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Thursday, October 15, 2020

Mid Month already!

 Here we are, the middle of the month of October already and in keeping with the theme of this year of 2020, nothing is quite normal.



For example, here we are with the estuary once more covered in water!  Good for the fish, that I hear are arriving, not so good for the eagles that are starting to gather to feed on the fish as there is no where for them to land.

A lot of birds around right now....


of note, this, one of a pair of Pileated Woodpeckers seen this morning.  Also, I'm pretty sure I heard a Varied Thrush today.  Lots of Black capped Chickadees and a few Brown Creeper.

We got for a good walk over at Harrison Bay this afternoon....


you can see how high the water is.  Virtually no beach there at all.


still the Bald Eagles are gathering, like this adult....


and this juvenile......counted 13 in total along the length of the walk.


the usual smaller birds were out today as well, like this Song Sparrow.....


and this Spotted Towhee - I think this is a young one just changing into adult colours as the eye isn't as bright red as it will be an it doesn't have that many spots yet.

A bit of a surprise was this.....


Fox Sparrow - seems early for these guys to be showing up, but then everything seems to be pointing to an early and severe winter - and why not?

There was also a fairly large flock of these....


which I haven't been able to ID.  At first I thought they were Yellow-rump Warblers, but no,they aren't....they definitely acted very warbler like and were busy going over the poplar trees.

Last thing of note....


a couple of these large King Bolete Mushrooms - this one being nibbled on.



Tuesday, October 6, 2020

ELK!

 Have to say it.....never, would I have believed that one day we'd be able to look out on the estuary and see a herd of elk grazing!  I think I mentioned in my last post that people had been reporting seeing them.  Well tonight was my turn.


there they are.  In total, there were 7.  3 males, 3 females and a young one.


This shows their location from the road, and on the estuary itself....seeing them tonight was just the icing on the cake for a spectacular fall day that started out ....



with a misty sort of morning.....if this picture doesn't just scream 'Chehalis Estuary', I don't know what would, with a Heron siloutted on the shore, a bunch of Canada Geese swimming past and a Bald Eagle photobombing the whole thing.


 after lunch, it was a walk over at Harrison Bay with a perfectly calm picturesque scene...


another Great Blue Heron over here.  In fact there were all kinds of birds....


including a Hairy Woodpecker.  Must have been at least a half dozen Northern Flicker although none cooperated for a picture.


all kinds of American Robin eating everything they can find.  In this case, the berries of a Virginia Creeper.


Dark Eyed Junco were everywhere!  Also a number of Song Sparrows and Steller's Jay.


all in all it was just a spectacular early fall day!

 

Thursday, October 1, 2020

and now it is October!

 Here we are.....October - the time of year when life gets interesting here along the Harrison River.  We will set the scene:


Here at the estuary we have water - more water for this time of the year than I recall ever seeing before.  Not sure how, or if, it will influence things.  There are certainly a lot of Canada Geese enjoying it and last night, even as late as midnight, we were hearing all sorts of geese, duck and gull calls.

Another interesting thing is that there have been several sightings of elk out on the dry areas of the estuary.  Elk were introduced further up the valley and seems they have moved down this way.  So far, I haven't been lucky enough to see them.


over at Harrison Bay what has been most noticeable, other than the higher than normal water levels, were the number of eagles....couldn't get a picture but we did see 7 of them, which is higher than normal for this time of the year, again, don't know what that indicates for the season, if anything.


another thing we've noticed is that the huge crops of berries, Mountain Ash, Black Hawthorne and Red-Osier Dogwood have been completely devoured.  The Pacific Crabapple fruit are still there but one wonders for how long as the trees were full of American Robins eating them.


There haven't been a lot of birds to photograph yet, but his young Great Blue Heron obliged yesterday.


and I think, for now, we will just leave with this photo that really say's 'Fall is here'!