Saturday, December 31, 2011

Last day of the year….

Well here we are…the last day of 2011…ventured out this afternoon, not really expecting to see much of anything…

New Years Eve

There had been a bit of snow on the surrounding hills over night…in fact a few flakes must have fallen right down on the estuary…but were long gone by the time we ventured out.

Female Shoveler

First thing of note were a couple of female Northern Shovelers…we’ve seen more Northern Shoveler here this fall than any time in the past.  Should note that Harrison Bay had literally thousands of ducks all along the shoreline today – not sure what kinds as we were busy doing errands other than birding.

Swans on the Harrison

Could see that there were a lot of Swans out on the Harrison River this afternoon…this is just a few of them..

Steller's Jay

Was attempting pictures of this Steller’s Jay (the light was completely wrong)…

Downy Woodpecker

when I spotted this female Downy Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker

lots of twigs between her and me but I was happy to find that this new camera is pretty could at picking out the correct subject…

Common Redpolls

and then, as we were heading back…a flock of little birds flew into one of the alder’s…at first I thought they were Bushtits…but no…they were Common Redpolls!

Common Redpolls

unfortunately these are the best pictures I got of them…but nice to know they are still around…maybe we’ll get some better shots before this winter is over.

Happy New Year everyone…may next year bring lots of good birding and a ‘lifer’ or two!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Dark and blustery….

Another dark, blustery day.  At least it stayed dry until after we’d had our walk.

Dark and blustery day

Not much to report.  It was VERY quiet out there!  A few eagles over head and a few scattered out on the flats but nothing in close.  Of course the person duck hunting from the road in the morning probably had something to do with it (duck hunting is allowed but NOT from the road and NOT so close to residences)…

looking that way 

and then if you look closely on the left hand side, in about the middle, there are 3 tiny figures there….this is the 2nd day in a row there have been people down there ‘off the trail’ – some people just don’t get it that if you try to ‘get closer’ all you do is drive the birds further away! 


the only birds still at the log bay were these two gulls and I’m not even going to try and ID them…a Herring and a Thayer's maybe but I don’t see any light coloured eyes…

All along the trail there was just nothing, not uncommon when it is windy…


there was a large flock of Pine Sisken up away from the water…I just sort of pointed the camera in the direction I’d seen them land…it was so dark I was surprised that the picture turned out this well….surprisingly, they still aren’t coming to feeders so there must still be a good supply of seeds in the coniferous trees, despite the fact they’ve been over the same trees so many times.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

After the rain….

Well I was right…yesterday, as it turned out, set a record for the warmest Dec. 28th on record.  Not only was it warm but the heavy rain and wind continued well into the night.  Today, so far, it has been dry and although warmer than it should be, it is edging back towards more normal temperatures.

Morning at the log bay

went out this morning in hopes of killing off the partial charge in the new spare battery…as you can see there was even a bit of blue sky…and water levels have come up even more.

Red-wing Blackbirds

It was obviously bath day at the log bay….Red-wing Blackbirds were everywhere!

taking the plunge

here some contemplating taking the plunge…


this one perched in a red-osier dogwood bush…sporting his fresh plumage – that golden edging on the feathers will wear off in time…

Eagles on the flats

there were quite a few Bald Eagles concentrated out on the flats…32 in this picture I think….

more eagles on the flats

While I was looking at them through the camera’s lens I was sure I could see a four legged animal walking among them….so I took quite a few shots…but try as I might, now they are down loaded, I can’t spot any animal..

another area

there is a Northwestern Crow out there among them in this shot…but nothing with four legs.


one final look, just for good measure (if you click on the picture it will enlarge, use your ‘back’ button to return to normal)

There were some swans way out there today, Black-capped Chickadee, Dark-eyed Junco, Song Sparrow, Spotted Towhee, a smaller flock of Pine Siskin, a Northern Flicker, that Hairy Woodpecker and some Steller’s Jay were the other birds seen this morning, along with a few Mallard.


Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Well we might have started off this month with exceptionally dry weather, but we are sure making up for it now!

wet day

I’m not sure how, but we managed to get out for our walk between downpours…almost!

