Sitemeter

Sunday, May 22, 2016

May long weekend

Well it is the middle of the May long weekend and the weather hasn't exactly been spectacular but is what we need....cool, cloudy and showery...  Took advantage and went for a walk over at Harrison Bay...


very green and gray!  Could hear a Spotted Sandpiper down there somewhere but couldn't find it.


there were quite a few White-crowned Sparrows and notice that the berries of these Red-elderberry bushes have already been eaten.


she is pretty hard to see but there is a female Common Yellowthroat down there in the grasses.  Could hear quite a few of them.


American Robins too...this one is perched on one of the branches that blew down last winter and ended up in the fallow corn field...and is now rooting and growing...

and speaking of robins....


here is the first fledgling of the season.

Saw a pair of Bullock's orioles, as well as a female Black-headed Grosbeak.  The Bald Eagle pair were there, from their activity I'd say she is still sitting on eggs.  There is an Osprey sitting on a nest too. 


there was a pair of Black-capped Chickadees being very busy, making me suspect they might have a family nearby.

and flower wise....


the Viper's Bugloss was just starting to come into flower.

Now, wanted to mention that a neighbour had a Black-chinned Hummingbird at their feeder.  Wish I'd seen it!  We have a lot of....


Rufous Hummingbirds around right now, including the first crop of babies like this little guy...

and...



the Anna's Hummingbirds...like this male. (sorry about the photo quality - best I've managed) but would have loved to have seen the Black Chinned.

Now unless something really spectacular happens tomorrow this will probably be the last posting for a while as we are heading off again to see what we can see.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

A short paddle

This afternoon we decided to throw the canoe in the water and go for a short paddle....


the way the water levels are dropping figured better go while the going was good!


Several Canada Goose families were not amused and quickly moved their goslings into the safety of the long grass.


there was a Bald Eagle perched out on one of the partially submerged logs.


spotted this female Hooded Merganser hiding along the shore.


we were a bit concerned that there was no activity or any sign at all of any Purple Martins.  Had to remind ourselves that it is only mid-May, perhaps it is too early yet.


at least the Bullock's Orioles are here - this female was busy on the shore, probably gathering nesting materials.


a pleasant surprise was finding a number of Evening Grosbeaks....none of which were too cooperative about picture taking.


and lot's of Red-wing Blackbirds....think most females are still sitting on nests...  Birds seen but no pictures of were Tree Swallows, Barn Swallows, Turkey Vultures, and Osprey.


Earlier in the day took this photo of an American Robin having a bath in the boat launch.....and have to finish with a photo of these.....


native Foxgloves!  They are just spectacular right now.  These were growing on the bank.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Fifteen minutes by the water

Spent fifteen minutes sitting by the water at the boat launch today....as I approached a pair of Common Merganser had swum by....seemed strange that a male would still be in the area but then had to remember it is only the middle of May...


as you can see it was a cool, cloudy day and at first it seemed there was nothing around but then...


a pair of Canada Geese headed onto this submerged log...


then these two flew down to get a drink....I think it is probably 'mom' Red-wing Blackbird with a youngster as they nest really early.


apologies for the quality of this photo...but speaking of 'mom' or for that matter 'dad' this Bushtit was one of a pair very busy....probably with a nest-full of young ones not too far away.


meanwhile there were several Barn Swallows gathering mouthfuls of mud and nesting materials.


Spotted Towhee were very busy too but not co-operative about having their picture taken so this was the best I could do.


this pair of Eurasian Collared Dove were trying to get brave enough to come down for a drink and finally did so, just in time for someone to walk by and send them flying off again....but considering we'd (my dog and I) had only been there a few minutes, it was a pretty productive bird visit.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Home for a bit

After a month having a great time experiencing spring in some other areas of the province, we are home for a week or two...


water levels are about where one would expect them to be this time of the year...the scary part is that normally one would be expecting them to continue to rise, where in fact they have apparently peaked....like everything else it seems we are a month ahead of schedule.

Since there is no where to actually walk here, we headed over to Harrison Bay this afternoon....


No beach these days and everything very green and lush compared to last time we were here.  Being mid afternoon and very windy it wasn't the best day for viewing birds...


was trying to see if the Bald Eagle nest was occupied....couldn't tell when suddenly an Osprey flew a little too close to it and....


  this guy suddenly appeared and chased it off while his mate cheered him on from the nest...nice!

Noticed a few...


American Robins...this one obviously packing food - in this case a ripe Salmonberry - to a nest....hadn't noticed at the time that the bird only has one leg.


Normally, but now, this field has been plowed and planted....it appears this year it is being allowed to lay fallow which I am sure all the local birds and wildlife are loving!!!  Notice the healthy hedgerow of...


Himalayan Blackberries....just coming into flower...now for the scary part...these blackberries are supposed to be a late summer crop...they shouldn't be in flower in mid May!


Neither should the Hardhack be coming into flower for another month or so...


and the Nootka Roses should be just coming into flower...not being almost finished flowering which seems to be the case.

Back to birds...



this Black-capped Chickadee was very busy eating little bugs from the fruit of this local shrub that I have to find out for sure what it is.....

and now, I have to give kudos where they are due...following the major windstorm that the area experienced last fall a fatal accident that took place, not through any single event but due to a combination of events, there was a fear that a lot more of the mature tree's in the are were going to be removed....I was extremely relieved to see that common sense prevailed and...



the tree's were limbed but left....the birds thank you!

Saturday, April 9, 2016

It's that time of the year

Water levels are rising dramatically.....the estuary is no more and is turning into a seasonal lake and it is time for us to hit the road and do some traveling of our own....not sure when we'll be back, it may not be until late June....so don't expect any updates for the next month or so....see you in summer.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Rising water

It is that time of the year....went for a walk one day, the path was bone dry...


24 hours later it was under water!  A combination of warm weather then some heavy rain had it's effect....whether levels will drop again or whether this is it and levels will continue to climb - only time will tell.

We attempted a walk over at Harrison Bay yesterday between downpours....


the wind was so strong that there were white caps on the bay and nothing much in the way of birds although we did spot the first Brown headed Cowbirds of the season.


all winter it seems all area Eurasian collared Doves hung out at Kilby but now they have spread out and we are seeing, and hearing them all over the area.


not a great photo...but does show that American Goldfinch are back although not in great numbers yet.  Rufous Hummingbirds are still pretty sparse too.  White crowned Sparrows have been seen the last few days....pretty much right on time.

Expecting a Band Tail Pigeon to show up any day now.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Swan????

If someone had just told me that there was a swan at the boat launch this morning I would have figured it was an April fools joke....


but see that white dot out there.....


it is a young Trumpeter Swan!  I wonder if it is the one we were seeing back in the fall that seemed to be all on it's own although it hung around with another family.  Swans have pretty much all headed north now, will be interesting to see if this one stays or manages to find it's way north on its own.

The last few days have been record breaking in the heat department with temperatures in the low 20's....


it is amazing how much everything has leafed out in just a few days...that of course is a male Red-wing Blackbird.


it has been quite quiet bird wise, at least as far as a variety of species.  There are lot's of Tree Swallows, with a few Violet Green mixed in.  A few American Goldfinch have been spotted and there was just 1 Pine Siskin one day.  Rufous Hummingbirds are still being elusive...have seen one a couple of times but certainly in the numbers you'd expect by now.

The other evening...


this Great Blue Heron flew in and proceeded to do some fishing in front of us.