Wednesday, May 30, 2012


Today we finally made it back over to the park…..

Creeping water

and the one word that comes to mind is ‘lush’ – my goodness has stuff grown since we were last there!  Hearing birds is easy – seeing them now is a whole ‘nuther matter!

May 30, 2012

the cool weather is certainly slowing the snow melt so water levels are staying pretty stable…

Fledgling House Finch

This is a very poor picture but that is a fledgling House Finch on the left – so therefore note worthy

Red Osier Dogwood flower

the Red-Osier Dogwoods are in flower – and I’m always harping about how important a role this particular native shrub plays…

Yellow Warbler nest?

spotted this, I think, Yellow Warbler nest – at least there were Yellow Warblers in the bush near it…

Tent Catapillars

in another spot, a tent caterpillar nest – I know everyone panics when they see tent caterpillars' but our Bullock’s Orioles love them and from all the calls we have quite the population of Orioles in the area…so they’ll clean them up.

Black-headed Grosbeak after a bath

over by the viewing platform I did manage to spot this male Black-headed Grosbeak, obviously just having had a bath…..

Cedar Waxwing

and then, a Cedar Waxwing – the first one I’d seen or heard this year, anywhere! (of course I know I’ve been gone for a bit so perhaps they’ve been around)

Black Twinberries

the Waxwing had been feasting on these Black Twinberries – a favorite food…

at our end

back at my end….pretty much the same, Yellow Warblers and Bullock’s Orioles, neither co-operative for photos.  Have heard a Swainson’s Thrush but I’m surprised to have neither heard nor seen a Spotted Sandpiper – they are usually all over the place.  Another bird that is significant by their absence are the Red-breasted Sapsuckers – I’ve yet to see one which is rather alarming….perhaps they are around and I’ve just missed them.

Monday, May 28, 2012

We’re back….

Well we are back after a wonderful 10 days away and some fabulous birding…I’ll be posting pictures on my other blog (birdingbyshantz) sometime in the future after I get them all downloaded and edited…

Water levels back up

in the meantime we’ve just been for one quick walk, and it was showering at the time.  The water levels have risen but not as much as we’d expected they would have…

even with the marker post

they’re actually just up past where they were a month ago! The leading edge is at the marker post now.

Wild Rose in flower

I guess the main thing I noticed were the Wild Roses in flower – that was evident as soon as we hit Hope, as the highway is lined with flowering wild rose bushes…

another wild rose flower

love these simple flowers with the heavenly scent!

Ripening Salmon Berries

also noticed some ripening Salmon berries – that’ll make the robins happy.  When we pulled up to our place last night there was a young robin in the yard so the first batch must be out and about.  Didn’t notice a lot of birds today but could hear the Bullock’s Orioles calling down by the water and there were a couple of Yellow Warblers there as well.  The usual suspects have been arriving back at my place now the feeders are full again and I’ve been hearing that there are all sorts of Hummingbirds around now – that was the case everywhere we’ve just been – up in the mountains at Manning Park where there was still snow in lots of areas, and then to the dryer but high areas near Merritt and Logan Lake – hummingbirds were everywhere!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Last for a while

There is a chance I might get a posting done tomorrow, but more likely not so wanted to post something today as we’re taking off for 10 days of birding elsewhere…

May 16, 2012

so for the record, here is where the water levels are sitting today.  They’ve come up a little bit since yesterday, but still not up to the level where they were.  It will be interesting to see where they will be at when we return.

Unfortunately there just wasn’t a lot to report today….could hear the Bullock’s Orioles and some American Goldfinch but nobody showed their faces….I saw a Barn Swallow perched in a potential nesting site but nobody was gathering nesting material yet.

Grosbeaks galore

The Evening Grosbeak had been making their presence know since day break….but even they thinned out and almost disappeared by this afternoon.

March of the Grosbeaks

I call this ‘march of the grosbeaks’ as they were moving across the shell strewn patio in perfect unison.

So to sum up….it seems that the Robins, Junco, Song Sparrows, Towhee, and White Crowned Sparrows are all  nesting right now – no fledglings seen yet.  The Black-headed Grosbeaks are back, the Steller’s Jay numbers have decreased suddenly the last few days although there are still lots around.  Most of the Warblers are have been seen, although I’ve yet to hear a Common Yellowthroat.  Another summer regular I haven’t heard yet is a Swainson’s Thrush and I’m still waiting to see a Spotted Sandpiper although admittedly my viewing opportunities to see them are now somewhat limited.  Anyway, we’ll be back before the end of the month and hopefully I’ll get to see something interesting while we are gone.  We’re starting out in the mountains in a campground that may or may not be open – it all depends on how fast the snow in it melts!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Another Grosbeak day

Evening Grosbeaks have been the over whelming ‘bird of the day’ although there have been quite a few Band-tail Pigeons around too.

Tray full of Grosbeaks

Here is a tray full of Evening Grosbeaks – 7 in the picture…

Evening Grosbeak

since you take pictures of the birds when they are around, ‘cause you know sooner or later they’ll leave….so here is a close up of a male..

Female Evening Grosbeak

and here a female – I actually prefer the females, they aren’t so ‘gaudy’ looking!

Getting a drink

this male was getting a drink at our little water feature – speaking of water features, my neighbour had a visit from a Western Tanager at his backyard pond today.

barely moving water

we did go down to the boat launch but it was very quiet there as it was quite windy today.  The water has inched up a bit but still isn’t back to where it was a couple of weeks ago.

