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Monday, April 20, 2015

Warm again

Well the warmth is back, got to 23 degrees today....


and the water is still gone.  Actually it is where it should be about this time of the year, just that it should be creeping up to this level, not just having dropped back.  Should note that there have been Greater Yellowlegs Sandpipers out there the last few days, could barely spot them at a distance but have been able to hear them.

Walked over at Harrison Bay today as well....


was very calm with not a lot of bird activity although there were Tree Swallows flying about over head....


That dark on top of the pilings is the head of a Canada Goose, no doubt sitting on a nest.


this White-crowned Sparrow was about the only co-operative bird we met.  Will mention that the Osprey are back as well but haven't managed a picture of one yet.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Role reversal

Back in February we were saying it looked and felt like April.  Now it is April, we are getting weather and temperatures more suited to February!  It has been cooler and there has been more snow on all the surrounding hills these past few days than we've since early December.


and another thing that has happened is all that water that was here when it really shouldn't have been....


is now disappearing....at this rate we should be able to walk over to the park again in a few days....although for how long will be any bodies guess!


Yesterday we walked over at Harrison Bay, in the rain, pretty sure there is a Canada Goose nesting on the other side of that little bay in the distance and there is an Osprey building a nest on a piling in a location pretty much impossible to get a picture of.


This Gold-crowned Sparrow was in the hedgerow yesterday, not quite in full breeding colour yet.


The pair of White-crowned Sparrow were at the same location as last time we were here so I'm pretty sure this must be a pair planning to stay and nest rather than moving on.


Just arriving back for the season are the Brown-headed Cowbirds, this one being a female. 

Monday, April 6, 2015

Easter has come and gone

Easter, for this year, has come and gone already....didn't have enough from any one day to do a complete report so will just post some random photos from over the long weekend.


We'll start with a photo of the very full 'log bay'.  This was the first time I've been over to the park since the water levels rose.  Water levels, by the way, have dropped slightly the last couple of days, due to cooler overnight temperatures which also brought snow to the local mountain tops.


Love this photo which shows the high water in the other direction.

Was pleased to see....


that the Black-capped Chickadees were still hanging about at the nesting site we reported on a few weeks ago.


Now on Easter Sunday itself these extra large 'Easter Bunnies' were,  apart from multitudes of people, the only 'wild life' we saw when we ventured over to the Harrison Bay area. 

Today we returned to a much quieter scene...


along the bay and river....apart from quite a few Canada Geese in the fields and a few Bufflehead out on the river, plus one Belted Kingfisher that wouldn't cooperate for a picture the only birds we saw were....


some European Starling....


and this White-crowned Sparrow busy singing it's little heart out from a blackberry bramble.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Water and Wood Duck

Last day of March and as predicted.....


water levels are now so high this is as close as we can get to the estuary.  It doesn't normally look like this until mid-May!  Just as I took this shot....


this female Wood Duck came swimming out of the bushes...followed by another female and a pair of males....they didn't stay around long, I was lucky to get this shot.

Yesterday we walked over at Kilby....


there isn't much beach left over there either.


this trio of Common Merganser (1 male and 2 female) were swimming along right against the shoreline.

and it was rather amusing to watch this....


Canada Goose riding this floating log down the river.


the Common Loon that have been spending the winter in this area are finally starting to change into their breeding colour.  Seems a bit late to me.


Saturday, March 28, 2015

Water and Warbler

Water levels continue to climb.....


day before yesterday, this is where it was at.....


then after last nights rain, here is where it presently sits.  I suspect after the next rain storm, which is slated to hit tonight, we will no longer be able to stand at this spot and look across this view.  Walking to the park is a distant memory and obviously isn't going to happen again for the foreseeable future.

Once the rain let up this morning we walked over at Kilby....


it was windy and stormy and I thought we'd get soaked, but we lucked out...however you can see white caps out there on Harrison Bay and how muddy it was along the edges.

With the wind there weren't many birds....


I did spot this female Varied Thrush....not exactly being co-operative!  A few more weeks and these guys should disappear again until the fall, in fact a friend who live in northern Alberta had one in her yard last week, she'd never seen one before and wondered what it was.


as some birds leave, others arrive...the first Yellow-rump Warbler of the season....not a clear photo but the only one I got.  Should mention that the Rufous Hummingbirds have arrived, not in great numbers yet but have seen both male and female.


this Spotted Towhee was the only other bird we saw apart from numerous Canada Geese in the fields and on the river. 


of course there are American Robin's pretty much everywhere right now....


and I wish I could have caught the male Anna's Hummingbird that was dive bombing this male Red-wing Blackbird but he didn't stay still enough to get a photo.

With the water levels this high we're hoping to get out in the canoe soon, weather permitting.  It should be very interesting as we've certainly never had water like this at this time of the year before, at least as long as we've lived here.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Interesting day....

Weather forecast was for fairly nice weather, at least until mid-afternoon....so


started out doing a bit in the yard and getting a few pictures like of this Pine Siskin...


and this Dark-eyed Junco....and then we decided to go for a longer walk over at....


Harrison Bay....notice the snowline on the mountains in the background....the lowest it has been for a while.


lots of Canada Geese scattered all across the adjacent farm fields.


American Robins were  much in evidence....


There were a few Tree Swallows flying around...this one settled on a wire long enough to get a distant shot.


was thrilled to see some activity at the Bald Eagle nest.  It is hard to see but they had sticks and were working on the nest....of course by the time they get down to business the tree will be leafed out and we won't be able to see anything.


back near home we took this shot, just to show the water levels....


this pair of Canada Geese are perched in the lower left hand corner of the above photo.

Back at home in the afternoon....


this 'intergrade' Northern Flicker showed up with the black 'moustache' of the yellow shafted and the normal coloration of the red shafted.


then a bit later, looked out and there were two Band-tail Pigeons at the tray feeder with an Eurasian Collared Dove perched on a branch above.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Spring

Today was the first full day of spring but seems our spring weather has deserted us.  The rain finally let up mid-afternoon, at least long enough to get out for a breath of fresh air.


water levels continue to rise.  We've never had water like this in March before.  Sure is going to be interesting to see how it plays out this year.  Should mention that there has been a Marsh Wren singing down here the last couple of days.  Haven't been able to spot it yet.


You would think that after all the rain the birds would have had enough of water, but there were Dark-eyed Junco bathing in puddles all over the place.


This Sharp-shin Hawk spent a long time preening trying to get dry.


Here is another look because  we don't often get opportunities to see them this well.


This Spotted Towhee was singing happily after the rain.


and it isn't the greatest photo but the first Band-tail Pigeon of the season showed up a couple of days ago.  Still waiting for a Rufous Hummingbird!