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Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Another Backyard Bird Count in the books

Well, so much for counting birds.  Sunday, the 3rd day of the count we gave up completely.  Beautiful sunshine but so windy and cold there was just nothing around.

Yesterday, the last day of the count we did get over to Harrison Bay....


it was actually quite beautiful as the wind was pretty much non existent.  It was quiet bird wise though...


on the way there, a number of swans in the fields including this family of Tundra Swans (with two Trumpeters at the rear).


a pair of Common Merganser, including this female who was perched in the sunshine.  Some Mallard, Northern Pintail and Green Wing Teal as well.


I'm thinking this is a female Northern Pintail....


and then there was this guy....now my guess is it is a hybrid between a Glaucous-wing Gull and a Herring Gull.  That is what I reported it as, if I'm wrong I'm sure someone will tell me.

Down the other way, where the river turns to head towards the Fraser river...


quite a few American Coots (some Mallard here too)


all the 'song' type birds were clustered down by the feeders...although there had been quite a few Black capped Chickadee further up the dike as well.


this day the geese were all over in one of the farm fields...a mixture of Canada Geese and Cackling Geese, well over 300 in total.

and one of the most consistent sightings despite the cold weather????


those Anna's Hummingbirds!  this one a young male.  I've also heard that some Rufous Hummingbirds have been seen in the Parksville area of Vancouver Island - that is about a month early, but then there have also been some Red flowering current in flower over there for the past few weeks - again about a month early....that was before the snow arrived - again!





Saturday, February 17, 2018

Spring's retreated!

It is the 2nd day of the 4 day Worldwide Back Yard Bird Count.  We are supposed to be out counting birds....and this is what it is doing!


we did get over to ....


the log bay this morning, where, apart from a flock of Red-wing Blackbirds, there wasn't much of anything.

Yesterday, the first day of the count, wasn't a whole lot better.  Drove over to Harrison Bay


where farm fields were full of Trumpeter Swans, Canada Geese and a little further along, Mallard and Northern Pintail ducks....the rainbow here though gives an indication of what the weather was like - windy and showery and not nice at all!

We did have one pleasant sighting though...


a Northern Shrike!  First time I've ever seen one over at Harrison Bay, and first one I'd seen anywhere this winter.


over at the estuary saw this pair of Ring-neck Ducks.....it had been so rough on the water at Harrison Bay that there was nothing in sight.

Perhaps we'll attempt a drive around Nicomen this afternoon and see if we can see anything, since the snow seems to be letting up, at least for the time being.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Sunshine.....and a sign of spring

Finally.....sunshine!  Even before the sun arrived though, we'd had a sign of spring....


American Robins were seen on the 8th of February....a few days earlier than we consider 'normal' - we usually expect to see them by mid-February.  Of course they are never that far away.....but sure nice to see.

Backing up a few days  from today....


again, taken on the 8th....here is the log bay and if you look very carefully you will see some pussy willows on that shrub at the left of the photo....also take notice of the water depth in this, the log bay....because....


here is what it looked like today - in other words, water levels dropping rapidly - along with the temperatures because it may look lovely and sunny, but temperatures weren't much above freezing...


this Song Sparrow was soaking up the sun in a sheltered spot against my neighbours fence.

I'll toss in this photo...


taken on the 9th over at Harrison Bay.....

not a lot of bird activity, hopefully it will improve as the Backyard Bird Count is coming up this coming Friday, Saturday, Sunday & Monday.....oh, and did I mention that the weather forecast is talking about snow?!

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

and it is still raining!

Rain, day after day after day which is why there just isn't much to chat about these days.

One day, as we set out in the drizzle....


these 4 Common Merganser (all females) were having a snooze right at the end of the boat launch.

almost every day when it has been dry enough to even attempt a walk over to the park,


there have been Golden crowned Kinglets.  These agile little birds are hard enough to photograph in bright light, almost impossible in the gloom.


always a few Bald Eagles around....looks like the leaf buds on that poplar tree are swelling - or is that wishful thinking?

We ventured over to Harrison bay after lunch in hopes of getting for a decent walk...


that is a Red-Tail Hawk perched over there....and definitely those catkins are getting larger.


the field beside the dike was full of Killdeer (on the right) and there was one lone European Starling (on left), as well a quite a few Mallard in the puddles.


I could hear a little Woodpecker in another area, never did spot it, but there was this Brown Creeper on the tree....

by this time it was raining so hard we gave up any attempt and headed back to the truck...


this poor Song Sparrow was as wet as we were.


Thursday, February 1, 2018

Let's try this again....

Let's try doing this again.  Seems for the last 24 hours anything I try to do 'tech' wise has been a challenge.  After the first photo in the last post, no more photos would up load so we shall see what happens tonight.....because even though it was yet another soggy day....it was pretty busy, bird wise.


this was the scene at the log bay this morning....the little dot on the shore to the left....


a Great Blue Heron....one of several around the area today.


and on the other side....Trumpeter Swans....  (so far so good with the photos!)


I'm not really sure what they were doing.  There was a lot of this diving the head under the water and splashing....


whatever the action was, it drew quite the audience....not only the Mallard in the above photo but also...


a female Goldeneye and Common Merganser.

Second walk of the day and the activity was all in the bushes....


the Common Redpolls were back....in the same little grove of alder trees where they have been seen every other time this winter.  Also at least 4 Northern Flicker in this same spot, and some Spotted Towhee.


over at the log bay, a good sized flock of House Sparrows....first of those I've seen for a while!


Dark-eyed Junco as well.  Also saw a pair of Song Sparrow and should mention I'd seen a Ruby-crowned Kinglet earlier....first sign of spring....


the Red-wing Blackbirds have been around for a while, up in the tree tops, now they have moved down into the bushes as they tend to do as spring approaches.


and there seemed to be woodpeckers all over....this one a male Hairy Woodpecker.


only a few very wet Bald Eagles around....


and of course those Anna Hummingbirds!  This one a male.

With it now being February, time to start watching for the first robin of the season.  They are never that far away....we ever get a nice sunny day, chances are they will show up!