Eagle on the shore

This Bald Eagle was one of the few birds visible, although there were quite a few eagles flying low over the flats, you could barely make them out in the gloom because not only has it been very wet, it has also been very dark.

rising water

got over to the log bay and saw that the rain and the warm temperatures (we aren’t supposed to have double digit temperatures in December!) have caused the water levels to start creeping back up…which is a good thing because they were so low…although not a good thing for the local ski hills!

that way too

the water was back up on that little point that has been high and dry lately.  There just wasn’t much of anything out there.  A few Mallard and a couple of Common Merganser…no pictures ‘cause it was just too dark and at this point it had started to rain again…


a look up the valley at the rapidly approaching rain…one wet gull on a post

First bay

a few more Mallard and a pair of American Wigeon here at the first bay…also with more water than it has seen for a while…

Heron on post

one bedraggled Great Blue Heron on the piling…

Eagle still there

and that eagle still in the same spot…he must have something good there…he was probably also the reason there were absolutely no ducks in this stretch of water today.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Boxing Day

Hope everyone had a great Christmas!

Stormy Christmas Day

this is what it looked like around here Christmas Day!  Very dark and stormy.Christmas Day Rainbow

we did have a spectacular rainbow though, just as it was getting dark.

Boxing Day 2011

today was much better…at least in the morning, so it gave me a chance to try out the camera that Santa brought me – had to kill the charge in the battery – Len’s & Shutter’s orders!

Juvenile Bald Eagle

First attempt at using the 35x zoom – I’m happy!!!! – that is hand held, no tripod no cropping.

Bald Eagle

Can’t ignore the adult Bald Eagles!

another view of the estuary

later, went for a bit of a drive along Morris Valley Road, to get a different view of the estuary…believe it or not, there is a Great Blue Heron in this picture….

Great Blue Heron

Yup!  There it is…taken from the exact same spot but with maximum zoom…again, no tripod, hand held in an idling vehicle.








Pair of Hoodies

a pair of Hooded Merganser as well….

Heron and Hoodies

This photo shows them both.

another section of the estuary

a bit further along…there was a Belted Kingfisher sitting on a tree out there…

Belted Kingfisher head on

Ok, this time, I admit, I have cropped it too.  It was so far off…it is looking straight at us.








Eagles on the shore

then drove over to Kilby.  There were quite a few eagles down on the shore right before you go over the bridge…

Juvenile and adult

zoomed in on a couple of them…

Calm Bay

very calm out on the bay….weather was getting darker by the minute!

Scaups, Buffleheads and Gulls

a lot of activity over by the railway bridge – mainly Lesser Scaup and Bufflehead

Coots too

a few American Coot as well..


and one train….

Pilings by the river

about this time I managed to kill the battery…so home to give it, it’s first full charge…by the way, the camera is a Canon Powershot SX40HS…a step up from the Canon Powershot SX20 that I love and have pretty much worn out.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Vocal day

I hadn’t really planned to do a posting today.  It was kind of dull and cool and I just took the small camera thinking there would most likely not be anything to report….but of course there was…

Eagle and Hairy

First of all I finally spotted that elusive Woodpecker…I kept hearing it and finally spotted the thing…this is an awful photo but kind of neat…the Bald Eagle seems to be glaring at the Hairy Woodpecker with disgust…probably wanting the thing to shut up!  By the bill size it is a Hairy and not a Downy…of course it may not even be the same one I’ve heard all week…and speaking of hearing…my goodness all the birds were being vocal today!

Steller's Jay

Over at the log bay it seemed to also be bath day….this Steller’s Jay

planning a bath

went down where some Junco and a Song Sparrow had been…

bath time

and proceeded to have a vigorous bath!  There was a very vocal Kingfisher somewhere but staying out of sight…

Eagles in the bay

there weren’t a lot of eagles around today but those that were there certainly had a lot to say!


I really wish the light had been better or I’d had a better camera with me because there were lots of opportunities for shots like this…


another look at the feeding eagle that we left in peace (unlike others of his species!)…the bushes along the trail were full of Fox Sparrow, Song Sparrow and Towhee….all sitting with many twigs and branches between me and them….had just reached an area where I could hear many small birds when our wandering and watching was cut short by a large off leash dog….something my dog doesn’t approve of anymore than I do.  Not wishing to become involved in a confrontation, we quickly moved towards home.