Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Last day of the bay

As over to Harrison Bay today.

Very lush and green!

with the Viper's Bugloss just coming into flower.  I'm hoping no one will decide they have to mow the sides of the they did last year just as things were coming into flower.

not only is it lush and green, it is getting rather wet as the water has risen considerably higher than it has for a number of years, in fact most of the campground is now closed as the water is right into campsites.  Notice the Canada Geese out there.  Counted over a hundred in the area but didn't see a single young one.

not only is the water infringing from the river side, it is coming up in the fields....much to the delight of Robins and any number of other fact there were birds every where you looked!

I have no idea how many Common Yellowthroat are out there....but there are a lot!  The hedgerow and the long grass that the farmer leaves in the sort of boggy area in the middle of the field was just full of them.

It appeared that most Swallows were busy nest building but this Tree Swallow sat on a wire for a moment.  Also saw Barn, Violet Green and Northern Rough Wing.

I thought I was taking a photo of a female Bullock's Oriole as we could hear orioles all along the walk, but no, this is a female Western Tanager....

the male was close by on the other side of the dike.

all Osprey seem to still be sitting on nests....must be due to hatch soon.

not sure what is happening at the Bald Eagle nest.  There was an adult perched close by when we went past but all was silent at the nest itself.  Of course parents may have been out searching for food....

in fact there was quite a carry on a bit further along.  Something was going on between this Bald Eagle, and some crows and a raven.  There was so much crashing in the bush that I was scared a bear was suddenly going to appear....but no, it just seemed to be birds....  a bit of predation I think.

The White-crowned Sparrows were in their same well as some more in other spots.

I thought at the time this was a Song Sparrow as we saw several, but no, it is a Savannah obviously nesting here.

lots of Cedar Waxwing too....

and we mustn't forget the Spotted Sandpipers!  We'd been hearing them along the entire walk, eventually a pair showed themselves on the dike.

and here we are in the parking lot.  The boat launch is well under water.  That is the railway bridge in the background.  Hopefully it won't get too much higher because if the entire parking lot is under water there won't be anywhere to park.

Monday, May 29, 2017

We are back

We're back!  and so is the water.....not yet the end of May and already it is considerably higher than it has been the past few years.

also back is some unseasonable took advantage of both today and headed out in the canoe.

the wild 'Nootka' Roses are in full bloom....and underwater.

and here is the 'first bay' longer a bay....just part of the whole

there is the viewing platform...actually love it when the water gets like this as it means that the birds, at least the ones nesting up in trees, can get on with their business without human interference.  For those that had already started nesting down in the lower bushes it is a different story, but no doubt they figure it out.

seemed most bird houses were occupied by Tree Swallows...

just off of the golf course we noticed several of these very pale, almost white Nootka Roses.

went as far as the viewing gazebo at the golf course where there were lots of Spotted Sandpipers (fitting!) and swallows, Tree, Violet Green and Barn....nice to see the bird houses on the top!

not so nice, in fact rather alarming, was this float plane that for over an hour kept practicing landing and taking off.  Not only very extremely annoying due to the noise, but the fact that they showed no concern for the number of kayakers out on the water, is concerning.

What was thrilling to see...

was that the Purple Martin are back...or at least some of them.  If you recall last year we were concerned about how few there were early in the season, then found that they were still nesting well into August.

here is a closer look.  Female on the left, male on the right.

We heard a lot of Bullock's Oriole and finally spotted this female, just as we were heading back in.  

It wasn't a great day for bird photos, did see Red-wing Blackbirds, Yellow Warblers, a pair of Canada Geese, a male Mallard, Steller's Jay, a Bald Eagle and a pair of Osprey among others.

With the promise of cooler weather, hopefully we will get over to Harrison Bay sometime in the next few days to see what has happened during the last few weeks.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Robin sort of day

Made a point of walking over to the park today.....

had to go the long route via the park trail.  Have avoided this walk for several years but must say it is much pleasanter now that hedges have grown and filled in so you don't feel like you are in everyone's back yard.

this, of course, is the reason we had to go the long way round.  That white sign is in the middle of what is the normal trail.  I had really wanted to get some 'water level' photos before we take off.  It will be interesting to see how high it is when we get back.  Right now...

here is the first bay....won't be able to walk to this point in another day or two if water continues to rise at the present rate.

and here we are at the log bay.

Now as for birds, it seems everywhere I looked today I saw...

American Robins!  This was one of two at our boat launch this morning.

This male is obviously helping feed a nest full of babies.

while this one has one giant mouthful of nesting materials.

while this one posed nicely out back.

Of course robins weren't the only birds we saw...

on the way to the park we noticed several House Sparrows, this one being a female.

White-crowned Sparrows as well....

and several Northern Flickers....this one being a female.

and American Goldfinch....this one a male.

What I haven't seen back yet are Black-headed Grosbeak, Bullock's Oriole and Spotted Sandpiper.  Hopefully by the time we get back they will all be here.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Misty May walk

Seems our bizarre weather pattern is continuing into the month of May.  Yesterday was beautiful but we weren't able to get anywhere for a walk....

today we did get over to the dike for a walk, but as you can see it was rather damp and misty!

this photo, with a 'photo bombing' Canada Goose really demonstrates the mistiness.  That, of course is one of the Osprey nests on top of the pilings.  There were a lot of geese in the field adjacent to the dike.  We could hear some sort of shorebird...probably a Killdeer but possibly a Spotted Sandpiper as they should be turning up soon.  There were also some Common Loon calling....what a thrill to hear...couldn't see them anywhere though.

there were a number of Northern Flickers...including this inter grade (cross between a red-shafted which is our normal type here in western Canada, a yellow-shafted which are the normal type east of the Rocky Mountains) male.  Pretty sure this is a nesting site although I don't think they are siting yet.

not sure what this female Hairy Woodpecker was doing.  Working in the moss, not sure if collecting it for nest lining or searching for bugs.  We heard the Pileated Woodpeckers but couldn't spot them.

the male Bald Eagle was drip drying (or trying to) on a snag near the nest.  From the calls his mate was still sitting.

this goose was still on her nest but one on the other side of the bridge was gone so her's must have hatched out.  These ones should any day now....unfortunately we are leaving the area in a few days and won't be back for 3 or 4 weeks so guess I won't know the outcome.

there were all kinds of Yellow-rump Warblers...probably other varieties as well.  I could hear Common Yellowthroat out in the field that they frequent.

lots of White-crowned Sparrows too.

this male Red-wing Blackbird was in one Black Hawthorne bush while there was a female in the adjacent one.  Lot's of American Goldfinch around but couldn't get an in focus photo.

When we got back to the parking lot...

noticed this little bunch of Common Merganser in close to shore....

here is a closer shot.

Not sure if I will get another post done before we if I don't...well, will see you in June.