 crow and a raven

I noticed, down at the water’s edge what appeared to be 2 Raven and 1 Northwestern Crow as two of the birds were much larger than the other…but finding Raven and Crows being compatible together is a little strange too…

Swans on the flats

8 Swans out on the flats, whether Trumpeter of Tundra I don’t know as they were too far away and never made a sound.

Glaucous-wing Gull and Green-wing Teal

Back at the bay there were a few Green-wing Teal so intent on feeding they never noticed we were there – a bit unusual for this variety of duck as they are usually so ‘flighty’.  I put this picture in to show the difference in size between the Glaucous-wing Gull and the Teal.

Green-wing Teal

and I have to add one more of the Teal because having them this close and relaxed is so unusual!

Song Sparrow eating Hardhack seeds

going back along the trail this Song Sparrow was busy feeding on the seeds from the native Hardhack bushes…I wasn’t happy to see, when I downloaded it, that he is suffering from growths on his feet – I forget the name of this but I believe it is caused by mites if my memory serves from years of working in pet stores…

Mew Gull making circles

over at the first bay there was a Mew Gull very busy feeding…notice the concentric circles the bird has made…this is because these birds feed by both bobbing up and down and turning around in the water….moving their feet up and down the whole time to stir up the bottom…

looking to see what was stirred up

they watch very carefully and when a tidbit floats up…

grabbing a bite

they grab it!  Sometimes leaping up and diving head first to do so.

a live salmon

there was still one live salmon in the same ‘puddle’ that the gull was in, and another live one a bit further out…so still a few around…

Heron on a post

another one of the herons was perched on this piling…watching the Mew Gull with interest.

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