Sunday, July 27, 2014

A morning out in the canoe

It was a nice morning so we decided to take the canoe out again....

We are sort of between 'season's' right now.  Checked out the Purple Martin boxes but they were empty,no sign of any Martins today, in fact there was no activity at any of the swallow boxes either and very few swallows,other than Barn Swallows around.  We did see some young...

Spotted Sandpipers....there were actually 3 here at the first bay.  

decided to head over to the edge of the Harrison River, the 'islands' are just about re-emerging but not quite.  Shorebirds should be starting to migrate through any time now so happy to know there will be some 'shore' for them to settle on.  Water was flowing very swiftly here so turned back.

lots of Canada geese everywhere you looked.  Most still in molt but obviously some were now finished and able to fly again.

quite a few Great Blue Heron including this very young one.  Once again we could hear a Loon but never spotted it.  Headed up the Chehalis River and saw....

young Hooded Merganser up ahead, there was also something large crashing about in the vegetation and worried that it might be that mother bear with her cubs, we didn't go any further. 

Could hear Pied-bill Grebe but couldn't spot them.  Headed back home.....of note lately around the feeders are the number of....

American Goldfinch....lots of youngsters (none in this photo), the adults are already loosing their bright breeding plumage.

lots of Chestnut-backed Chickadee families too.  Also still seeing lots of young Steller's Jay and the last few days, Northern Flicker seem to be all over the place.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Short walk at Harrison Bay

The heat wave over the past while has kept us inside but since today it is easing up to more reasonable temperatures we went over to Kilby for a short walk along the dike.

Could hear quite a few birds but didn't see that many....

there were quite a few young swallows, like these two Tree Swallows....

and this young Barn Swallow.  Also saw a Great Blue Heron, a few Robins, and a Bald Eagle.

Since the campground is full, took this photo of the bay from further along the dike.

as you can see the water levels are still high with not much in the way of beach showing.  It was also quite windy today.

stopped and took this view looking up the Harrison River...there is apparently a wildfire burning further up the river but no sign of it from this end.  We're hoping to get back out in the canoe again soon, there should be a few areas of dry land re-emerging and in another couple of weeks we should be starting to see migrating shorebirds.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Calmer canoe ride

Got brave and attempted heading out in the canoe again this morning...

it was much calmer out there today.  We decided to just creep along the edges alongside Morris Valley Road and over to the Nature Trust lands.

We sure heard lots of birds but they were staying hidden.  As we got into this area there were Red-wing Blackbirds, Common Yellow throat and Marsh Wren but spotting them was hopeless.  We could hear Pied billed Grebe and unfortunately, we also heard bullfrogs.  Bullfrogs are an invasive species that are depleting the population of native frogs.

worked our way in as far as we could, haven't been in here for years.  Again, birds everywhere but not co-operative for photo taking.

did find some aquatic wildflowers....looked them up and this is Lesser Bladderwort

As we headed out we could hear a call that neither of us recognized....couldn't find anything so have no idea what it was...a water bird of some sort I think.  As water levels drop the water birds will be forced into channels and that is when there is more likelihood of spotting them.  Right now there are just too many places to hide.

speaking of hiding....more molting Canada Geese.

The only bird sighting of note today was this.....

Eastern Kingbird.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Rough ride

After much debate as to what the weather was going to do, we decided to chance it and take the canoe out this morning.  

that piling is obviously a favorite Bald Eagle perch as there was one on it again this morning.  Headed over to check out the situation at the martin boxes...

they were still there but not as many so I  expect that as the young become more independent they will probably be leaving...

notice the leg bands on this Purple Martin.  So after quickly checking here we made a bee line for the arm of the Chehalis River.  Skies were still iffy, 

as we approached saw a very large flock of Canada Geese sneaking along, obviously in their molt stage when they are incapable of flight so stay hidden and very, very quiet.

once we were in the river there were swallows everywhere!  Mainly Northern a bunch of young ones (there is one young Tree Swallow at the extreme right).

All the swallows, like this Tree Swallow, were flying low over the river and actually dipping and picking bugs up off of the surface...tried to capture that but didn't manage too.

There were also Violet-green Swallows, like this one above.  Headed further up the river keeping an eye out for the mother black bear that is apparently in the area and rather protective of her two cubs.  

Found a number of Spotted Sandpiper....there were also lots of Cedar Waxwing, but keeping high up in the tree tops.  There were at least 2 Belted Kingfisher, 3 Great Blue Heron, and a whole mess of young Common Merganser, unfortunately they were hugging one side of the river and we were on the other with a screen of grass between us, so no photos.

As we were in the river we noticed it getting darker and the temperature was dropping but didn't realize how wild it had got out there until we rounded the corner to head for home....

it was a very rough ride....but the rain actually held off until the canoe was back on the truck!