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Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Off and On

Off and on not only describes the way the weather has been the last little while, but also the way my internet connection is, so between the two, it has been rather difficult getting any blog done!   


In the meantime, the water continues to rise....this was the log bay a couple of days ago when we walked over, via the long route.


and this was Harrison Bay....


took a walk along the river as far as the First Nations boundary, as at the moment no one is allowed past that boundary.


there were a pair of Common Loon....now in their breeding colours.


there were also several Yellow Rump Warblers like this guy.


Barn Swallow perched on a wire....

and then at home....


the first male Black-headed Grosbeak of the season!



Thursday, April 23, 2020

Water and Wood Ducks

Water levels are rising rapidly....


day before yesterday...water was creeping into the path to the park....


tonight, even the upper path is under water - this is probably the last time we will be able to peek around the corner and look in that direction until sometime in late summer.


water, water everywhere!

Earlier today we walked over at the dike....this time we started at the opposite end...


and now that water levels are climbing, this little wet area is coming to life....


first we spotted this pair of Mallard - this will be an ideal nesting location for them....


then we spotted this male Wood Duck!  and then...


and then a pair of them! So that was a treat!


could hear Common Yellowthroat calling and saw lots of swallows here, including the first Barn Swallows of the season.


some White-crowned Sparrows as well.....and speaking of sparrows...


had this Lincoln sparrow in the yard this morning.


Sunday, April 19, 2020

and so it begins.....

The cycle begins....  Water levels crept up noticeably over night...


the first bay this morning....


compared to the other evening when we were watching the Yellow leg Sandpipers at the same spot.


the log bay yesterday morning (April 18th)...


and this morning....April 19th.

While at the log bay...


a Pine Siskin down in the muck....not sure if it was eating the algae or gathering it!


a male American Goldfinch was down in it too.... as well as robins and red-wings that I didn't get pictures of...


some of those Yellow-leg Sandpipers were also there although their 'shore' is dwindling...


the gravel bar out there is shrinking now...

after lunch we went over to Harrison Bay where the difference was really noticeable...


this was 5 days ago....


and this was today.  There was a flock of gulls out there when we first arrived, but by the time we got to where we had a clear sight line, they had disappeared....from the calls I'm almost thinking they might have been Bonaparte but no way to know for sure.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Purple Martins are back!

Thought I heard one last night, this morning it was confirmed....


The Purple Martins are back!  Was very busy around the martin boxes this morning, although the bird on the far right is a Starling.   So nice to have them return.  Wonder if they will find the boxes off of Kilby Beach this year.  Maybe with everything shut down it will be quiet enough to allow them to get established without boats whizzing past them constantly.


going to be a while before there are any water craft bothering the ones up our way....

Yesterday we had gone for a walk over at Harrison Bay....


this pair of Osprey were busy building a nest.....


lots of crows following the plow....the dust shows just how dry it has been - most unusual for this time of year.


not all Northwestern Crows were out in the field.. it was quieter for birds than I would have thought though, there were some Canada Geese, and a few of the usual but still waiting to see a Yellow-rump Warbler.

Something we spotted the other evening, down on the grasslands was this...


we think it is a Masked Shrew.....very tiny!

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Evening Sandpipers

Since we hadn't had a chance to have a decent walk during today, we  thought we'd walk over to the park tonight....


it was a beautiful evening.....


and at as we neared the first bay, we saw a number of shorebirds...


Greater Yellow-legs Sandpipers!  Must have been a dozen of them all told.  This is a treat.  We haven't seen many shorebirds the last few years, but then normally, we don't have much in the way of shore this time of the year.  Normally this would all be well under water by now.

We continued over to the log bay...


but the only real activity was a fairly large flock of Red-wing Blackbirds bathing in the last of the sunshine.


the late sunshine also made for an interesting picture of the Yellow-legs.

Yesterday we had done a walk at Harrison Bay in the morning....


way out there, there were a number of Ring-bill Gulls...but too far away to get a picture other than to confirm the ID.


there just shouldn't be this much beach at this time of the year....going to be interesting to see what the next couple of months are like.

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Easter Sunday

Even though it is only a 5 minute drive away, we have been trying to obey all the guidelines by just staying home, but this morning, thought we'd give a walk over at Harrison Bay a try


things have definitely greened up since we were last over here and look at all the dandelions in the field!


Social distancing requested on the dike - at least we are still allowed to walk there, although there is a bit of a walk to actually get to it now as the parking area is closed.


all the Canada Geese seem to be paired up and spread out...


I had hoped to see a lot of birds, but there was quite a wind blowing so not many out and visible....European Starling seemed to be busy, some gathering nesting material and there were Tree Swallows flying about.


We won't be able to see the eagle nest soon as the trees are leafing out.  Think the female was probably sitting on the nest as the other adult was perched nearby.


flowers were limited to Dandelions....


and this Red Elderberry shrub, in  a sheltered spot coming into bloom.

headed back to where the car was parked....


we found where the Northwestern Crows were hanging out!

Here at home we had a couple of firsts of the season today...


a White-crowned Sparrow....

and...



a Purple Finch.








Thursday, April 2, 2020

Walking in the snow.....

We ventured over to the dike at Harrison Bay today for our walk - and yes, it was snowing!  Not a lot, just the occasional flurry.....but still, it is now the 2nd of April!


there wasn't a great variety of birds....


but the ones that were there, like American Robins, were in large numbers.  Probably a hundred or more in the area.


here is a sampling.  There were also quite a few Red-wing Blackbirds.


lots of Canada Geese as well, but spread out...this pair (female on top of the piling) are probably thinking of nesting as these pilings are a favorite nesting site.


Geese in the fields are getting harder to see as the grass is really growing!

No sign of anyone near the eagle nest today, there was some activity the last time we walked by, but not until we were well past so couldn't see exactly what was going on.


a number of Spotted Towhee out and about today too.