Thursday, September 8, 2016

Last few days

Figured I'd better do a bit of 'catch up' as this may be the last post for a while.  Sunday we will be setting out 'on the road' for a month or so, so by the time we return it should be salmon and eagle time.

I'll work backwards, starting with this evening....

perfectly calm with several Great Blue Heron scattered about, including this one on the broken off piling (earlier today there were 3 Pied Billed Grebe in this bay).

and this one further along the shore.

this Northern Harrier flew past tonight....first one of the season (at least that I've seen)

earlier today, in the rain, there were a number of these young Common Yellowthroat.

this male Anna's Hummingbird wasn't amused with the Yellowthroats....I've already mentioned how the numbers of these guys are increasing, or at least they are becoming more visible again...

day before yesterday we had quite a few unusual visitors stop by, starting with this Band-tail Pigeon....

followed by this Townsend's Warbler....

and quite a few Western Tanager....

including this little guy whose wings and tail have barely started to grow in.

Another youngster...

was this fledgling House Finch with it's rather 'worn' looking father!

The last couple of days we've walked the dike over at Harrison Bay but have been rather astonished at the lack of birds!

Maybe now the summer crowd at the campground has gone the birds will be brave enough to reappear!

Monday, September 5, 2016

Snipe, Sandpiper & Swallows

So now the shorebirds start showing up.....or at least getting close enough to actually see them.

started out the walk with the usual Great Blue of 3 out there today.

then all in one little spot ....

a Killdeer with 2 Wilson's Snipe visible.....

a couple more snipe in this one and a Solitary Sandpiper.....with one of numerous Barn Swallows flying past.  There has been a huge mixed flock of mainly Barn Swallows, but also a few Violet-green swallows and Swifts, both Black and Vaux's - far to 'swift' to even attempt a picture.

here we have all 4 snipe and the sandpiper.

Saw this flock flying around tonight, almost acting like shorebirds...

I think they are American Wigeon.....definitely not Mallards but obviously ducks.  Wigeon tend to arrive in large numbers this time of the year but are difficult to ID as they are in their eclipse plumage.

Speaking of large numbers....the number of American Robins here right now is amazing and the numbers of Anna's Hummingbirds is increasing too.  Think they've been here all along, they are just making themselves more visible now.

Saturday, September 3, 2016


Today is, I think, the second annual shorebird count I had hoped to see some of those elusive shorebirds....  I know they are out there....

I've been catching glimpses of them, like these ones last night....too far off to figure out what they are and then today a Peregrine Falcon flew over the flats and shorebirds took off in every direction but as to what kind they were ~ who knows!

I think I mentioned last post that there just has to be some  Wilsons Snipe in this area...well...

I was right....this guy flew out of there and across to the other side of the first bay this afternoon.  Of course by the time the camera was ready he had just about disappeared into the grass - but not quite.

starting to be quite the collection out there....Geese, ducks and gulls.

and that same silly Great Blue Heron was in the same spot.  Still haven't figured out just what it is doing there.

there weren't a lot of birds along the trail today but did see a few American Robin eating the Red-Osier Dogwood berries.  There were also a lot of Barn Swallows mixed with Swifts flying about overhead today.

Thursday, September 1, 2016


It is September and suddenly it feels like we've turned the corner to fall.

The hips of the Nootka Roses (Wild Roses) are ripe as are those of the Red-Osier Dogwoods

the Pacific Crab-apples are ripening and boy is there a good crop!  So many berries around this year that these haven't been touched yet.  Good news for winter feeding.

easily over a hundred Canada Geese out there today.  Ducks too, could hear Mallards but think there are American Wigeon as well and most likely some shorebirds.

There must be some snipe in there but couldn't find any.  Thought I had spotted something really special when I saw this.....

from a distance it appeared to be a Clark's or Western Grebe swimming....turned out to be a young Great Blue Heron.....was it swimming?  Do heron swim? or was it just wading about belly deep....not sure.  Down in the left corner there is a glimpse of one of the many young Barn Swallows that were flying around as well.

Youngsters continue to be the general theme...

this is probably the last Black-headed Grosbeak of the year as hadn't seen or heard any for a week or so until this one showed up this afternoon.

Pine Siskin are here constantly.  Sometimes just a few and sometimes in masses of them.

Eurasian Collared Doves are are Anna's Hummingbirds although haven't been able to get a photo of them yet....

Caught this young Spotted Towhee in my neighbours Beauty Berry shrub this afternoon.  Perfect subdued autumn colours.