Monday, August 26, 2013

Too alarming not to share......

I hadn't really intended to do another blog entry but this morning I received an email on a subject that I feel is too alarming not to spread on as many venues as possible.....

Wendy Bales, who is the area rep in our area sent out this picture.....

this picture shows a diseased Sockeye Salmon, infected with a virus and the alarming thing is, the picture was taken in our Chehalis River!!!  The email went on to say that the only place something like this has been seen before is in rivers just below the tar sands!

Everyone is asked to keep their eyes open and if anyone sees one of these infected fish to report it, not only to Wendy Bales but also to:!/alexandra.morton.1671

This is extremely alarming!  What is going on in the water shed to the Chehalis????

now another concern....I think I reported a while ago about a White-crowned Sparrow we have hanging around our place that has a deformed beak in that it's beak is always open...well now we have something else....

when we first noticed this young Spotted Towhee we thought, oh silly baby has a berry stuck on it's we realize that isn't a berry, it is a growth....I've never seen anything like this before and I'm spreading the picture around to see if anyone else has....again...what is going on????

On a good news aspect though I will report that my neighbours crop of grapes continue to attract not only the Cedar Waxwings and Robins....but

also Western Tanagers!  The female on the right was still feeding the fledgling on the left.

here is a better picture of the fledgling...

Purple Finch continue to show up in large numbers....what a scruffy looking creature!!!  Pine Siskin are also around in good numbers.

quite a few young Black-headed Grosbeaks still hanging around as well, also saw several Hummingbirds....most likely ones from further north on their way south.

So a reminder, barring receiving anymore alarming news....there will most likely be no more postings until October.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Checking in - briefly!

We've been back for a couple of days but today was the first I had a chance to take a bit of a walk....

The water level has dropped a bit more but still remains fairly high....

although the trail to the park is starting to re-emerge.

Although it was completely quiet 'bird-wise' while I was there, I did notice that the Pacific Water Parsley is coming into full flower after months of being submerged.

I have also noticed a fair amount of bird activity in the park though...especially around my neighbours crop of grapes!

this young American Robin just one of many enjoying the bounty.  Now I'll post a few pictures from our most recent trip....but before I do I must mention I've seen a lot of Dark-eyed Junco since we got home which is unusual as where we have just spent 5 days and where we normally see Junco, we didn't see a single one.

Cedar Waxwing were another story.  We have Cedar Waxwing here, also enjoying the grapes.

at Tunkwa Lake they were enjoying juniper berries as well as wild Raspberries.

Lots of young ones too, many still begging food from their parents.

I've also noticed a lot of Pine Siskin since we've come home and there were lots of those at Tunkwa too...

again, many with young ones still being fed.

This seems like a good time to let you know that there won't be any postings for the month of September as we are heading east to the Rockies and southern Alberta, but we'll be back the beginning of October, just in time for the Salmon and the Eagles to start arriving.  I might get another post or two done before we leave...but in case I don''ll know why.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Feeling guilty....

I have to say, I'm feeling guilty....all you loyal followers faithfully checking this site and me not even here to post anything!  We have been back for a couple of days but I haven't even had a chance to go for a walk, and tomorrow we are heading out again for another 5 days away...

So I thought I'd post a few of the many pictures I took on our last trip which was to Manning Park, which isn't all that far away and is part of the area that the Fraser Valley Birding site covers.  So far I've only worked through the pictures from my two smaller here go a few....

This is the view from Hampton Campground where we spent 3 days and decided that it is now our favorite campground in the park.

there were a number of Steller's Jay families was so hot on a couple of days that the poor birds were panting...there were a number of dripping standpipes in the campground so we knew they did have a source of water if they wanted it.

We of course have Steller's Jay here....what it would be very rare to see here at the estuary is a Gray Jay....

this is one of the very friendly young Gray Jay...also panting from the heat...

I only spotted this Red Cross bill family once.  Female on Left, dad in middle and baby on right.  We do, on very rare occasions have these guys visit us.

now speaking of 'crossed bills' - this young Raven in the Coldspring Campground has a deformed bill....I'll be reporting it to the site at the University of Alaska that is studying deformed beaks in birds.

so I'll end with this Ruby-crowned Kinglet with a mouthful of food - the fledglings were perched in a tree on the other side of the river...this was at Mule Deer Campground and taken in deep shade.  

Pictures of some of the other findings, such as the Evening Grosbeaks and Red Eyed Vireo will have to wait until I get back (again!).

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Searching for shorebirds

Sunday we ventured out in the canoe one more time.....

It was a beautiful morning....

There was a Pied Billed Grebe family right off of the boat launch...

and Great Blue fact we saw more Heron out there than we've ever seen - at least 14 of them! 

kept hearing some snuffling and spotted this River Otter.....just off of Eagle Point Park.

there were quite a few Mallard out there this time...all in their 'eclipse' or non-breeding plumage.

Here we are over by the Harrison...a lot more solid ground out there and a whole lot less water!

There are a couple more of those Heron...there were actually 3 of them juggling positions in this spot.

This branch of the Chehalis is really shallow now, in fact we just barely made it to that grass over there.

and there, poking along the shore were these Least Sandpipers....there were actually 3 here and we saw a couple in another spot.

and then I spotted a Greater Yellow-legs Sandpiper...further along and again, we saw a couple in other spots.

and just by the above Yellow legs, was this young Spotted Sandpiper.  This guy would have been born here, unlike the yellow-legs and least that are now migrating through.

So that was it for the last canoe trip of the season.  Now we are off for a few days, not sure where, some where not to far away as we have to back for appointments next week.  

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Goldfinch and Juncos

Haven't ventured out of the yard today except for a quick walk to the boat launch, and of course, since I hadn't taken my camera, there was a pair of Pied Billed Grebe there, along with a number of Canada Geese.

What I had to show though is the number of 

American Goldfinch...I've been mentioning them for a while now but today was amazing....with the exception of one male, all of the above are young ones.  At one point I counted 39 of them in just this one spot!

here is a bit closer look at some of the youngsters, these ones on the other side of the house.

Speaking of youngsters....

Had a family of Dark-eyed Junco around today.  Both parents (one on the right) and 3 or 4 youngsters...only one in this picture.

Also of note today, at one point I looked up to see 4 Turkey Vultures circling over head.  There haven't been nearly the numbers of Turkey Vultures this year as we've seen in the past.

Friday, August 2, 2013


Here we are, the second day of August and finally, after more than a month, we got some rain.

Took advantage of the cooler temperatures and made the trek over to the park.  Here is the view from the viewing platform.  We haven't seen it looking like that for while!

and here is the log bay, once more actually being a 'bay'.  There wasn't as much bird activity as I would have thought, 

but there was quite a large flock of American Robins, including young ones like the one above...also could hear Cedar Waxwings and American Goldfinch, while Barn Swallows were flying over head.

The Blackberries are getting ripe so attracting the berry doubt that will mean some bear sightings soon.

Heard and then spotted several Flycatchers (sorry I'm not going to attempt to I.D.)....the photos I took today didn't work out so I'm posting this one I took a couple of days ago at our boat launch.

Here at home we have been absolutely inundated with large flocks of 

American Goldfinch, at one point I counted over 30 at and under one feeder and there were just as many on the other side.  The cinnamon coloured ones are the youngsters.

there are also a lot of young Rufous Hummingbirds around right now.

and finally I have to note that the month started with a visit from a family of Chestnut-backed Chickadees....this little guy being one of the very active babies.