Sunday, January 13, 2019

Beautiful couple of days

What a beautiful weekend!  We've walked to the park twice and also the dike twice.....the walks at Harrison Bay, while lovely, were really lacking in of the main reasons seemed to be duck hunters in the farm fields.  Obviously with permission, but when there are people shooting and dogs running around, no sane bird is going to stick around!

What was surprising (or maybe not considering this unseasonable weather).....

was seeing this Dandelion in flower - and after spotting this one, we noticed several more.  It isn't even the middle of January yet!!!

Also, probably thanks to more duck hunting, there has been virtually nothing on the water or out on the flats but the riparian habitat all along the trail at the park has been alive with little birds.  Unfortunately with the sun still low on the horizon, it is almost impossible to see and especially to photograph birds on the way over, so have to wait and hope they are still there on the way back.

This morning the activity at the log bay was amazing....

this Dark-eyed Junco was enjoying a bit of sun bathing.

there were several White-crowned Sparrows, along with the juncos and song sparrows.  In the tree's around the area there were numerous Steller's Jay, some European Starling, Purple Finch, and Northern Flicker.  A pair of Eurasian Collared Doves disappeared into a cedar tree....I'm wondering if possibly a nesting site as it is about time for those guys to be thinking about nesting again as they do it almost year round.

Anna's Hummingbirds are another species that nest almost year round.  They have been highly visible lately.  This one in an area with lots of Gold-crowned KInglets and Black-capped Chickadees.

With the nice weather set to continue, maybe our next walk over at the bay will be a little more productive.

Friday, January 11, 2019

A walk over at the bay

Have had a hard time finding the time to get out for a decent walk the last few days....and seems that when we do get out, there isn't much to see, but we did manage a walk at the dike yesterday....

was a beautiful day....

and look at this....catkins already!

Not a lot of birds around though....

although all the fields are still soggy and full of waterfowl, including Trumpeter Swans, Mallards, Northern Pintail and American Wigeon ducks.  Also lots of Canada Geese - must have been 300 or more as they were in large groups in several different spots.

there was one Bald Eagle up by the nest, and a couple more around.

What was a surprise....

was a Fox Sparrow - actually there were two of them.  Winter is the time we expect to see these guys, but these were the first I'd seen this 'non winter'.  Couldn't get a picture but there was also a Ruby Crowned Kinglet.  Not sure if it has arrived back extra early or just never left.

a Song Sparrow was there as well.  What is the difference?  Well Fox Sparrows are 'chunky' and have inverted check marks on their breast and a bicoloured bill, while Song Sparrows are streaky all over the place with an all dark bill.  There are other differences as well, but those are the main ones.

Have been noticing that the crows are pairing up already and there was a small flock of starlings around as well.  Back here at the estuary, the Purple Finch are hanging about, still feeding on the Pacific Crabapples, there has been a flock of Pine Siskin seen occasionally, but sticking to the tree tops....and the Robins are still here.  Just can't get used to hearing Robins in the middle of winter!

Friday, January 4, 2019

After the rain

After 24 hours of torrential rain it was nice to get out for a dry walk!  Still kind of dark out there and the water levels have certainly come up again so we didn't attempt a walk to the park, but did get over to Harrison Bay....

there was quite the wind blowing down the river, so not a lot around, but the Bald Eagle pair were busy working on their nest.

it is looking much sturdier now than it did after that last wind storm.

this one isn't part of the pair.  I recall last year we thought that another pair were going to nest in the area and maybe they did, but if so we haven't been able to spot the nest, although they do seem to hang about in the same spot, up closer to the bridge.

the farm fields are pretty soggy after all the rain.  This one had a bunch of Canada Geese in it.  A few Mallard were scattered around and another field had about a dozen swans in it while another had a large flock of gulls.

A couple of Song Sparrow (above) and a female Downy Woodpecker and that was about it, oh and a fairly large flock of European Starling in the tree tops.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Busy 2nd day of the year

A dull dreary day but at least it was dry and the the park was really active with birds when we headed out for our after lunch walk.

the area by the viewing platform was particularly busy with a flock of 12 or so Purple Finch feeding on the pacific crab apples.  Never easy to get photos of these active birds and when it is dark even harder, but did get this female enjoying a meal.  Amazed at how long the fruit has lasted considering how many birds have been eating it.

Further along,

there were American Robins....keep saying unusual to have so many robins here this time of the year.  There were also a number of Northern Flicker....again, so unusual for so many to be here this time of the year and even more amazing, this morning one was drumming on a roof!  That is an activity you don't expect to witness until some time in March!  A male Hairy Woodpecker was busy here too but none of the photos I tried managed to focus on him as he was pretty deep in a cluster of stems.

over at the log bay there was a lot of vocalization....a couple of juvenile Bald Eagles....

as well as an adult.

this juvenile flew down and hauled this salmon remnant out of the water just below us....

then flew up to enjoy what was there to enjoy.  There were Mallard and Green-wing Teal ducks scattered in the very shallow water off of the bay..

in the bushes a small flock of House lone Dark eyed Junco in this picture but there were actually lots of them throughout the area, also a few Spotted Towhee.  Interestingly enough, didn't see or hear a Song Sparrow today.

on the way back, a few Varied Thrush....think they were mixed in with the robins.  Normally Varied Thrush are one of our more common birds in the winter, but this year they have been scarce.

also a mixed flock of European Starling and male Red-wing Blackbirds, these were just a few of them.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

It is a New Year!

Guess it was kind of fitting that the very first bird we saw this morning was a Bald Eagle!  Not that it was where we could get a photo.

not the brightest start to the year, but at least it was dry and also very quiet as I guess most of the humans were still sleeping off the night before.

this Great Blue Heron was fishing in the first bay....

accompanied by Mallard and some Gadwall - top 3....hadn't seen too many of them yet this year.  There were also some Common Merganser and one Hoodie.  Lots of Green Wing Teal too.

The bushes around the viewing platform were very busy....

Dark-eyed Junco, but also some Chickadee, Purple Finch and Robins.

a few Steller's Jay too.

After lunch, it was over to Harrison Bay where we were rather shocked by the packed parking lot, turns out there was going to be a Polar Bear Swim.....fortunately everyone stayed near the beach so we had a nice peaceful walk along the dike.

Not much around though....

some Black Capped Chickadees and that was about it for the little guys.  Heard a Downy Woodpecker but couldn't spot him today.

only a few Bald Eagle today.  On Christmas Eve the pair had been working on their nest, but not near it today.

so here we go, the start of another year....what will it bring?