Saturday, December 28, 2019

A new spot to walk

Today we walked in a new spot - the trail isn't new, not sure why we haven't walk here before because it is just down the road and the area is still part of the IBA.  It is the Chehalis Fishing Trail.

Pretty dense forest and apart from hearing one Nuthatch....didn't see any birds except...

for a surprising number of Bald Eagles.....

the area is pretty unspoiled which maybe explains why they are hanging out...

a few more here....

and quite a few further down....unfortunately the weather was deteriorating while we were there so not ideal for taking pictures.

this is the Chehalis river with varied terrain along the shore so I imagine the potential is there for seeing various birds at different times of the year. 

we will have to add this trail to our walking routine.

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Christmas Day surprises

It doesn't matter how many times you walk the same path, it is never exactly the same and sometimes, something really can surprise you.

We set out on our normal walk along the dike today, 

this Bald Eagle flew down and started eating a rather disgusting looking dead fish....nothing surprising there.

a couple of Northwestern Crows flew down in hopes of getting a share....

No, it was further along that the first surprise showed up.  Look very, very closely at the above you notice anything, because I did and said 'what the heck is that!'

'that' turned out to be a Raccoon, sound asleep in this nest of branches!  Now we know that there has to be raccoon's over here, but until today, we'd never seen one over there and we'd never seen a raccoon sleeping in a tree before.

The next surprise, unfortunately we didn't get a picture of as we were too much in shock watching a Peregrine Falcon attacking a Bald Eagle!  The eagle had been flying to join it's mate that was perched in a tree when the falcon came out of nowhere and went after it.  What a gusty bird!

on the return trip, the raccoon was still asleep and this eagle pair were at their nest.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Christmas Eve Day

Another nice dry day....

with no other obligations that we had to get to, took the time to walk over to the park this morning.  It was pretty quiet....

although nice to see and hear Red-wing Blackbirds.  Not so long ago a flock of a hundred or more of these guys would spend the winter with us, now we are lucky to see a dozen or so.  Not sure why as I don't think their numbers have declined over all.

still a few Bald Eagles around, like this young one.

After lunch it was back to Harrison Bay...

where again, it was pretty quiet.  No duck hunters on the bay today, but they were just packing up from being in a field adjacent to the dike.  That flock of Ring-neck Ducks that has been in the area for several weeks now, is out there.

here is a bit closer look at some of them.  While in the 'duck' is a terrible picture but...

there was a flock of Canvasback Ducks way out on the bay today.  First sighting of them this winter.  Another first sighting today was a Northern Shrike, but he didn't cooperate for a picture.

while this female Northern Flicker, did cooperate.

Monday, December 23, 2019

Sunshine, Siskin and 'sneaky'

Today started out with brilliant sunshine....

frost too....despite these beautiful conditions, there wasn't a bird in sight!

By the time we got for a walk over at Harrison Bay...

the sun had disappeared....and so had the birds - again - but this time there was a reason...

look closely, those aren't ducks....they are duck decoys....these were just a few of them, some fluttered and some quacked....

and here we have this sneaky, disguised boat....with more decoy's, this time Snow Geese (which we don't even get out here at Harrison bay) behind it.  Now if this was a photographer, I'd applaud their ingenuity and patience, but given the volley of gun shots we also experienced, this was not a photographer.  

One of the very few birds that were around was this....

Northern Harrier that was feeding on something down in a field....

and it has been a while since....

there have been Pine Siskin in the area, but I thought I saw a small flock the other day, and this flock was feeding in various Alder Trees today.  

here is a bit better look - this is the time of year that sometimes Redpolls are found with Siskin, but didn't appear to be any with this group.

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Final day of Fall

Rain, rain, rain, but it finally stopped early this afternoon, the last day of fall (in fact I think we are switching to winter about the same time as I am getting this post done.

you can't see them, but was listening to Red-wing Blackbirds and Starling while here, 

there were a number of Bald Eagles around, including this poor soaking wet juvenile.....

there was a huge flock of ducks just off of the log bay today.  This just a small part.  Mainly Mallard, but also see American Wigeon, Common and Hooded Merganser.

too bad this isn't clearer, they were a long way off, but when I see the amount of yellow on the bill of the one Swan, I would have liked a better shot....thought maybe, just maybe, it might be a Bewick's, but no, after doing some checking on line, I think it is just a Tundra Swan with more yellow than we often see.

so we will end off with this guy....and see what winter brings us.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Some interesting sightings

Well this is proving to be an interesting month, at least when it is dry enough to get out and about.

started with finding this 'mom' raccoon in our garden the other morning.  She was accompanied by 3 young ones.  Raccoon's aren't unusual in our area, but seeing them in daylight is.  She was busy digging up the stashes of seed that the little Douglas Squirrel have been burying all over the place.

and then speaking of squirrels, for a year or so we hadn't seen any squirrel of any sort, which was most unusual, but finally this fall, the native Douglas Squirrel have returned, then yesterday....

this large, black coloured Gray Squirrel showed up in our yard.  Although we occasionally see them across the river at Kilby, it has been at least 10 years since one has been here in our area.  I'm not sure if that is good or bad!  It is very shy and doesn't seem to be impacting the little squirrels at all.

Then to finish the unusual

....walking across the grasslands today I spotted this....turns out it is an American Bullfrog.  Not a species to get excited about as they are invasive, but I was shocked to see a frog out and about the middle of December!

What about birds....well

Bald Eagles are still around although one wonders for how long as the water levels continue to drop so the food supply must be getting scarce.  This trio were battling over a single carcass over at the log bay yesterday.

There have been several Great Blue Heron around, like this trio this afternoon.

over at Harrison Bay the size of this flock of Ring-neck Ducks continues to amaze, this is only a small portion of it.  Have never seen so many together.

and speaking of large numbers, it seems every year we have more and more Anna's Hummingbirds.  This little guy was in our yard, while a neighbour with multiple feeders will have several dozen visiting.

Oh and speaking of visiting....we've had a couple of male Evening Grosbeak, haven't managed a picture yet.

Monday, December 9, 2019

Lovely December day

Got for a walk over at Harrison Bay this afternoon

just a beautiful day...

Bald Eagles continue to be the story with approximately 50 of them along the stretch of river.

here is another one.

Out on the bay there were lots of swans, but way out, also various ducks including...

some Common Goldeneye.

a large flock of Canada Geese flew over as well....

Sunday, December 8, 2019

One weekend, two very different days

Although basically 'dry' Saturday was dull and misty....

and the trees were full of eagles.

over at the log bay - which isn't very 'bay like' these days...

and to have been at least 50 Bald Eagles in the immediate area, including this trio.  They wee being very vocal.

and speaking of vocal...

there were 2 Belted Kingfisher....I'm thinking not a pair, probably both males who were not happy with someone else in their territory.

just for the record, this is now the first bay....we are back to 'high and dry'.

a very different scene this morning with sunshine!  We did the walk to the log bay again but there were only just enough eagles to make the visiting photographers happy.

This American Robin seems to be living in a Mountain Ash tree in our complex.  See it there almost every morning.

this pair of Song Sparrows were busy in some rocks this morning as well.