Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Frigid Kilby park

 With the temperature rising into the single minus digits, we thought we'd attempt a walk over at Kilby park.

and oh my goodness, was it chilly!  Didn't help that there was a bit of a breeze coming in across the bay which is pretty much solid ice.

the river is flowing....

but the rest is frozen.

an awful lot of waterfowl on the open water off of the was too cold to really study what was out there...

lots of Trumpeter swans for sure, suspect Tundra's too from calls I was hearing.

besides swans, this one shows Canada Geese, a Ring-neck Duck and a Northern Pintail as well.

Back in the yard....

this Red-breasted Sapsucker showed up today.  

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Deep freeze

Today was the first day it was mild enough to venture down to the estuary....if you can call minus double digits warm....

 at least the winds had died....

a little bit of open water still in the first bay....but ice everywhere else

the flats are a sheet of white....

there were a few Mallard against the far shore...

here is one pair....

there were a few Red-wing Blackbirds down there...

also some House Finch, but I think most of the rest of the species are hanging out in yards, like ours that have feeders.

this female Hairy Woodpecker has moved in.

and we are over run with Varied Thrush....

have a number of Red-breasted Nuthatch 

and Brown Creeper....all visitors that haven't been usual other years.

We've even had a Red-breasted Sapsucker!

Friday, December 24, 2021

Christmas Eve 2021

 Christmas Eve....2021 style.  Seems to me last Christmas Eve I took a picture of a dandelion in flower -well not this year!

it was a little brisk out there, the occasional snowflake drifted down and the start of the arctic outflow winds were coming down the river, but still it wasn't anywhere near as cold as they say it will get.

There weren't many 'creatures stirring'....

a Bald Eagle....there were a few carrying on, not sure about what.

there were some swans and ducks hunkered down right against the shore, trying to get out of the worst of the wind.

turned out the ducks were a mixture of Ring Neck (the 3 to left) and Greater Scaup, the one to the right.  There were probably 50 or more in the flock.

as we were leaving, noticed a number of Swans out in one of the fields...

appeared to all be Trumpeter Swans along with some Canada Geese.

Mid-afternoon went for a walk at the estuary....

where it also felt very wintry and there wasn't much of anything they have promised us a White Christmas with snow all day and into Boxing Day....we shall see.

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Winter Solstice

 And just like is the winter solstice.  

the snow arrived overnight Friday/Saturday and the freezing rain was just beginning as we set out for a walk here at the estuary today.

certainly a different perspective with all the various shrubs weighted down with the snow.

there was a fair amount of activity, and will continue to be, at least until the water freezes over, which given forecasted temperatures, is probably coming.  Here there were Mallard, one of several Great Blue Heron and a Hooded Merganser.

Lots of Varied Thrush!  The more inclement the weather, the more these guys show up.

Song Sparrow down getting a drink.  A little later in the day, heard there were a couple of snipe and a small flock of shorebirds, possibly Dunlin in this same area.  Will have to watch for them.

and back in the yard....who would have thought, back when I started blogging this area, that one of the most commonly seen birds any day during the winter would be.....

a hummingbird!  This male Anna's was standing guard over one of the feeders in the yard today....and not the heated one.

Yesterday, although chilly, we had a nice walk over along the dyke...

the big flock of Cackling Geese was fluctuating back and forth from the river to the fields and back to the river

it was a little choppy out on the water, which is why they were hanging close to shore.

some swans were in the fields but most were sheltering way over on the far side of the bay out of any wind.

Since it was a bit breezy, there wasn't much to see in the way of small birds,

but this Steller's Jay posed nicely in the sunshine.

and we will just post this to see how things progress for then next couple of months, snow, cold....who knows!

Friday, December 17, 2021

Starting to feel like winter

 I've got a few days to catch up on!  

Tuesday, the 14th was just a perfect day for walking....

all of the fields were just full of geese, hundreds if not thousands of them.

there was a real mix of the regular Canada Geese...

and the smaller (dare we say 'cuter'?) Cackling Geese

even more were taking off and flying about over head.

there were a few eagles around, like this guy, not sure if he was drying out or 'catching the rays'!

In one area, there were Spotted Towhee eating the berries of the native Common Snowberry shrub.


a cold wind had us walking the less exposed direction, still there wasn't much to see except for this selection...

in a sheltered spot...a couple of male Common Merganser right in front, a bunch of Mallard and one lone American Coot in the middle.

Today....the temperature never really went above freezing...

but it was a pleasant surprise to see so many waterfowl sheltering on this side of the river and bay.

Trumpeter Swans, Canada Geese and an American Wigeon in this photo...

More of everything here, with a Bufflehead and Mallard in there as well.  

it seemed the Canada Geese were on the river....

while the Cackling were sticking to the fields.

Mid-afternoon, decided to head over to the park...

definitely a wintery cast to the estuary

frost flowers....

got to the log bay and could see a bird perched in the willow bush there....figured it was a blackbird but it didn't act like a Red-wing, nor could I see any red wing just snapped photos and figured I'd figure it out when I got home.

and to my surprise it was a Rusty Blackbird!  Rare at the best of times.  I have never seen one here this time of the year before.  It goes to show, you just never know what you might see!