Monday, July 15, 2013

On the water a week later

With water levels dropping dramatically we decided to take out the canoe again yesterday morning, exactly one week from our first trip....

Started out by taking a quick trip down along the foreshore of Eagle Point Park - which I am told is now water free so you can walk the entire trail.

the 'first bay' is almost a bay again and was full of leaping Cut-throat trout

The viewing platform is just visible in there somewhere (if I've picked the right picture!), most notable were the number of swallows, mainly Tree Swallows, as it seemed at least half of  the nesting boxes on the pilings were still occupied.

Swinging about we were heading to the far shore when we spotted a pair of Bald Eagles...this guy swooped down and grabbed a trout and then took it to this log to eat it.  It is too bad they were such a distance from us but neat to see.

we are now having to travel through fields of green as just how much the water dropped in one week will be apparent shortly...the grass starts growing while still submerged.  

There were a couple of dozen Canada geese out there, in that molting stage where they can't really take off and fly yet.

all of a sudden we saw a large shorebird fly and land on this log.  A Greater Yellow-legs Sandpiper!  Still in mainly breeding colour.  Shorebird migration (southward) does get underway this month but it did seem that this was maybe a couple of weeks early.  Too bad the photo isn't clearer but it was getting rough out there and a bouncing canoe is difficult to take photos from.

Further on, a female Common Merganser with two quite large youngsters....we are used to seeing large rafts of young merganser out there but in two trips these are the only ones we seen.

A young Great Blue Heron, one of several....they are all very skittish at this stage.....

The area that had been so active with Swallows a week ago was still active but with some different birds this week, like this female Black-headed Grosbeak...

and, believe it or not, Brewer's Blackbirds!  In all the years we've canoed out there I have never seen Brewer's Blackbirds.....although a pair have nested in Eagle Point Park the last few years so maybe they are expanding their territory.

now here is a demonstration of how much the water level dropped in 7 days.  ALL that dry shore was under water the previous Sunday.  A good 3 to 4 feet or if you prefer, at least a meter!

the only other bird picture I have is of a Spotted Sandpiper, again not very clear.  By now the wind had really come up so even this sheltered area wasn't 'sheltered'.  The camera had to get put away and it took some really serious paddling to get back home....

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