Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Last day of April.....

Another month gone already! 

and with another wave of winter like weather that swept down the province, the snow melt has slowed so the water levels are heading back down....that whole drive had been under water until a few days ago...

and here is something interesting....

a Trumpeter Swan!  It is a young one, doesn't appear injured or sick but definitely shouldn't be here this time of the year.

this Bald Eagle pair are nearly always in the vicinity of the 'eagle tree' by the viewing platform.  Seems to me they were last year too, so not sure why they aren't nesting somewhere.

The Canada Goose pair remain hanging about our complex and the male Calliope Hummingbird is also still here.

This afternoon we got back to Harrison Bay for a walk.  I'm pretty sure there was a Western Kingbird on a wire on the way there but  can't be positive.  It wouldn't be the first time one has been seen here during migration.

Canada Geese continue, this one enjoying the nice field....there was a male Goldfinch eating the dandelion seeds at the same place.

The two sitting on nests on pilings are still there, this being one of them, with daddy standing guard down below.

lot's of Tree Swallows....

including ones gathering nesting material off of the dike and the parking lot.

Something we hadn't seen for a while...

were Great Blue Heron - there were 3 of them today.  Probably all last year youngsters.

this Bald Eagle was perched near the nest, where all is quiet so mom is probably still sitting.

the Black Hawthorne are in full flower now....

as are the Pacific Crabapples.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

They're back! Purple Martin's and other firsts

Today has been a day with a number of firsts of the seasons.....  it started out with our morning walk when saw the first Barn Swallow of the way to get a photo, and then once we got down to the water, could hear a Pied Bill Grebe out there....

Yesterday had been a 'first' sort of day too.  Not that the birds are rare....Canada Geese

but finding a pair of them on the playing field in our complex 22 years I've been here, this is a first.

After lunch we walked over to the park.  Have to go the long route now....

and here is the first bay.....and another first of the season, as we spooked a pair of Wood Ducks.  Again, no chance for a picture....

and then, a bit further along....a familiar call....that is a European Starling on top....but...

but there....on the bottom box...a female Purple Martin!  They are back.  Saw as many as four flying about.  Will be interesting to see how many return and how soon they find their new colony off of Kilby beach.

Water levels haven't really risen too much the last few days, probably due to the unseasonably cool weather that would have slowed any melting.  

Back home....we have the last 'first' of the fact this is the 'first' I've seen here in probably 10 years or so....

a male Calliope Hummingbird!  Not a great photo, but enough to prove it was there.  

Guess I should also post this Bald Eagle photo, one of a pair flying around today.  There was also a pair of Osprey.

Hopefully tomorrow we will get back to Harrison Bay to see what is happening over there.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Finally, Yellow-rump Warblers

I guess sometimes all you have to do is stay home!  I've been watching for Yellow-rump Warblers for several weeks.  Today I was working out in my yard and realized the open area behind our yard was absolutely alive with birds!

in fact the big Broad-leaf Maple that grows there was full of Yellow-rump Warblers.

they were pretty high up but managed to get a few photos.

the bird bath out there was busy too, here a couple of female Purple Finch

this Black-capped Chickadee was headed there too.

and then a female Yellow-rump Warbler headed that way as well.

While I was standing out there, a female Rufous Hummingbird flew up to me, landed on my chest and sat there for at least a minute!  Have never had something like that happen before.  Had my camera in my hands but there was no way I could get a picture although I sure would have loved to.

Earlier in the day, when I didn't have my camera, I saw a pair of Bush-tits down by the estuary, the first I've seen in the area in a year or so.  

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Green and gold

Not sure what has happened to this month!  Finally got out for a walk at Harrison Bay again yesterday....

we are no longer just 'green', we are now 'gold' as well as the Dandelions are in full bloom.

Dandelions are such an important supply nectar and pollen for bees and other insects, the greens feed many creatures, including people and the seeds are an early food source for many birds.

those rich green fields are being enjoyed by many birds, including the Canada least the ones that aren't sitting on nests....

like this one, hunkered right down in there....

and this one.  She's been there for a while, they must be close to hatching.

Geese are not the only ones making use of the pilings....

there are at least 2 pairs of Osprey busy nest building out there.  You can see from the water it was pretty windy out there yesterday.

back along the dike, saw a number of American Robins....

also two different robin egg shell obviously the first hatch of the season has happened.

hearing and seeing more and more White Crowned Sparrows like this one, and speaking of 'hearing', heard a Common Yellowthroat, seems a little bit early for them yet.

the Red-wing Blackbirds must all be sitting on nests now as the males are busy defending territories.

Saw a Starling carrying food, so obviously baby starling are now hatching as well.

It isn't a great photo, but proof that finally some American Goldfinch have been spotted.

back up at the estuary....

the water continues to gradually creep over the grasslands.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Getting very green

After a short trip up to the chilly Okanagan where it still looked like winter with trees barely starting to bud out, everything back here looks extremely 'green' - despite what I understand has been some pretty cool temperatures.

Here at the estuary....

the water has come up a bit - now covering portions of the path to the park, but hadn't come up as much as I'd thought it might, probably due to the cold temperatures putting a stop to any melting.

not much change in the bird species yet is a Song Sparrow....several of them were visible.

did notice quite a few Ruby-crowned Kinglets - this isn't one, this is a Gold-crowned Kinglet, that obviously moved it's head just as the camera clicked.  Had been hoping to see a Yellow-rump Warbler but haven't seen any of those yet, anywhere, although I understand some have been seen as far north as the northern tip of Vancouver Island.

a pair of Northwestern Crow caught my eye....

as they were gathering nesting material.

Over at Harrison Bay....

everything is very green....quite a few Canada Geese out in the fields

Tree Swallows....also saw a Violet Green Swallow, but basically there weren't many birds around.  Some Robins, the ones that will spend the summer with us, while the rest must have moved on.  Several White-crowned Sparrows and the usual Crows, Starling, Blackbirds etc.

Speaking of moving on though....all those Trumpeter Swans we've had all winter, well there is a lake just outside of Whitehorse in the Yukon where there is a Swan Festival every April and apparently they are seeing record numbers of Swans....well over 3,000 on the lake at the moment.

For interest sake, here are some photos from Swan Haven from when we were there 10 years ago.

Sunday, April 7, 2019


Only managed one quick walk this morning....

here comes the water!  We are heading out for a few days shortly so I imagine by the time we get back, there will be no more walking across the grassland to the park.

rapidly becoming all water out there....notice the pair of Common Merganser, there was also a pair of Mallard right close to fact there were a total of 38 Common Merganser this morning...

here is a good comparison...male Mallard in front, male Common Merganser behind.

I'd seen a Band-tail Pigeon a few days ago....this morning there were two....  Some years we see large numbers of these bantam size birds, other years just a few, they'll stay around for a month or so before moving up into the mountains.

and here is an 'almost' photo.  Was trying to get the Rufous Hummingbird feeding on the flowers of the Black-twin berry.  Didn't quite get him.