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Monday, November 20, 2017

Now Eagle Festival is over

So Eaglefestival is over.  Weather on Saturday was better than predicted, Sunday was pretty much a wash out - literally!

Official count for Saturday was the best in years, 2,270 eagles counted from the boat tour from Kilby beach up the Harrison River to the turn around point.

Of course Saturday morning was the first morning in weeks when didn't see or even hear an eagle during the morning dog walk....Sunday was so wet didn't even look...and now today with the chaos gone....the eagles were everywhere.


those are the eagle trees by the viewing platform...


and there were more in the trees at the log bay


just off from the log bay could see a couple of snoozing swans and could hear there were more out there.  Also see there is a Cackling Goose there and a few Mallard and a Common Merganser...

Out there on the flats....


think there are 38 Bald Eagles out there....

but it was a lot closer in where there was a bit of action.....


this guy was enjoying this salmon...


a Glaucous-wing Gull was patiently waiting....


while another eagle didn't have much patience...


and quickly stole it...


but not for long....


ending up as book ends....

and one last thing....took this the other day and forgot to post it...


a Pacific Wren....hear these guys pretty much every day but getting a picture of one is always a challenge.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Do we have eagles!

I for one am going to be very interested in hearing what the official count is going to be this coming weekend, because, boy, do we have eagles!  

Lets back up a day or so.... yesterday the rain stopped so after lunch we headed over to Harrison Bay...


with the campground unoccupied, decided to take the beach route....


this guy kept an eye on us....

as we came through the trail to the beach...


could see there was quite a collection of gulls on the beach and that they weren't all the normal Glaucous-wing Gulls.  Unfortunately at this point two large, aggressive, off leash dogs came tearing along the beach, so in order to protect our leashed dogs....had to forsake any further gull investigation.


waited for the dogs and their owners to pass us before carrying on......


one of the adjacent fields was full of....


not only Canada Geese, but also the smaller, Cackling Geese....the 4 laying down to the left are a few of them.


the new Bald Eagle nest was still being worked on....there were quite a few eagles perched in trees or soaring over head.


puddles in another field sported Mallards, Northern Pintails and a few American Wigeon ducks.

Today the walks were here at home....


this morning there were several Trumpeter Swans at the log bay.  Not just the above pair but also a family with 3 youngsters.....


this isn't a great photo but wanted to show not just the Common Mergansers (2 females on right) but the female Common Goldeneye.....


there are a lot of Common Merganser around right now....in this case a pair.


also Mallard....here with a Great Blue Heron and a young Mew Gull....in fact lots of Mew Gull here also...

but lets get back to the eagles....


this was the scene out on the flats this afternoon....


and closer in, this was just off of the log bay....


and across from the log bay....


and overhead.  When you live here you get so used to seeing eagles....but even we were awed by the number of them flying overhead this afternoon....well over a hundred.

Yesterday and today were also the first day's for counting birds at our feeders for the new season of Project Feeder Watch and we had some interesting birds....a female Downy Woodpecker (have never had a Downy in this particular yard before), a male House Sparrow (haven't seen a House Sparrow here in years) and a female Evening Grosbeak...


she has been around for 10 days or so.  I reported the male about a week ago.  Haven't seen him for a while although I can hear them calling so suspect there are a few around, they just seem to be coming to feeders one at a time which isn't normal for them.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Very wet....

It has been very wet out here at the estuary and doesn't sound like it is going to be much different this coming weekend so if you are coming out for Eagle Festival dress accordingly!

At least this year we have eagles....everyone is commenting on the numbers of them.  The Fraser River Safari boat tour estimated over a thousand along the Harrison River between Kilby and their turn around point.  Unfortunately most of this stretch is only visible from the river, but still should be enough eagles to keep everyone happy.

Yesterday we walked over to the log bay...


there weren't a lot of eagles around this area yesterday.....I was hearing they were all at the golf course....


rather than any eagles perched in the trees over the log bay....there was this Great Blue Heron.


here is a closer look.  Have never seen one perched in exactly this location before.

Today was just too miserable to go very far.  Did one quick walk down to the boat launch and here was the view over at the eagle trees by the viewing platform.


Could see there were lots way out along the edge of the flats but it was too wet and dark to attempt a photo.  All this rain should bring the water up a little bit more which will make for pretty much perfect levels for ideal viewing.


Sunday, November 12, 2017

Very busy!

Only got for one walk today and it was a short one just down to our boat launch but the number of Bald Eagles there was astonishing....in fact I don't think I've ever seen as many in this particular spot.


there was an 'eagle arch' over that way....


just a few down on the ground feeding....


looking over towards the park, those are the trees by the viewing platform...


and looking back the other way, towards Morris Valley Road....this was the scene.

Then, since we were having to head out, we drove along the road...


and there is just a bit of the view....right from the road.  Having had a word with a few people about keeping themselves and especially their loose dogs away from this area right now seems to have helped!

Driving over to Chilliwack, it wasn't eagles...


but swans.  Without even trying, we passed 3 separate farm fields full of swans....


probably at least 300 in the area, maybe more.

We now have a week of rain.  In a way that is a good thing as it should bring water levels back up a bit which will make for better viewing and should also spread another supply of salmon over the area....as long as the water doesn't come up too high.  It is out of our hands....all we can do is watch and see what happens.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Beautiful day

What a beautiful day!  The sun was shining and the temperature was back to more normal temperatures.  


things looked pretty much the same down at the estuary this morning with the Bald Eagles...


and gulls....lots and lots of very vocal gulls...

Speaking of lots...


check out this tree located just at the edge of the estuary....

Now before we go to Harrison Bay....yesterday posted a photo of a Fox Sparrow....today...


we have a Song Sparrow....the 'streaky' little brown bird.


Now to Harrison Bay....a lot of beach there now.


more in the way of waterfowl out on the bay today.  These are just some of the swans along the far shore....think most of these were Tundra Swans, that based on the calls we were hearing.


a few of the Mallard......with fishing still in full swing and boats roaring up and down the river,  birds were either pressed against the shore or way out.  Could hear Canada Geese out on the bay.


noticed this Bald Eagle over head.  The pair were at the nest again as well.

Not much else around...



this little Downy Woodpecker....



and a few Northwestern Crow.  Heard some starlings and chickadees but that was about it.   

Back at the estuary the eagles were sure enjoying the blue skies and sunshine....all one had to do was look up to see them by the dozen!

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Just eagles

Only got out for one walk this morning and it was pretty dark and dull, so not the greatest for photos.  Before I get to the eagles that were busy feeding....


I did manage one quick shot of this Fox Sparrow.  Fox Sparrows are only with us in winter.  They are the largest of the sparrows, often described as 'chunky'.  Their backs are solid brown, unlike the Song Sparrow that is streaky.  You can't really see it in this shot but the Fox Sparrow has brown check marks on the breast, rather than streaks.  It also has a bi-colour bill.  Yellow below but darker above.

Now...just a bunch of Bald Eagles....