Friday, June 21, 2013

Summer and Sapsuckers

Believe it or not -

today was the first full day of summer!  At least it was dry.

It has been a week of baby birds and today was no it was

Red-breasted Sapsuckers!

there were at least two, one much more advanced than the other....

the smaller one figuring out how to hang on a tree

but still being fed by a parent (on right), in fact both parents were kept very busy as I'm not sure if there were more youngsters around.

And now I'm going to have to vacate all my baby birds as we are heading out for a week, checking out some of our other favorite spots so this is it until July.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Nuthin' but Nuthatch's

OK one rainy day we could put up with, two in a row with no let up is a bit much to handle, especially with tomorrow being the first official day of summer!  I guess though when you consider what is happening in Alberta and the south eastern part of our province we shouldn't complain.  I did notice that the water levels crept back up again today.

It was just too wet to attempt much in the way of birding but have to share these...yesterday it was the baby Black-cap Chickadees learning the ropes at the peanut feeder.


it was the baby Red-breasted Nuthatch - first there were two, then three...

and then there were Four!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Maybe we just needed a rainy day!

This very wet day....

started out with yet another person asking me where all the birds were and me lamenting the lack of baby robins this year.

not fifteen minutes later I looked out my patio doors to see this fledgling American Robin sitting on the rail (photo taken through the window)...

then I noticed this one sitting on top of my patio swing, and there was yet another up in the cedar tree above this little guy.  The parents were busy flying back and forth....

from this cherry tree, in fact this tree, which should be an ornamental flowering cherry but that has reverted back to it's root stock is the most popular tree in the park right now, not only has there been a constant stream of Robins at it but I also spotted.....

a Western Tanager, and a starling (no picture) and...

then, oh my goodness!  this young Raccoon!!!  You don't normally see raccoon out in the day time but unfortunately our raccoon population is in a bit of disarray right now.  Yet another new owner who buys into our rural setting and then hires a pest control company to expel the local wildlife.  Frustrating!!! but at least it did provide a great photo opportunity.

Just down from all the activity in the cherry tree, the Red-breasted Sapsucker was busy working on it's two favorite trees.

Back at home it has been a busy day....

seems every time I look out there is a juvenile Rufous Hummingbird at either the hanging fushia baskets or the honeysuckle vine.

the Black-cap Chickadee babies have figured out the peanut feeder - 3 at a time!  The nuthatch family didn't show up until later this afternoon.

There have been all sorts of Purple Finch, these two very wet males, but also females and youngsters.  Goldfinch have been showing up too.

Black-headed Grosbeak have been around too, in fact that male with the weird white eye ring was out there at one point.

I'll finish off with a White-crowned Sparrow - that isn't a creek behind it, it is a road.  Haven't seen a young one of these yet, 'nor a young Junco.  I have seen some young Spotted Towhee but haven't caught one on camera yet.  maybe tomorrow, apparently it is going to be another wet day.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Baby Nuthatches!

This weekend the baby Red-breasted Nuthatches that I have been expecting showed up!

I'm not sure how many of them there are, at least 3, maybe more....

this is one of the harried parents.  The youngsters tend to stay up in the trees making it very difficult to get pictures....

this little guy managed to find something on his own, either that or he was falling off the branch!  With baby birds one is never sure!

The Black-cap Chickadee family or families continue to show up periodically.

the sunshine showed up on the weekend too, although we've had some natural fireworks as well as thunder storms roll around the province.  Those water levels are again holding steady.

on Saturday this interesting phenomena was in the sky.  I understand that from Agassiz the whole sky from one side of the valley to the other, looked like this.  Not sure what it was - ice crystals maybe?

