Saturday, August 9, 2014

Turkey Vultures!

Well this morning we set off in the canoe in search of shorebirds....

it was breezier than we would have liked but beautiful non the less.  Here we are sitting right over the path that we'll be walking on by the end of the month if not before, the way the water levels are dropping!

we headed over towards the log jam between the Harrison River and the Chehalis and could see there was lots of activity going on.  It was also getting rougher...taking photos from a bouncing canoe does not lead to clear crisp photographs.

as we got closer we could see lots of Common Raven and.....

Turkey Vultures!  Lots of Turkey Vultures, counted at least 35 of them.  The Sockeye Salmon are running in the Harrison, hence the interest.

thanks to the bouncing canoe none of the really close up shots worked out but this is one of the better ones.

of course we'd set out to see shorebirds and there was definitely lots of 'shore' now but although we saw evidence by way of foot prints and beak probe marks, not a shorebird in sight.

a number of Red-wing Blackbirds though and also some swallows or maybe even swift of some sort, couldn't really ID any of them.  From this point we turned back to wander up the arm of the Chehalis...

quite a few Great Blue Heron, mainly young ones like this guy, were spread around the area.

a lot more ducks too, these were young Hooded Merganser....

up and around the corner were some Mallard....there were flocks of various ducks flying around as well, all very restless and spooky as they tend to be at this time of the year.

the only shorebirds we saw the entire trip were the Spotted Sandpiper that have spent the summer in the area.  It was very quiet for other bird life as well.  Cedar Waxwing were flying back and forth across the river but that was about it.  Perhaps it was the almost gale force conditions that were keeping the birds out of sight.

there were still lots of Canada Geese just about everywhere you looked, most were now finished their molt and able to take flight again.  It was at this stage that the camera went in it's bag and I had to pick up the paddle to help my husband as it took all our strength to fight the wind and make it across the bit of open water to home.  So still no shorebirds.....

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