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Sunday, February 19, 2017

Backyard Bird Count day 3

Definitely not an exciting count day, although with better weather than predicted we did return to Harrison Bay for a walk...


where it was very, very quiet


the one exciting find was this White-crowned Sparrow....the first of the season!

Also heard, and spotted this...


male Downy Woodpecker....but there were several more in the area.

and of course...


there were a few pairs of Northwestern Crows visible.


and speaking of 'visible'....lets hope this is the last snow we'll see for this season at least!

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Backyard Bird Count Day 2

As planned we set off today to count birds at the Deroche slough.  Started off by driving down the west side, for some reasons a great many photos I took today were 'fuzzy', partly due to the dull light and the fact most were taken from an idling diesel truck - not a good combination, so I don't have too many photos....


this one of a male Gadwall turned out....there were a lot of Gadwall ducks, also Ring-neck Ducks, Buffleheads, Common Merganser, Mallard, etc.  

The exciting find for the day was....


this Northern Shrike!  A species you can go years without seeing and this is the second one we've seen in the last couple of weeks.



The other side of the slough was very quiet....we couldn't do the usual drive down the dike as there were trees down across it....remnants of the freezing rain I guess.  

We stopped at one spot and spotted this....


Great Blue Heron posing beside a stashed canoe....

and another little hooked billed bird...


this American Kestrel on a wire....

were also a few....


Trumpeter Swans and if you look close there are some Mallard and Ring-Neck Ducks hiding in the grasses.

After returning home took a damp walk over to 


the log bay where there wasn't much of anything except some Red-wing Blackbirds in the tops of the poplar trees.

Not sure where we will head tomorrow.....but wherever it is, will report what, if anything, we find.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Backyard Bird Count Day 1

Turned out to be a beautiful spring like day for the first day of the 4 day Backyard Bird Count.


this was the scene this morning and as you can see the snow is now gone and the water levels have risen, thanks to all the rain we've had the last few days.  It was very quiet in the bird department, only item of note....


was this American Robin, one of several, returning right on schedule in mid-February.

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


where it was also very calm and quiet with water levels considerably higher than they were a week ago.


the resident pair of Bald Eagle were there.....


at least until one of them decided to fly to their nest.


the field's beside the dike were full of Canada Geese.....

but the most notable items was....


the number of Great Blue Heron in the area....22 to be exact.  One on nearly everyone of those pilings...


and a few more of them along the shore.

So tomorrow we will go out and see what we can see again, probably at Deroche and on Nicomen this time.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Banded Bird....and birds eating birds....

Finally the weather has stabilized and today was almost spring like.  The morning started off interesting as when my husband went for his normal walk at the estuary he noticed some blood drops on the snow, which led him to...


the remains of this young hawk....we weren't sure if it was a Sharp Shin or a Coopers.  Not sure what would kill a hawk....would an eagle do that?  Don't know.  All that remained of the bird was the tail, wings, legs and head.  The bird was banded (#1115-06737) so I reported it and from that learned that it was a Cooper's Hawk.  Will be interesting to find out where it was banded.

So this afternoon we went over to Harrison Bay...


the first time since the latest spat of winter weather.


I really don't know much about Northwestern Crows but they are obviously starting to pair up as this was just one of a couple of pairs we saw.


way out in the fields there were a lot of Canada Geese and other waterfowl.


a few of the regulars were out enjoying the sunshine like this Spotted Towhee...

while out on the bay itself...



that Bald Eagle was definitely hunting the American Coots while a few Swans watched from the ice.

the following photo was taken by my husband on one of the really miserable weather days we had last week.  When he drove by he counted over twenty...


Great Blue Heron in this field.  By the time he got back and pulled over, only a few were  left.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Freezing rain

This never ending winter has thrown everything at us, including freezing rain....


here is the scene early this afternoon when we had a brief break in the weather.  After watching the news we got off lucky compared to some places...


but still everything was encased in ice.


all day we've been hearing tree's and branches breaking up on the hillside.

It has been very busy at the feeders...


lot's of Varied Thrush....counted 17 which considering it is also a Project feeder watch day is a good thing!.

Had a couple of unusual visitors too including...


a Pine Siskin ~ just one, which is strange for a species that is normally found in large flocks...

and most exciting....


a Northern Shrike!  Haven't seen one of these winter visitors for several years.

So hopefully this is it.  Hopefully once the present rain is finished we will be finished with all the extreme weather and be able to get back into some sort of routine.  After all, a week tomorrow is the Backyard Bird Count.  We want to be able to get out there so we can do some counting.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Snow, snow and more snow

Woke to clear blue skies and sunshine this morning so ventured out...


this is about as close as we could get.  Moments before it had been a white out as the winds were blowing snow straight up here.

We had to run into town so took a few photos along the way...


here was the scene at the Deroche slough...


blowing snow pretty much all the way across Nicomen Island


and since this is a 'bird' site....here are some birds....Northwestern Crows and a Gull at these over flowing dumpsters.


heading back here is one of the blueberry fields.


and the Deroche slough on the other side.

So, more snow (hopefully the last) predicted for tomorrow, and then freezing rain which could be a real nightmare if it materializes and then rain....then maybe we will get back to normal.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Snowmaggedon

It started snowing about 7:00 am Friday, February 3rd.  It is now 7:00 pm, Saturday, February 4th...and it is still snowing...and apparently will continue until at least some time on Monday.


this was as close as we got to the estuary today.  This was about noon....so there is no doubt a lot more than this shows by now.

Feeders were very busy today...


it wasn't a bird count day which is probably a good thing as no one would believe the numbers if we sent them in.  Come to think of it, I might just do a count for E-bird tomorrow....just because!



Lot's of Varied Thrush....


some Purple Finch...


even had a Eurasian Collared Dove show up.  Luckily we have a good supply of bird seed on hand as well as most of a case of suet.  Looks like we are going to need it.