Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Last day of spring

Yesterday we finally got for a walk again on what was the last full day of spring....

weather was pretty much as it has been this and cloudy...

and my worse fears had been realized....they'd mowed the sides of the dike.  At least this year they left a strip in the middle which is an improvement but I have to wonder how many bird nests were destroyed in this process!

as has been lately, lots of bird calls but hard to see in all the foliage.  This male Tree Swallow did pose nicely.  We suspect there is a nest in a rotten branch near by.

several Song Sparrows were seen along the route.

not sure if this European Starling was gathering food or not.  It looks more like nesting material.  Perhaps they have more than one clutch a year....not sure.

this White-crowned Sparrow had a mouthful of obviously another active nest nearby.

the mystery of the Bald Eagle nest continues.  This adult was perched near the nest and was soaking wet.  It hadn't been raining so it must have been in the water for some reason, perhaps fishing.  Could hear another eagle calling, I think from the nest, but couldn't swear to it.

Common Yellowthroat were calling from all over....spotted this male....

and a female.

There were a number of young...

Northwestern Crow as well.  What was concerning was no sign of the Spotted Sandpiper that had been leading us away from his nest the last few walks we had taken.  We will hope that the young had hatched but given the location and where the mower had been, I suspect that there was a  less happy ending.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Another evening walk

No two walks are ever the same and last evenings walk proved that....

we set out about the same time from the same place.  The evening before there had been so many swallows of every description flying around while last night there were only a few but we did see this male Northern Flicker just as we set out.

and this male Mallard down in a swampy bit.

I've mentioned the large flocks of European Starling flying around....this shows part of one of the flocks, however....

some are still busy with nesting duties...this adult was busy taking food to it's family....and speaking of families...

it would appear that both Osprey nest hatched on the same day...there is at least one little head visible at this one...must take binoculars next time for a better look.

Things at the....

Bald Eagle nest got even more confusing as both adults were perched near the nest and at one point when the nest wasn't actually visible, did hear a bit of a ruckus so still don't know if there are young in it or not.

found yet another fledgling White-crowned Sparrow so that makes 3 families so far.

lots of Canada Geese in the fields but have yet to see any young ones.

lots of Cedar Waxwing....

and saw one of the Lazuli Bunting...

there were a number of Rufous hummingbirds...this one feeding from the Viper's Bugloss flowers.

and the pair of Black-headed Grosbeak were in basically the same location the female had been at the night before.  The male was more cooperative for a photo last night.

Water levels have dropped so hopefully the campground will be open again shortly and we will be able to park in the parking lot next time we head over there.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Evening Walk

For years I've tried to walk at about the same time of the day thinking that gives a good comparison of what is happening, year to year.  This year it seems, either due to weather or husbands volunteer job, that isn't happening as much.....and given how productive this evening walk was....that is probably a good thing!

it had been cloudy and unseasonably cool all day and continued to be so as we started out....that hedgerow area though was alive....

first thing we noticed were baby bunnies....well more specifically young Snow Shoe Hare.  At least 3 of them were leaving the shelter of the bushes and running across the dike.  Whether these are related to the one I posted a photo of a couple of months ago or not I don't know.  These were at the opposite end of the dike.

The Common Yellowthroat didn't hold still for a photo but this American Goldfinch male did.

and then I spotted something really exciting....

a male Lazuli Bunting!  It is probably at least 15 years since I've seen one of these in this area and this one wasn't alone.  There appeared to be at least 2 pairs.  In recent years a breeding population has established at Island 22 which is across the Fraser River so given that this is very similar habitat it is quite possible they could establish one here.  We will cross our fingers and hope!

a bit further along this Spotted Sandpiper had led the way down the dike until he felt we were far enough away from where his partner is nesting, and then flew up in a tree until we had passed.  Have seen this behavior with them here other years as well.

Further along could hear a commotion....sounded like a baby bird begging for food

when we got there....not a baby but a female Cedar Waxwing.  This is a mating ritual with Waxwings, the male feeds the female or often they play 'pass the berry'....notice that the berries in this case are not yet ripe Red Elderberry.

this female was very insistent about the feeding part!

still none the wiser as to what is going on at the Bald Eagle nest.  This adult was perched close by....and not a sound from the nest itself.

haven't seen a Red-wing Blackbird for a while...this male flew up out of the marshy area in the adjacent field where there are countless birds nesting.

while this Song Sparrow obviously has a family close by, judging from the mouthful of bugs.

more American Goldfinch on the way back, here a pair....Goldfinch aren't even thinking about nesting yet.  Like the Cedar Waxwing (who are at least working on it), they are late nesters.

on the other hand, there are now 2 White crowned Sparrow families (adult on left, fledgling on right)


proof now that yes, Savannah Sparrows did nest is a fledgling....

with one of the parents close by.

but let's post another photo of one of those male Lazuli Bunting!

and more bunnies frolicking in the late sunshine (finally!)...

and just to prove that green 'Red Elderberries' must be tasty...

a female Black-headed Grosbeak was also munching on them, even though there was a bush with ripe ones not all that far away.

as we ended the walk...

this American Robin was singing it's evening song.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Morning walk

With another hot day forecast we decided to go for our walk right after breakfast...

with the parking lot where we normally park still underwater, we started from the opposite end....and as you can see it was absolutely beautiful!

not too far along we spotted this fledgling White-crowned Sparrow....on the way back, one of the parents was busy feeding it.

the Savannah Sparrow was singing a bit further along...expect to see some babies soon. Spotted Sandpiper and Common Yellowthroat were heard but not as visible as last time.

there was one adult Bald Eagle perched near the.....

nest, but again no sound or activity....keep thinking that if they had abandoned it, the one wouldn't still be near.  I guess only time will tell what is going on.

the Viper's Bugloss is in full flower right now.  

I sure hope they don't mow it all down like they did last year....but not holding my breath on that!

there were some Canada Geese on the river and more in the fields..still haven't seen a young one.

Osprey still sitting on nests....should be hatching soon.

Cedar Waxwing are just starting to build nests...this one has some of the fluff from the Cottonwood trees....makes great nest lining.

and here is a Yellow of several seen.  Also should mention there were large flocks of European Starling flying back and forth from the trees and the farm fields....obviously their nesting duties are over for the season.