Thursday, January 31, 2013
Sunday, January 13, 2013
Thursday, January 10, 2013
Finally, a sunny day! and apparently the first of many – at least according to the present forecast.
of course in winter, sunshine means cooler temperatures, but that is OK, we’ll take it after the almost constant rain.
and to celebrate, after giving the dog her walk, I went back by myself, disobeyed the signs and walked over to the log bay. It was actually very quiet, there had been 2 swans resting on the flats on my initial trip, but they had disappeared by the time I got back. There were 3 different people walking out on the flats, 2 I’m pretty sure were fisheries personnel, not so sure about the 3rd, but swans aren’t going to sit and let people walk past them…probably also explained the lack of ducks – again!
a couple of Common Raven were calling. This one in one of the eagle trees while another was calling from a tree in the housing development.
along the path, in some places it was very busy, Black-capped Chickadees, Dark-eyed Junco and Gold-crowned Kinglets predominantly. This Song Sparrow and a Spotted Towhee appeared and started scratching in the leaves once human traffic had passed by.
this Dark-eyed Junco had been doing a little sun bathing near my yard.
the brighter light allowed for some pictures of the many Chestnut-backed Chickadees visiting my feeders….
and one of the many (saw 5 at one time today) Red-breasted Nuthatch that are obviously spending the winter with us.
Wednesday, January 9, 2013
At least today’s walk was under cloudy, but dry, skies! Boy did it rain last night!!!
despite the dry conditions it was very, very quiet. Not one single Mallard to be seen, just a few Gadwall, Green Wing Teal and a couple of Bufflehead (none in picture). What is in the picture is one of…
Bald Eagles that were in the area…counted at least 18 which is more than we’ve seen for a while.
we’ve had some crazy weather….the snow line is pretty visible on those far mountains. Latest forecast is for the temperatures to drop again and there is a possibility of a bit of snow the next few days and even some clear cold weather with sunshine. That would be nice!!!
Tuesday, January 8, 2013
Today was a slightly better day, but only by degrees….
the weather was ‘rain’ rather than torrential downpour and there were a total of 5 Mallards and 1 female Common Merganser in the way of ducks. Also a couple of gulls
a few Bald Eagles scattered about too…took this picture on the weekend but it will do for today as all but one of the eagles I saw today were juveniles like this guy. Some Red-wing Blackbirds were calling from the area by the viewing platform and area feeders had Chickadee’s and Steller’s Jay at them. Saw one lone Pine Siskin today too.
Monday, January 7, 2013
If I didn’t have a dog that needed walking I would never have ventured out the door – that is how miserable it is outside. Absolutely pouring with the water running in rivers down our streets and so much so that the water levels seem to be coming up a little bit and that has to all be from ground level because it is so cool that this moisture is all coming down as snow as soon as you go up a few feet in elevation – no doubt adding to the already record snow pack!
Two things of interest today – sorry, no photos, never took the camera out of the bag – there were absolutely no ducks. Not one. There were 7 or 8 Bald Eagles around and perhaps they had been hunting, in fact the second interesting thing was seeing an adult Bald Eagle dive into the water, to the point that only the top of it’s back was visible and it stayed under for so long I was wondering if it had drowned…when suddenly it launched itself up with something in it’s talons. It was too far off and too dark and wet to get a good look.
The only other birds I saw the entire time was one little Pacific Wren, a Mew Gull that went over to see what the eagle was up to, and some Varied Thrush and Steller’s Jay….couldn’t even hear any bird calls but then the rain was pounding on my hood so hard that I probably couldn’t have heard anything else even if it was there.
Friday, January 4, 2013
Today was one of those days when you look out on the flats and the thought that immediately comes to mind is…barren wasteland…
my goodness it was quiet! (well apart from the gunshots echoing off the mountains that you can’t see because of the low cloud). Of course it is never completely dead…sometimes you just have to look harder than other times.
Common Raven have been heard and seen flying a lot in the past few days and today one was actually perched where I could get a picture…
there were a number of others flying about, so this one was calling to them.
could see 3 Bald Eagles over in the eagle tree by the viewing platform and another 3 were flying…I don’t know if they had been hunting and that explained the lack of ducks or what….
Closer to home the Varied Thrush were out in force today – of course this is the sort of weather they love, dark and drizzly! Noticed a lot of Steller’s Jay flying about and also more Dark-eyed Junco than I’d seen so far this winter, but they too seemed to be very active flying from tree to tree rather than settling and feeding on the ground where you typically expect to see them.
Thursday, January 3, 2013
We’re into the 3rd day of the new year and the sunshine continues. It is chilly though with temperatures only getting a degree or two above freezing.
Things have been much the same the last two days…
just a few Bald Eagles around…and they are in hunting mode now so every time one flies over, ducks scatter in all directions.
American Wigeon and Gadwall in the above picture. There were some Mallard and a few Green-wing Teal as well. The entire time I was out walking today there was shooting taking place out on the flats. Poor ducks are getting it from every direction!
saw one Great Blue Heron way out there in the sunshine….
a few gulls are lingering around too, including this Herring Gull (note the light coloured eye).
there are a lot of Black-capped Chickadee making the most interesting calls. Chestnut-backed continue in the area too.
as do the Red-breasted Nuthatch….this one must be a female, very light in colour.
Notice the tip of the bill on this Varied Thrush…it is crossed…I’ve reported this abnormality to the Alaska Science Center that is studying such things.
with the cooler weather I’ve been putting out more suet and that has attracted European Starling….since they are a difficult bird to get a decent photo of…thought I’d post this one.
Tuesday, January 1, 2013
Well here we are, January 1st, 2013. Wonder what this year will bring?
The year started out with brilliant sunshine!!! What a treat after a very gloomy December.
and yes, I started the year out by ignoring signs….there were duck hunters out there and figured if they can walk around where ever they want killing things….I can walk a short piece of trail to take pictures….so here is what the log bay looked like today. Interestingly enough there are some flagged stakes showing up in this area….will have to see what, if anything, they are there for.
I’ve got to apologize for the quality of these pictures…I had taken my DSLR camera, just to give it a test and remind myself that I really do need a new one. The scenery is great, but the 300mm lens isn’t so great after being dropped and since the camera has other annoying issues as well, just getting a new lens isn’t the answer. Anyway, back to the birds…this pair of Trumpeter Swans were at the log bay and yes, that is ice on the far shore – it was sunny but not exactly warm.
One of many Red-wing Blackbirds….
a lot of very active Black-capped Chickadees….
a pair of Mallard…and a dead fish…there were a lot of Mallard scattered along the whole foreshore.
I took this to show the male Hairy Woodpecker working over the logs…he insisted on staying in the deepest shadows and I didn’t want to venture closer and scare him away.
A lot of House Finch enjoying the sunshine from the shelter of the big Red Osier Dogwood bush.
a few Bald Eagles, but the spectacle is definitely over now until next fall.
on my way home, there were more Black-capped Chickadees and also a number of these Brown Creepers. I’ve seen more Creepers this winter than I have ever seen. Sort of like the Red-breasted Nuthatch that continue in unprecedented numbers.
While I was watching the creeper…this little flock landed briefly in a near by tree top…when I look closely I see that there are at least 2 Common Redpoll along with the Pine Siskin.
lots of Varied Thrush running around right now. Birds I saw but didn’t get pictures of (at least not publishable pictures) were Song Sparrow, Spotted Towhee, Gadwall, Great Blue Heron, Dark-eyed Junco and Steller’s Jay.