For years I've tried to walk at about the same time of the day thinking that gives a good comparison of what is happening, year to year. This year it seems, either due to weather or husbands volunteer job, that isn't happening as much.....and given how productive this evening walk was....that is probably a good thing!
it had been cloudy and unseasonably cool all day and continued to be so as we started out....that hedgerow area though was alive....
first thing we noticed were baby bunnies....well more specifically young Snow Shoe Hare. At least 3 of them were leaving the shelter of the bushes and running across the dike. Whether these are related to the one I posted a photo of a couple of months ago or not I don't know. These were at the opposite end of the dike.
The Common Yellowthroat didn't hold still for a photo but this American Goldfinch male did.
and then I spotted something really exciting....
a male Lazuli Bunting! It is probably at least 15 years since I've seen one of these in this area and this one wasn't alone. There appeared to be at least 2 pairs. In recent years a breeding population has established at Island 22 which is across the Fraser River so given that this is very similar habitat it is quite possible they could establish one here. We will cross our fingers and hope!
a bit further along this Spotted Sandpiper had led the way down the dike until he felt we were far enough away from where his partner is nesting, and then flew up in a tree until we had passed. Have seen this behavior with them here other years as well.
Further along could hear a commotion....sounded like a baby bird begging for food
when we got there....not a baby but a female Cedar Waxwing. This is a mating ritual with Waxwings, the male feeds the female or often they play 'pass the berry'....notice that the berries in this case are not yet ripe Red Elderberry.
this female was very insistent about the feeding part!
still none the wiser as to what is going on at the Bald Eagle nest. This adult was perched close by....and not a sound from the nest itself.
haven't seen a Red-wing Blackbird for a while...this male flew up out of the marshy area in the adjacent field where there are countless birds nesting.
while this Song Sparrow obviously has a family close by, judging from the mouthful of bugs.
more American Goldfinch on the way back, here a pair....Goldfinch aren't even thinking about nesting yet. Like the Cedar Waxwing (who are at least working on it), they are late nesters.
on the other hand, there are now 2 White crowned Sparrow families (adult on left, fledgling on right)
proof now that yes, Savannah Sparrows did nest here....here is a fledgling....
with one of the parents close by.
but let's post another photo of one of those male Lazuli Bunting!
and more bunnies frolicking in the late sunshine (finally!)...
and just to prove that green 'Red Elderberries' must be tasty...
a female Black-headed Grosbeak was also munching on them, even though there was a bush with ripe ones not all that far away.
as we ended the walk...
this American Robin was singing it's evening song.