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Monday, January 23, 2017

Green........and Gold!

With weather returning to what we normally expect this time of the year here at the estuary, we headed over for a walk at Harrison Bay....


and notice the green fields!!!  just a few tiny frozen bits of snow left.  Oh, and of course the Canada Geese feeding off the green grass.



Very calm and quiet out there.  There were about 50 swans way over at the edge of the bay but not much of anything else.


looking the other way, more green fields with just a bit of snow left in the shady spots....again though, very, very quiet in the bird department.


the Bald Eagle pair were perched close to their nest....


her is one of them....


and her is the other....

There were a lot of Black Cap Chickadees, could hear them but trying to spot them was virtually impossible.  Also heard a Downy Woodpecker and a Song Sparrow singing....


Several Spotted Towhee were scratching about, this was the only one that stopped long enough for a picture.


but here was the pleasant surprise for the day....a Gold-crowned Sparrow.  Of course at this time of the year the 'gold' on the crown of the head is pretty pale, it will take a couple of months before it turns brilliant yellow.

Friday, January 20, 2017

The estuary after four days of rain

After 4 days of rain and warmer, as in above freezing temperatures, the sun shone this morning so we set out for a walk....


what snow this was there was a little icy as we'd had a touch of freezing rain over night.


not looking nearly as white is it?  Pretty quiet out there though, just a few ducks here and there...


here is the first bay....slightly more water but not as much as one would think, probably because out here, at least it really didn't get all that warm.  When it was 11 C in Vancouver it was 5 C here.


there have been quite a few Bald Eagles around the last few days now that the rotting fish are uncovered and thawed.  This was one of the few adults as most in the area are young ones.


like this guy on the shore at the log bay.  Quite a few gulls around too.


you can see that water levels have come up to a degree.  Before the rain started there was no water visible out there.


Fair bit of activity out there though!


and we will leave with one more juvenile eagle, this guy right over head.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Soggy

We tried to get for a walk over at Harrison Bay today, between downpours.  


looks a bit different doesn't it?  Snow and ice disappearing rapidly.


everything is soggy and dripping and that included the sky because the break in the weather didn't last long.


you can tell from this photo of some American Coots, that it was beginning to pour again.


cut the walk short but did spot this female Downy Woodpecker....


and this Spotted Towhee....

and I'm sorry if this photo upsets anyone....


but this is why I have a problem with duck hunting....if you simply must go out and kill something, at least make use of it....don't just kill for the sake of killing!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Before the rain arrives

One of the things I find fascinating about the Chehalis Estuary is how rapidly it can change, so with a weather forecast predicting the first warmish temperatures in days and lots of rain, took the opportunity to take a walk over to the park today to sort of 'set the scene' so we can all watch with interest to see what happens over the next few days, since with higher temperatures it won't just be raining and melting the snow down here, it will be doing it up in the mountains as well.

So let's set out....


here we are at the beginning....compact snow all the way to the water's edge, or rather ice's edge as it is pretty much still all frozen.


across the 'grasslands' and what is surprising here is we are walking on top of some very deep drifted snow, has to be 3 or 4 feet deep in places.


the 'high and dry' first bay...


and adult Bald Eagle over seeing the area.


and now the 'high and dry' log bay where there was actually a fair amount of activity...


including Dark eyed Junco like this guy, Fox and Song Sparrows....


a pretty little Mew Gull.....


there was a flock of European Starling, and also some Red-wing Blackbirds (none in this photo) that kept going down to the bay for a bath.  A northern flicker was also in the same tree.



looking that way it appears very dry and barren....


but looking closer, there are are a couple of juvenile Bald Eagles out there...

and I'll close with one more eagle photo...


this guy landed right in front of me while I was wrestling my dog away from yet another stinky 'fish bit'.

I don't expect I'll get over here for a few days now so we shall all watch with interest to see how, or if, the scene changes.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Cormorants and hunters

With temperatures moderating somewhat we decided to go for a walk over at Harrison Bay....something try to avoid on weekends as it is much quieter during the week.  There were actually several hardy people camping....smart too, tucked in under the trees and not out in the more open areas.


there was a large flock of Canada Geese in one of the fields....


a closer look and you can see the snow has compressed down so they can get to the grass beneath.


it looked pretty quiet out there.....


and the reason becomes obvious in this photo.  Unfortunately, hunting is not illegal in this area but have to say I find the age of one of the above a bit disturbing.

there had been a pair...


of eagles at their nest....until gun shots scared them away.

Back at the other side of the bridge...


nearly every set of piling.....


were sporting Double-crested Cormorant......


some American Wigeon and an American Coot (bottom left)...


and further out the Trumpeter Swans continue....also that one lone juvenile Bald Eagle....hopefully he isn't frozen in place 😀

Friday, January 13, 2017

Local scenes

They are saying the weather is about to change....and I think we are all ready for it.  Didn't get out for a walk today but did stop at the bridge to take a few quick shots....


there were actually a couple of guys in hip waders fishing down there.


lots of Trumpeter Swans and assorted waterfowl out there.


now we are on the other side.....the cloud moved in today but it was still minus 5, feeling like minus 11, at least according to the weather app....and I know it sure felt colder today


think I counted 79 swans in this photo...one Bald Eagle on the ice.  The Backyard Bird Count is coming up in 3 weeks or so....wonder if the swans will still all be around?

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Deroche slough

Think it has been a week since my last post.  Weather has continued clear and cold, really cold! so haven't been anywhere for a walk, but what we did do today, while on our way to Mission, was take a short side trip down the side of the Deroche slough...


temperature at the time was minus 7 Celsius....that is without the wind chill.  Like every other body of water in the area, most of the slough is frozen over so any areas of open water have a high concentration of waterfowl.


a lot of Trumpeter Swans (possibly some Tundras but none that I can say for sure)...and every sort of duck you can think of....


like Buffleheads (lot's of little Buffleheads - 2 male and a female here), American Coot (top middle) and Gadwall


Bufflehead and Gadwall here again...


We've got a Canvasback here in the lower left corner, and right in the middle, a Ring-neck Duck


Hooded merganser...in this case a pair....


even a Pied-bill Grebe....


but mainly lot's of swans snoozing on the ice....


or resting on the snowy shore.

Will leave you with one more sleepy swan photo...