Wednesday, June 29, 2011

June wrap up

I wanted to get something posted today, just to sort of wrap up this month…not sure if I’ll be around to do it tomorrow as heading back to Tunkwa to see if the Great Gray Owl is still around..  Between the weather (not summery – that is for sure!), a walking companion whose been a bit under the weather and water levels that are staying high so you can’t actually see anything…I sure haven’t had much luck finding anything to report.

We did get out today after the main deluge had finished…

Robin eating Elderberries

found some American Robins devouring Red Elderberries…

Juvenile robin eating elderberries

a youngster was in on the feast as well…

As well as young robins, we’ve seen young Juncos, Towhees, and Steller’s Jay this month.  I think there have been some young Hummingbirds as well.  I see the male Rufous Hummingbirds are still here, normally about this time they head up into the alpine meadows where they feed on the flowers and leisurely start their long trek back to South America.  With the later start to just about everything this year, it will be interesting to see just when the males leave – I doubt there are too many open alpine meadows yet.

Should also mention that a Green Heron was seen recently…there is a breeding population of them at Cheam Wetlands and they have been seen here occasionally in the past…but are definitely not a regular…

on a log

Here is a file photo of a Green Heron that I took at Cheam Wetlands several years ago.

Lastly, I’ll just post a picture of Red Hawkweed

Red Hawkweed

followers of the site will remember I talked about this invasive species a week or two ago…

Monday, June 27, 2011

A different perspective…

Yesterday, it was a nice sunny day…

Nice morning for a canoe ride

a perfect morning for putting the canoe in the water…

heading towards the park

so here are some pictures of the park from a totally different perspective!  This is where the path that we normally walk is…somewhere down there..

Canoeing the forbidden path

instead of walking the forbidden path…we canoed it…

Viewing platform

there is the viewing platform….

canoeing to the viewing platform

you’ve never seen it like this before!


even the deck of it is still under water…

heading along the foreshore

continuing on along the foreshore…

Bald Eagle

I don’t know what this Bald Eagle was after, but there were a lot of very unhappy Red-wing Blackbirds after it and they finally drove it off.  Lot’s of bird sounds the entire way but very little visible…a few of the nesting boxes on the pilings had Tree Swallow families in them and Bullock’s Orioles and Spotted Sandpipers were calling…

nearing the log bay

coming to the log bay now…

the bench

there is the bench…

heading back

from there we turned back…

Vast expanse of water

and headed out to open water – had heard a Loon calling out here but never did spot it…there were 2 Seals out here as well but the pictures I got weren’t worth keeping…

looking up the Harrison

started to head up towards one arm of the Harrison…

another Bald Eagle

there was another Bald Eagle perched over here…could hear Osprey and there were lots of Swallows flying around..

quiet backwater

turned into a quiet backwater…kind of a weird sensation to be canoeing over the tops of bushes and grass…could hear a family of ducks in here but never did spot them…and all those shrubs were full of Yellow Warblers as well as other unidentified species.

For get me nots

in the middle of all this water there was a log floating that was covered in vegetation, including the native For-get-me-not flowers…

heading up the Chehalis

headed up one arm of the Chehalis River for a ways…have never been on the Chehalis before when there has been this much water…

very full Chehalis River

One more look as we turned back and headed towards home.  With so much water there was very little visible in the way of birds…no need for them to be out in the open when they can stick to sheltered areas…also all those bushes standing in water are full of little bugs so lots of food.  Spotted Sandpipers flew back and forth across the river, saw a few Robins, heard lots of Swainson’s Thrush, saw a pair of Chickadees, heard a Woodpecker, probably a Hairy…but that was about it…a lovely trip just the same.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

In the water….

Just a couple of things….haven’t really got for a proper walk to see much of anything the last few days…weather certainly remains blah…

Marker post June 23, 2011

Water levels have crept back up a bit and are holding pretty steady at this mark, a few inches below the 3 foot mark…

wading sandpiper

which means the parking lot at our boat launch remains about half covered in water…

Spotted Sandpiper in the parking lot

that is where this Spotted Sandpiper was rushing about catching something…yesterday afternoon.


this afternoon, returning from a trip to Chilliwack, we noticed there was activity at that Osprey nest by the bridge that caused so much concern with the rising river level…


there were two Osprey there today…doing just what I’m not sure.


it almost looks like they may have been adding sticks to the nest.

Friday, June 24, 2011

another ‘no picture’ day…

Another, gray, cool, wet day…but I did want to mention, that apparently a Eurasian Collared Dove has been seen in Eagle Point Park.  This was reported on the Fraser Valley Birding Forum site by a birder who lives adjacent to the park.  He also reported hearing 2 Barred Owls calling.  This is the time of the year when little owlets are leaving the nest.  The call of the Barred Owl is a very distinctive ‘who, who, who cooks for you?’

