Sunday, December 16, 2012

Harrison Bay and area

With Christmas shopping done and the weather at least dry, I wanted to get over to Harrison Bay today as IBA BC033 is much bigger than just the Harrison/Chehalis estuary, and especially bigger than the tiny bit seen from my usual haunt.

A touch of snow

We started out by heading in the opposite direction, this is the far north west corner of the estuary and I took it mainly to show that we actually did end up with snow yesterday.

looking over the estuary area

this is taken from the same spot but looking the other way over the wide expanse of the estuary.

Beach at Harrison Bay

parked over at the campground in Kilby which was completely empty, I think that is the first time I’ve ever seen the campground without a single occupant (it is open year round). 

looking out at the bay

it was pretty quiet and cold and dark….there were a lot of swans, probably close to a hundred out on the bay but too far off to even attempt a picture…masses of ducks with them as well.

Lesser Scaup

speaking of ducks here are some Lesser Scaup that were quite close to shore.  Scaup are common on the bay and the river but we never see them up in the shallow water of the estuary, I’m really not sure why since other diving ducks venture up our way.

The other way

looking back the other way….water levels are really low and so is the snow line!

Eagle nest

I walked the dyke going back and noticed activity over at that eagle nest..

Eagles working on their nest

this pair of Bald Eagles were carrying sticks to add to their nest.  Not an unusual activity for eagles in December.

Tundra Swans

just before we left this family of Tundra Swans swam past fairly close…from the amount of yellow on the bills of the two parents I suspect it is the same family with 2 young ones that was up our way a couple of weeks ago.

Double crested Cormorant

Now this might be cheating a little bit as these Double-crested Cormorant were actually in the slough at Deroche, but I feel justified in posting as yesterday when we were heading over the Harrison bridge with no camera, there were 10 cormorants all lined up on the wires over the river.  Of course none were there today.

Waterfowl assortment

also taken at the slough this shows an assortment of waterfowl along with a heron.  There are even some Cackling Geese (small at the top on the right) along with the Canada Geese….and as we were leaving Harrison Bay several skeins of Geese did fly over.

Drying off eagle

there were an amazing number of Bald Eagles perched in trees lining all of the various sloughs and waterways (far more than at the estuary or Harrison Bay), including this 4 to 5 year old busy drying off.

Starlings and crows

also, in another area there was an incredible number of both Northwestern Crows and European Starlings….and as I told my husband who was blithely driving through them all, they are birds too!  This just shows a very small section of them.

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