Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Productive quick visit

A good part of today was spent at a meeting with concerned parties looking to see how we can go about educating the public to lessen the amount of pressure being put on the birds and other wildlife of the estuary.  A plan of action was initiated and developments will be posted as they happen…

All of this is leading up to the fact that I was later getting for my shortened walk (the path issue was not solved or even touched on)…

The scene today

but what was immediately noticeable is that it was primarily a ‘white’ day.  There were some eagles out there, but close in, it was gulls and swans…

Tundra Swan family

and what is really noticeable this year are the number of Tundra Swans.  This is a family with 2 young ones….never before have I seen Tundra Swans right down in this area which is our boat launch.

Two Adults and one young Tundra Swan

notice the amount of yellow on the bill of the closest adult – according to my Sibley’s bird book, this is the maximum amount of yellow you can expect to see….if there is more than this, then you are getting into the much rarer Eurasian ‘Berwick's’ Swan or even the again much rarer, Whooping Swan.

1 Trumpeter and 3 Tundra

in this picture, the back bird is a Trumpeter Swan….

So after standing and watching the swans for a while we headed back towards home, only to find that the short area of riparian habitat was absolutely alive with…

Brown Creeper

Brown Creeper….

Chestnutbacked Chickadee

Chestnut backed Chickadees

Gold-crowned Kinlet

Golden-crowned Kinglets….and Bush Tits and who knew what else because it was at this point that someone decided to come and just stand there, so we did a loop of the complex and returned to the boat launch only to find that swans had nearly all disappeared or at least moved further along…

digging in

but a Bald Eagle was now busy enjoying a salmon lunch right at the foot of the boat launch…

Now, because photographers trying to ‘get closer’ is one of the major problems that has been encountered this year I am going to state it now, and no doubt over and over and over in months to come….none of the birds in this entry were disturbed by these pictures being taken.  All photos were taken with a small hand held camera with the equivalent of 800mm lens (in other words, no big threatening tripods or lens).  The photos were taken from a good distance, in the case of the swans, because both myself and my dog remained quiet and still in one spot, so the swans actually swam towards us allowing for the good close shots.  In the case of the eagle a careful eye was kept on the bird, if he stopped eating, we stopped until he was settled and eating again and we never progressed to the point where he showed stress, we simply took some pictures and then quietly retreated.

with a mouthful

so we’ll end with the same eagle and his yummy mouthful!

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful photos! Who needs a lens the size of a surfboard!