Friday, September 28, 2012

Birds in the bushes….

Today was a day for birds in the bushes…..lots of very active little birds…obviously migration is well underway!

Black-capped Chickadee

if you want to go slightly bonkers really quickly, just try taking pictures of Black-capped Chickadee’s (sorry, this is as good as it got)

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Ruby-crowned Kinglets – LOTS of Ruby-crowned Kinglets…

Chestnut-backed Chickadee

Chestnut-backed Chickadees…..


and Bush Tits, LOTS of Bush Tits….all with one hand (the other one holding a bored Siberian husky).  If I’d had two hands and had been using my DSLR I might have had a fighting chance…as it was it was more a matter of getting frustrated….

Some cloud today

There was a bit of cloud cover today, but still no rain.  According to our local paper, August and September are the driest in 105 years and if we don’t get rain soon, will have been the driest on record! 

third heron in distance

and there you have it…there is one Great Blue Heron out there, and there were two more spread out in this same area…

Number two Heron, and an eagle

That was one of them…

One heron

and the third.  Forgot to mention that there have been a number of Northern Flickers calling lately and I’ve caught sight of at least one hybrid (mixed Red-shafted and Gold-shafted) among them.

Red-breasted Nuthatch

the Red-breasted Nuthatch continue, not just at my feeders but I could hear a number of them ‘honking’ high up in a large grove of evergreens as well.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Nuthatch pictures – finally!

Another warm sunny day….

another sunny day

there is a heron out there….same spot as yesterday…

Two Eagles

a lot of the activity was in the sky today.  First of all about a dozen Turkey Vultures were circling over the hillside to the west of the estuary.  This is the second large grouping of Turkey Vultures I’ve seen recently.  About a week ago, close to 20 of them were flying around the Harrison River bridge – of course you can’t stop on the bridge to take pictures and wouldn’t have been able to capture them all anyway, as they were so low.  The birds above aren’t Turkey Vultures but 2 Bald Eagles….there were actually 3 flying by at the same time.  Not a good picture!

Canada Geese

a few Canada Geese there again….and there were some Mallard and Green-wing Teal spread out along the waterway.

dry, dry, dry

water levels just keep getting lower!

Heron in the dried up pond again

another Great Blue Heron perched over in that dried up pond again. The bushes were very quiet, possibly because parks staff were busy weed eating and trimming.

Back at home I was determined to get ..

Nuthatch at feeder

pictures of that Red-breasted Nuthatch!  it helped that today there are more than one coming to the feeders and they have been coming all day long…

Red-breasted nuthatch at Peanut feeder

they are busy visiting both the peanut and sunflower seed feeders (alternating with chickadees that are doing the same thing)

Red-breasted Nuthatch

and then they are stashing the food behind bits of bark and in crevices.  Does that mean they plan to spend the winter with us?  I hope so!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A busier day….

There was a lot more activity today…

another sunny day

just as warm and sunny as every other day lately but there were…

Geese in the sunshine

some Canada Geese laying out there in the sun…look way off in the distance and it appears there are a few Eagles out there too…

Robin in a tree

I’ve been mentioning all the American Robins we’ve had around for the past few weeks, and they continue….sure more restless and flighty than robins normally are…

Song Sparrow

A Song Sparrow put in an appearance today….I could hear Red-breasted Nuthatch calling from one end of the park to the other, but none visible and the one that has visited my feeders on a daily basis recently, makes sure he arrives when it is getting too dark for picture taking!

Two Heron

Off of the log bay there were 2 Great Blue Heron, plus some Mallards and Green-wing Teal.  I could hear a Killdeer too, but couldn’t spot it.

Orange Crowned Warbler

The bushes were full of a mixed flock – managed to glimpse this Orange Crowned Warbler, spotted a Townsend’s Warbler among the mix…

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

as well as a lot of Ruby-crowned Kinglets – none co-operative for picture taking.

By the time we got back to our end, the Geese had gone but another

Great Blue Heron

Heron was busy fishing….

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so grabbed a couple of pictures since he was being so co-operative!

At the feeders, Steller’s Jay, Dark eyed Junco and White-crowned sparrows continue to be the predominant species with more Towhees showing up all the time and the Band-tail Pigeon still hanging about.

Townsend's Chipmunk



Can’t resist posting this picture taken in my yard of a Townsend’s Chipmunk ~ not sure is Nostradamus would appreciate this or not!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Another sunny day…..

Another warm sunny day….

Incredibly low water levels

and oh so dry!  I don’t remember there being this little water in this area before – ever!!!  Because memory isn’t always reliable, I thought I’d go back in my files…

Sept25 013

here is the same view, taken on September 25th, 2010 – look at the difference!  Last year, the water was still so high we couldn’t even walk across the grasslands….so I think we have cause to be concerned with the lack of water, with salmon due to start arriving in less than a month!

