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Monday, May 29, 2017

We are back

We're back!  and so is the water.....not yet the end of May and already it is considerably higher than it has been the past few years.


also back is some unseasonable heat....so took advantage of both today and headed out in the canoe.


the wild 'Nootka' Roses are in full bloom....and underwater.


and here is the 'first bay'...no longer a bay....just part of the whole


there is the viewing platform...actually love it when the water gets like this as it means that the birds, at least the ones nesting up in trees, can get on with their business without human interference.  For those that had already started nesting down in the lower bushes it is a different story, but no doubt they figure it out.


seemed most bird houses were occupied by Tree Swallows...


just off of the golf course we noticed several of these very pale, almost white Nootka Roses.


went as far as the viewing gazebo at the golf course where there were lots of Spotted Sandpipers (fitting!) and swallows, Tree, Violet Green and Barn....nice to see the bird houses on the top!


not so nice, in fact rather alarming, was this float plane that for over an hour kept practicing landing and taking off.  Not only very extremely annoying due to the noise, but the fact that they showed no concern for the number of kayakers out on the water, is concerning.

What was thrilling to see...


was that the Purple Martin are back...or at least some of them.  If you recall last year we were concerned about how few there were early in the season, then found that they were still nesting well into August.


here is a closer look.  Female on the left, male on the right.


We heard a lot of Bullock's Oriole and finally spotted this female, just as we were heading back in.  

It wasn't a great day for bird photos, did see Red-wing Blackbirds, Yellow Warblers, a pair of Canada Geese, a male Mallard, Steller's Jay, a Bald Eagle and a pair of Osprey among others.

With the promise of cooler weather, hopefully we will get over to Harrison Bay sometime in the next few days to see what has happened during the last few weeks.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Robin sort of day

Made a point of walking over to the park today.....


had to go the long route via the park trail.  Have avoided this walk for several years but must say it is much pleasanter now that hedges have grown and filled in so you don't feel like you are in everyone's back yard.


this, of course, is the reason we had to go the long way round.  That white sign is in the middle of what is the normal trail.  I had really wanted to get some 'water level' photos before we take off.  It will be interesting to see how high it is when we get back.  Right now...


here is the first bay....won't be able to walk to this point in another day or two if water continues to rise at the present rate.


and here we are at the log bay.

Now as for birds, it seems everywhere I looked today I saw...


American Robins!  This was one of two at our boat launch this morning.


This male is obviously helping feed a nest full of babies.


while this one has one giant mouthful of nesting materials.


while this one posed nicely out back.

Of course robins weren't the only birds we saw...


on the way to the park we noticed several House Sparrows, this one being a female.


White-crowned Sparrows as well....



and several Northern Flickers....this one being a female.


and American Goldfinch....this one a male.

What I haven't seen back yet are Black-headed Grosbeak, Bullock's Oriole and Spotted Sandpiper.  Hopefully by the time we get back they will all be here.


Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Misty May walk

Seems our bizarre weather pattern is continuing into the month of May.  Yesterday was beautiful but we weren't able to get anywhere for a walk....


today we did get over to the dike for a walk, but as you can see it was rather damp and misty!


this photo, with a 'photo bombing' Canada Goose really demonstrates the mistiness.  That, of course is one of the Osprey nests on top of the pilings.  There were a lot of geese in the field adjacent to the dike.  We could hear some sort of shorebird...probably a Killdeer but possibly a Spotted Sandpiper as they should be turning up soon.  There were also some Common Loon calling....what a thrill to hear...couldn't see them anywhere though.


there were a number of Northern Flickers...including this inter grade (cross between a red-shafted which is our normal type here in western Canada, a yellow-shafted which are the normal type east of the Rocky Mountains) male.  Pretty sure this is a nesting site although I don't think they are siting yet.


not sure what this female Hairy Woodpecker was doing.  Working in the moss, not sure if collecting it for nest lining or searching for bugs.  We heard the Pileated Woodpeckers but couldn't spot them.


the male Bald Eagle was drip drying (or trying to) on a snag near the nest.  From the calls his mate was still sitting.


this goose was still on her nest but one on the other side of the bridge was gone so her's must have hatched out.  These ones should any day now....unfortunately we are leaving the area in a few days and won't be back for 3 or 4 weeks so guess I won't know the outcome.


there were all kinds of Yellow-rump Warblers...probably other varieties as well.  I could hear Common Yellowthroat out in the field that they frequent.


lots of White-crowned Sparrows too.


this male Red-wing Blackbird was in one Black Hawthorne bush while there was a female in the adjacent one.  Lot's of American Goldfinch around but couldn't get an in focus photo.

When we got back to the parking lot...


noticed this little bunch of Common Merganser in close to shore....


here is a closer shot.

Not sure if I will get another post done before we leave....so if I don't...well, will see you in June.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Green & Gold

For the most part today, the sun shone, not that it was all that warm, but still it was pleasant to go for a walk over at Harrison Bay...


where it is very 'green' and 'gold' with the dandelions in full flower lining the dike.

The first surprise of the day was....


spotting this Bewick's Wren....and actually being able to get a photo!  We've seen them in this particular spot several times so must be nesting there.

and speaking of nests....


we aren't sure, but we suspect that the baby Bald Eagles might just have hatched out because when the adult you see above arrived at the nest, there was a great deal of vocalization - more than you'd think if he was just meeting his mate.


after doing his food delivery, he rested momentarily on this snag.


there were a number of swallows although not as many as there have been other visits...this Tree Swallow perched long enough for a photo.


the White-crowned Sparrow pair were at their particular blackberry bush....not yet settled into nesting it would seem.


also in a spot where it was seen before is this Savannah Sparrow.  Not sure that they nest here but since it seems to be staying put, perhaps they do.


this Canada Goose is still sitting on her nest on top of the pilings....

and then speaking of nests on pilings!!!!


we seem to have an abundance of Osprey this year.  This is the pair that have been here for a couple of weeks now.  Not yet settled to sitting on eggs...


and here is another pair....still in the nest building process as both were carrying sticks...


and yet another nest under construction over here.

Back along the dike...


there is lots of song, but with the newly leafed trees the little birds are difficult to spot...but did find this male Yellow-rumped Warbler.....


and an Orange crowned Warbler.....


as well as a pair of Black-capped Chickadees, still courting....of course when the pair were together, the camera refused to focus....

and over seeing it all....



this male Rufous Hummingbird.



Thursday, April 27, 2017

April showers

If April showers bring May flowers then May will be pretty colourful!


Because we sure have been getting the showers!  Rather frustrating when you are trying to get outside chores accomplished....and as you can see from the above...


the water continues to rise.  This was taken this evening.  At the current rate we won't be able to look at this view pretty soon as it will all be under water.

So haven't got anywhere interesting the last few days but did take a few photos of birds in the yard today...


that includes this female Yellow-shafted Northern Flicker.  The Brown-headed cowbirds are back in force (2 males and a female above).  Lots of Purple Finch (2 males above) and numbers of White-crowned Sparrows have increased too. (1 above)


Steller's Jay out there too.

Hoping tomorrow we will get back to Harrison Bay during the day to see what is happening.  In the meantime will leave you with this evening view.