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Thursday, March 23, 2017

Now it feels like spring!

Today it looked and felt like spring!


not completely crystal clear blue sky but more than we've seen for a long time and the first day it actually felt warm.


Tree Swallows were out in force....


as were European Starlings....these busy feeding along the blackberry brambles but there were lots of pairs of them seeking out nesting sites in the trees along the shoreline

When I took this picture...


I thought it would have to be X rated....but now I think it was more a battle over a nesting site.


and speaking of nests....one of the Bald Eagles was at the nest, while the other was close by.

Now last post I said I 'thought'....


there had been some Western Meadowlarks?  Well turned out I was right because they were there today too.  Counted 21 of them....this was the only photo I managed though.  What I hadn't seen the day I thought the meadowlarks were there, were Mountain Bluebirds.  Apparently there had been 4 of them that day.

Back to checking out nesting sites though...


a pair of Pileated Woodpecker were checking out this tree.


there were a few Eurasian Collared Dove....not as many as there have been all winter because they have now spread out all over the area.

and the most exciting news?  They're back.....


pretty much right on schedule.....the first Rufous Hummingbird males showed up today.


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Pacific Wren

Yet another dreary damp day....


just like every other day so far this month.

Very quiet....


this Red-wing Blackbird was one of the few birds seen....

however considering the other bird was....


this Pacific Wren and it actually stayed still long enough for a photo....I guess the walk was worth it.

Am constantly being reminded of how far behind everything is this year, at least as compared to the last couple....


these are the flower buds of a native plant, Mahonia or Oregon Grape (also grown as a garden cultivar)....I took this photo today.

here is the same plant, in the same location, on the same date last year....


in full flower.....

Monday, March 20, 2017

It's spring!

It's spring!  Officially that is....


it wasn't exactly clear blue skies and sunshine and it wasn't exactly 'warm' ....but it didn't rain (or snow - although it had yesterday morning!).....so we'll take it.  This was in the morning and there were Tree Swallows happily flying about over head but not much else to be seen.

After lunch we headed over to Harrison Bay....


where everything is becoming very 'green'.....and I have to say I have never seen as many...


American Robins in one place in my life!  There were robins everywhere you looked...


some European Starlings as well.....mixed in with the robins...


there was also a large flock, a hundred or so, Red-wing Blackbirds moving through the trees up along the river.  There have been blackbirds in the area all winter, but judging from the actions of these ones, I'd guess this was a migrant flock moving through...


here was one of them, he'd stopped long enough to do some calling.

Speaking of 'migrants'....we saw a small flock of we think Western Meadowlarks....they acted like meadowlarks, but we didn't hear any calls and they were down in the field, flew a short distance and disappeared down in the grass again....

What we did see was...


the first Turkey Vulture of the season.  There were also a couple of small hawks flying around which explains the lack of small birds....they'd all be busy hiding.

As for the....


Bald Eagles.....still not sure what is happening.....this one was near the nest...


and we'll end with another of those robins.....

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Waiting for some sunshine

A couple more days of hoping to see some sunshine....and being disappointed.  At least the rain let up enough to get for a walk over to the park this afternoon....


was pretty quiet except for....


this pair of Canada Geese....


and this pair of Mallard....


and surprisingly, a pair of Northwestern Crow.  This one was poking about the shore...


while this one remained perched.....both were calling back in forth in soft calls that almost sounded like the mewing of a cat!


as the rain had let up a few small birds were starting to emerge as we walked back along the trail...


Spotted Towhee....and saw a Pacific Wren but too quick for a photo...


speaking of 'quick'....there were a few Gold-crowned Kinglets and I actually managed to get a photo of this one....not a great photo, but better than I normally manage.  I've been watching for Ruby crowned Kinglets because they are are about the first of the migrants to show up, but so far haven't seen one.


there were a couple of Black-capped Chickadees down low in the bushes. Wondered why this one was being so cooperative....now I see why....it was having a snooze!



So I guess this is a step in the right direction....first 'after supper' walk of the season.


and look ~ there is some blue sky and sunshine!  Please may it stick around.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Wren again

The day started out showery....


but cleared up about lunchtime....


couldn't say it was actually sunny, but it got close when we headed over for our walk at Harrison Bay.

Quiet at first but then the regulars started showing up...


American Robins.....lots of robins...


and Song Sparrows....



and Spotted Towhee - look closely at this one....looks to be nesting material in it's beak.  Not surprising, like the Song Sparrows, these guys nest early.


I thought at first this was another Song Sparrow, but no, it is a Fox Sparrow....and it too seems to have nesting material in its mouth.  While we are talking nests....I think the eagles are now nesting....only one adult was visible today but it was greeted when it flew to the nest...


Downy Woodpeckers were busy again, as were Black Capped Chickadees.  Saw a couple of Northern Flicker but not where I could get a picture....however, the most exciting find again was....



a Bewick's Wren.  Unfortunately this photo isn't in focus but you can tell it is what it is...in fact we saw another pair of them at the same brush pile I'd seen them at last year so I am assuming that must be a nesting site.  Will have to keep an eye on it.  Ideally I should just sit and watch but with an impatient husband and pair of dogs, that doesn't work.

One last note....as I've said before, native plants are extremely important and this year they are all behind schedule...


the flowers of this Indian Plum are just starting to open....another couple of days, especially if we can get some sunshine, they should be open. Still no signs of any Salmon berries....last year they were in flower by the end of February.  



Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Rising water

The weather wasn't as nice as hoped for but it did let up enough to get out for a walk...


and boy, has the water come up!  Here is the 'first bay'


and here is the log bay.  Time will tell if this is the start of the seasonal rising water or if this is just a short term event due to all the rain and melting snow due to the higher temperatures.

As for birds....well most noticeably were...


the Red-wing Blackbirds....now starting to stake out territories.


a few American Robins....


and lot's of Dark-eyed Junco.  Almost stepped on a Hairy Woodpecker....but of course when that happens, by the time I grab the camera the birds taken off.



This Fox Sparrow was scratching about....won't be seeing these larger, chunky sparrows much longer....at least until next fall.

A bit of a surprise was..


a pair of Great Blue Heron flying about.  At first I thought they were going to land in one of the 'eagle trees' but they circled about and this one landed on this piling....



the second thought it would try too, but ended up landing on the shore close by.  Every year I hope a few might start a heronry in the area, but so far no luck.  Rumor has it that there used to be one in this area before it was developed.

Also heard Killdeer today ~ of course with the water levels rising any birds out on the flats are now condensed into a smaller area so a better chance of seeing them.  Also heard a Ruffed Grouse drumming.  Spring is definitely in the air.