Eurasian Collared Dove are a species that has been steadily moving northward from their traditional location south of the border.  For the past 3 or 4 years a population has become established in Rosedale, just across the Fraser River…it was only a matter of time before they showed up here.  Unfortunately I don’t have a single picture of this species….  Just as a matter of interest, another member of the same birding forum has recently returned from a trip to the Yukon and he reported seeing one of these doves in Stewart, B.C. ~ amazing that they have advanced that far north in just a matter of a few years.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Back to blah….

Two days of summer and back to blah….  no pictures, nothing to report except the little bit of summer we had seems to have brought the water levels back up a little bit.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

First day of summer….and Catbird

Today is officially the first day of summer….and it actually looks and feels like it!

First day of summer

Sunshine and blue skies!

Snow on hillside

what isn’t typical is the snow still visible on even these low hills…I don’t recall seeing snow here much past March other years.

Black Headed Grosbeak

When we went for our walk there were barely any birds visible, although you could hear calls from the trees…some, like this Black-headed Grosbeak male seemed to just be enjoying soaking up the sunshine!

Female Yellow Warbler

Spotted this female Yellow Warbler as well, although she wouldn’t sit still for a good picture…

and speaking of spotting…I saw the…

Gray Catbird at Writing on Stone

Gray Catbird today.  Couldn’t get a picture of today’s bird but put in this file photo, taken at Writing on Stone P.P. in southern Alberta…so you could see what this species looks like…they tend to be quite secretive and stay in the vegetation…their name comes from the fact that they sound like a cat mewing. 

Barn Swallow nest

a couple more pictures…this is a Barn Swallow nest…it is built high in the conical roof of our outdoor gazebo

Violet Green Swallow

and I actually took this picture yesterday, it is of a Violet-Green Swallow – I’m putting it in as proof that a few of this particular Swallow species is in our area, they tend to be more common in the interior of the province.

Monday, June 20, 2011

More baby juncos…..

Dark Eyed Junco Fledgling

This morning there were at least two families of Dark Eyed Junco running around….

Fledgling Junco

the fledglings tend to stay fairly hidden and don’t hold still for long, but did manage a couple of decent pictures…

trail to viewing platform

another gray, cloudy day, although a couple of degrees warmer than it’s been, so we ventured over to the start of the park, just to have a look…water has dropped quit a bit….maybe we’ll actually be able to see the viewing platform one of these days.  There wasn’t a lot of visible activity…could hear quite a few birds but not much visible…

Spotted Towhee

an exception being this Spotted Towhee

Spotted Towhee 'trilling'

who spent the whole time ‘trilling’….

Indian Plum

with few birds to photograph, we turned to some vegetation…these are the fruits of the native Indian Plum shrub…they are starting to ripen, they will become ‘plum coloured’ as they ripen…provided no one eats them first!

plucked Black Twin Berries

This is the Black Twin Berry – minus the ‘berry’ – when they were in flower I mentioned how Cedar Waxwings love these berries….well there are lots of Cedar Waxwings around so no berry will go uneaten.



and then this….one of our most spectacular wildflowers, the Foxglove…they are just coming into peak flower right now.  Purple, White, or any shade of pink in between….I’ll try to get some more detailed pictures of them in the coming days.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Baby Juncos

Got out for a walk this afternoon once the rain finally quit…what a miserable few days it has been….hard to believe it will officially be summer in 2 days.Fledgling Junco

First thing I noticed were a number of Dark Eyed Junco…including this fledgling…

Two Fledgling

Two fledgling here and the tail of one of the parents….

path reappearing

got down to the boat launch, the water continues to drop…hard to see here but the path is actually starting to reappear…sitting at about the 2 1/2 foot mark on the marker post right now…

Brown Headed Cowbirds

Spotted this pair of Brown Headed Cowbirds in this pine tree…female nearest…not sure what they were doing…eating something I guess as they don’t build nests…actually as I’m typing this I see a young cowbird has just landed on the feeder….cowbirds lay their eggs in other birds nests, birds like Yellow Rump Warblers are particularly favored for this.  I’ve often wondered how the baby cowbirds knows it is a cowbird – the one at the feeder is feeding along with about a dozen male cowbirds.

Cedar Waxwing

There continues to be a lot of Cedar Waxwing activity, in fact while I was taking this picture, my husband was walking over at the park and saw some fledglings being fed.

Douglas Squirrel

caught this Douglas Squirrel in my neighbors' garden…there have never been so many baby Squirrels as there are this year…we are having 2 and 3 at a time in our small yard…

Male Rufous Hummingbird

and Rufous Hummingbirds!!!  It took awhile but there are so many Rufous Hummingbirds in our complex it is unbelievable!!!  Put this picture in as it at least caught the red gorget on the male.

One last mention…several weeks ago I posted a picture of 2 Common Loon that had been seen as the water rose…I had a report today of 3 of them…they were seen in the Harrison Bay part of the IBA.