I'm tossing this photo of a Turkey Vulture in today's report.  I took it yesterday at a debris trap on the Fraser River just south of Hope.  We have Turkey Vultures here at the estuary although I haven't seen as many as usual this year.

back home, Red-wing Blackbirds have been a bit more visible again, in fact the males, like this guy are acting rather territorial again.  I don't know if that means they are contemplating a second hatch this year or not.  Some species hatch two or even three clutches again, I'm not sure if Red-wings do.

and just because I've never had baby Red-breasted Nuthatch in my yard before, in fact if you follow this blog you know that until this past year even seeing an adult was an occasion.... I'm closing with one more baby nuthatch picture.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Robins and Towhees

With the first official day of summer just a week away it would be nice to if it actually felt a bit like summer!

It has been a cool, cloudy week but in spite of that, the water levels are now on the way back down.

Yesterday morning I saw....

this flock of geese flying.  I don't think I have ever seen geese flying in formation this time of the year before.  Earlier in the spring and in late summer and fall, but not in June.  

The most bird activity right now, at least in our complex....

seem to be Spotted Towhee - all of a sudden they are seen everywhere, all adults so far, so I imagine there are some nests of hungry youngsters around keeping the parents busy foraging for food.

American Robins are also highly visible...

managed to spot this young one yesterday...well past the fledgling stage.

the Cedar Waxwing are nearly always down in the boat launch area, obviously they haven't yet got into the serious business of raising their families.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

More baby jays....

Not sure if they were all one family or not, but had a yard full of young Steller's Jay today......

one of the things about baby birds is that it often takes them a while to figure out what is edible and what is not.  I have a basket full of impatiens on a little table, and this guy had his eye on them....quite a few buds met there demise before he figured out they weren't really food!

this one was eyeing up another planter....

enjoying the patio swing!

Jay's weren't the only youngsters around today.  This young Song Sparrow was down at the boat launch.  The first Song Sparrow I've seen for a while now!  They always make themselves scare during nesting season.

the water levels are definitely on the rise again!

This Robin had just enjoyed a bath....

while this male Tree Swallow was taking a break from family duties to have a bit of a stretch!

back at home, this female Black-headed Grosbeak was about.  I think these guys are nesting now as they aren't seen nearly as often as a few weeks ago.  Like the tree swallows, these share parenting duties....

unlike the Rufous Hummingbirds.  This female was enjoying a fushia basket today.  It is hard to believe but in another 2 or 3 weeks the males will have moved on to the alpine meadows as they make their leisurely way back south, leaving the females here to raise this years crop of youngsters.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Baby Jays and local area

Today's report is a bit of a Hodge podge and actually none of the pictures were taken today - I just didn't get around to posting them yesterday.  I will mention first though that water levels have definitely come up a fair bit over the weekend.

Yesterday we drove up Morris Valley Road past what is the estuary part of the year....

The Foxgloves are in perfect bloom right now and I wanted a picture.

here is another shot showing the full range of colour of these native plants.

We then drove over to Cheam Wetlands Regional Park and I'll only post one picture from there...

this one of a singing Marsh Wren.  We get Marsh Wren out in the estuary area as well, some years more than others, it depends on how high the water is and how long it stays high.  At Cheam they were singing their buzzy songs from every direction!

Then it was back home and a walk up along Elbow Creek...

this trail, which really isn't very long, takes off from this spot - you can see the estuary out there in the distance.

Elbow Creek runs from Elbow Lake, borders the golf course and ends up joining the other water sources at the estuary.  We could hear birds, including Swainson's Thrush and something that I think was some sort of Wren, either Pacific or Bewick but didn't see anything.

this tree trunk shows that obviously this area is used by birds!  the entire tree from root to tip looked like this - Sapsucker holes.

This is an area of typical west coast rain forest...

a few wildflowers typical to this environment were in flower - Goatsbeard is shown above...

the tiny white flowers of Foam Flower and in the foreground the leaves and one flower stalk of Vanilla Leaf.

Back home again and sitting outside enjoying a book....looked up and saw this...

very young Steller's Jay with parent.   Had heard them earlier in the day, this was a re-visit.  The baby Chickadees are still around although getting more independent and I also saw a fledgling Purple Finch, both yesterday and today but I haven't been able to get a picture yet.