Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Interesting day on the water.....

Sunday morning looked like a beautiful day to head out on the water...

we started out skirting the shoreline, heading  down along the front of Eagle Point park as I wanted to confirm what I'd already seen on the Fraser Valley Birding Facebook page that

our little colony of Coastal Purple Martins had returned and successfully raised young again.  The little guy in the above photo was not quite fledged to the flying stage.

Every single bird house was occupied by either Tree or Violet Green Swallows.  It is too bad something couldn't be done as so many of these nest boxes are in need of work but even though they are falling off, the birds have made use of them.

We then did an about face and headed over to the mouth of a branch of the Chehalis River.

the landscape was marred slightly by this decaying structure.  If you follow this blog you will recall my reporting that last summer, for the first time, local first nations set up 'camps' out on the estuary and spread nets in areas they had never been before.  Obviously that included across this branch of the Chehalis river.

headed up the river itself....

and then up a further branch, one we'd never made quite this far before until a fallen tree blocked further progress.  Right in the middle of the above photo there is a male Wood Duck.  Also spotted a young Hooded Merganser and a young Common Merganser had fled as we approached.


Bird calls had accompanied us the whole trip but not many were visible until a pair of Red-breasted Sapsuckers caught our attention as they were busy 'fly catching' - an activity I had no idea they did.

We put ashore on some recently exposed land and 'spotted' this Spotted Sandpiper.....

we were also being scolded by this Gray Catbird as obviously there was a nest in the vicinity.

About this time it was getting pretty hot and we decided to head for home.....we'd just started across the open water when we could hear a lot of eagle 'carry on' over close to Morris Valley Road.

Between what we could see and a first hand account from a couple kayaking only a few paddle lengths from where it started....there had been a mature Bald Eagle attacked by a second mature eagle and driven into the water.  The first eagle in the above photo had managed to swim to the stump while the second bird circled around for another attack.

a third eagle (again a mature) then joined in and between the two, drove the first bird back in the water and proceeded to attack, attempting to drown it.  At this point the kayaker intervened giving the bird a chance....

and it managed to lift out of the water and fly over to this submerged log quite close to our canoe.

although wet from it's swim it didn't appear to be too injured.  We did go out later in the evening just to make sure it wasn't still stuck out there somewhere but there was no sign of it so we assume it made good it's escape.

One last photo...spotted this male Bullock's Oriole as we were launching the canoe for the evening trip.

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