Heron in bone dry pond

There wasn’t much around again today.  This lone Great Blue Heron was perched over in the bone dry pond.  There were few ducks way out…

Dry, dry, dry

coming back past the equally dry ‘first bay’…

Northern Harrier

spotted this Northern Harrier coursing over the edge of the grassland…


Killdeer suddenly flew and called hysterically – they’d been invisible until then.

Savannah Sparrow

and speaking of ‘invisible’ there were a number of sparrows again, some in the grass and some down on the muddy shoreline but ‘invisible’ until they flew.  In the last few days we’ve seen a Lincoln Sparrow, a Song Sparrow and now, today at least one of them was a Savannah Sparrow.

Savannah Sparrow

another look at the Savannah Sparrow.  Should mention the Band-tail Pigeon are still here but haven’t seen the White-throated Sparrow.  Lots of Robins still around and a number of Black-capped Chickadees moving through the park today.

Monday, September 24, 2012

That in between season…..

We seem to be in that in between season….even the weather is a bit of this and a bit of that….cool when there is cloud or fog, but heating up instantly every time the sun pokes it head out…

log bay

it was incredibly quiet today…

Green-wing Teal

a dozen or so Green-wing Teal just off of the log bay….


and some Mallards….that was it.  Not a Heron in sight and nothing but a couple of Flickers calling….


it is a little more interesting at the feeders….this is a terrible picture but shows that there are still some Band-tail Pigeons about.  Seems late, but then they were late moving up into the mountains this year…

Pine Sisken

This scruffy fellow is one of the Pine Sisken that have shown up again, along with a couple of juvenile American Goldfinch… 

White-throated Sparrow

and yes, that White-throated Sparrow is still here and I did manage to get some better pictures of it…  You can definitely see the relationship to it’s cousins, the White-crowned and Gold-crowned sparrows.  There has also been a Red-breasted Nuthatch visiting the feeders the last couple of days, but haven’t managed a picture yet. 

Last night, when he didn’t take a camera, my husband spotted a Barred Owl.  We know there are Barred Owls around, but that was the first actual sighting of one for some time.

And speaking of ‘sighting’ I just have to throw this in.  We’ll never see one of there here at the estuary as they live up in the alpine areas in rock slides and can’t handle warm temperatures…

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This cute little guy is a ‘Pika’.  We were up in Manning Park yesterday and there were a number of them busy harvesting vegetation.  These guys, apparently, don’t hibernate but they have to harvest enough food through the summer to see them through a very long winter.  Although I know where they live, I’ve never been able to actually spot them any time but in the month of September.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

It’s Fall!

Today is the first day of fall and my goodness, what a change!  In fact the change started yesterday, it is like Mother Nature suddenly looked at a calendar, realized where we were at, and pulled the plug on the sunshine…

First day of Fall

cause this it the weather now.  Not wet, just gray….  I’m going to cheat a bit and combine some pictures from yesterday as well as today as both days have been similar – except for a surprise today!

Looks like Fall

yesterday it really looked and felt like fall with a breeze bringing down the leaves…

Young Song Sparrow

Sparrows continue to fly up out of the grass, yesterday this one landed in the same spot as the Lincoln of a few days ago, but I’m pretty sure this is a young Song Sparrow.  Song Sparrow’s, although they have been here all along, are just starting to make themselves visible again.


Great Blue Heron were moving around a bit…this guy was over by the dried up pond to the south of the bench…

Heron and Merlin

while this one (sorry about the fuzzy photo) was out on the flats, but note the very small bird of prey at the top of the picture – a Merlin I think…it was big enough to upset the heron…

Heron in flight

that took flight….

Heron in a tree

and landed up in one of the ‘eagle trees’ by the viewing platform.


a few Mallards around – they are starting to molt into their normal plumage…


there have been, probably, hundreds, of American Robins about.  Some are still eating berries, but most are very restless, flying from tree top to tree top, migration obviously on their minds….and speaking of migration…

White-throated Sparrow

this showed up outside my place a few minutes ago.  It is a White-throated Sparrow.  Related to the White-crowned Sparrows and mixed in with a flock of them, the White-throated is normally only seen east of the Rocky Mountains, but one or two seem to show up every year during migration.  With luck it might hang around for a day or two and maybe the weather will brighten somewhat so I can get a better photo.

Also around today and not seen for a little while were some American Goldfinch and Pine Siskens and I’m sure a Banded Pigeon flew this morning when I went out to fill the feeders, but haven’t seen or heard it since.