Spring Azure Butterfly

not a bird, but a butterfly – a Spring Azure – there were several of them getting moisture at the water edge.  I’ve actually seen a few different butterflies in the past month or so but never when I’ve had a camera handy.

Chestnut backed Chickadee

back home, I wanted to put this in, even though it isn’t a great picture, but the fact that there are still Chestnut-backed Chickadees around is interesting – that must mean they are nesting here this year.  It has been a number of years since that has happened, at least that I know of.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Limited birding….

Today is the third sunny day with temperatures up into the mid-twenties.  Unfortunately I have found out that a chemotherapy drug I am taking has made me very sensitive to sun shine….I haven’t been a heat lover for a long time, but apparently now, I am even more restricted….therefore the title…’birding is limited’…


Will start with a scene from yesterday evening when I ventured out in the evening….there is a duck in this picture – I think a female Mallard and I’m pretty sure, from the sounds she was making, that she had ducklings with her, but she sensed I was there and they never came into view.

Beautiful evening

It was a beautiful evening though…the American Bittern were calling from across the water…

Yellow Warbler

it was getting kind of dark for taking pictures but I tried anyway and this one of a male Yellow Warbler didn’t turn out too bad.  There were a number of Yellow Warblers down there.


made a quick trip down today (it is shady once you get there)…the amazing thing is that despite all this warm weather the water levels had continued to drop or at least remain stable, I think today they were starting to inch up slightly.  There was a male Western Tanager down here and also several Bullock’s Oriole, but none willing to have pictures taken.

Red-wing Blackbird

a male Red-wing Blackbird was standing guard and I could hear Canada Geese, but again, nobody co-operated by coming into view.

Two Grosbeaks

The Evening Grosbeaks continue in large numbers.  Today has been the first day when there has been a constant stream of them to my feeders. The Band Tail Pigeons are still here but a bit intimidated by all the Grosbeaks.

Purple Finch eating dandelion seeds

large numbers of Purple Finch are still here as well – this pair were eating dandelion seeds from plants growing in a crack in the pavement…

Female Purple Finch eating dandelion seeds

I’m putting in another picture in hopes it might get make people realize that it is OK to leave ‘weeds’ – one man’s ‘weed’ is a birds ‘dinner’!

Rufous Hummer

the warm weather has certainly brought an increase in the number of Rufous Hummingbirds!

Female Calliope?

I’m not positive, but I think this tiny little female with no markings on the chin is a Calliope Hummingbird.  She was around all day yesterday – haven’t seen her today but I’ve been hiding from the sun.  Calliopes are sometimes seen here as they migrate through to the interior.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Picture Perfect day!

What a spectacular day!! 

Perfect day

We started out at our boat launch where I’m pretty sure I heard a Spotted Sandpiper and I definitely heard, and caught a glimpse of, a Bullock’s Oriole…


decided to wander over to the park….the water will be starting to come back up now.

Northern Rough Wing Swallow

Swallow’s were dipping and diving all over the place – only one that obliged by perching was this Northern Rough-wing Swallow.  There were also quite a few Barn Swallows – I guess they were just waiting for a nice day to show up.

female Robin

This very pale American Robin (obviously a female), was very busy gathering food, in fact there are Robins busy gathering food all over the place.  I don’t know how many Robin nests there are in the vicinity but there have to be a lot!  Got some good looks at a Wilson’s Warbler today but he managed to elude being photographed.

Female Western Tanager

heading back we saw 3 Western Tanagers, 1 male and 2 female – the one above being one of the females.

American Robin

back at home it has just been too nice to do much of anything but sit and watch with a camera at hand.  Dug out my DSLR to make sure it is still working in preparation for an upcoming trip…so here is another Robin, this one a male….I was hoping to get some pictures of some of the, what must be dozens of Band Tail Pigeons but they are just so spooky! 

Chickadee with nesting material

caught sight of this Black-cap Chickadee with nesting material – I think it is my dogs fur – she is offering up enough of it right now!  Too bad the little guy was in dense shade so the picture isn’t all that clear.

Female Rufous

When you just sit and watch it is amazing what you see.  I actually noticed a lot of Rufous Hummingbirds today, like this little female, in fact I’ve had to fill my feeder again today.   I’m pretty sure there was a Nashville Warbler in this tree as well, got a good look at him, but again a picture eluded me.

Female Rufous

here is one of the hummers at the little feeder….

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Continuing cloudy and cool

Another day more reminiscent of March than May – in fact I think it was warmer in March!

Cool and cloudy

wandered over to the park – water levels have stayed stable the last few days…

log bay

despite it being not quite so windy today, it was actually quite quiet over here….saw a Wilson’s Warbler, but missed getting a picture, and there was an Orange-crowned Warbler in those willows…

Black-capped Chickadee

a couple of Black-capped Chickadee were working around in all the bushes…

Goldfinch in the bushes

but the predominant species were the American Goldfinch…seems there is an unending supply over there!  Of course these are late nesters so they aren’t even thinking about nest building yet….


they are just enjoying life – there are 4 of them in the above picture…all drying off after a bath…

Singing in the bushes

this male was singing his head off.  I did see a Barn Swallow today – they sure are late arriving!  The Black-headed Grosbeaks have been busy at the feeders all day and I’ve heard some Evening Grosbeaks but not as many as a few days ago.  Saw an Osprey today but still no sign of any Spotted Sandpipers.