Sunday, 17 of February of 2019

2017 Duncan Christmas Bird Count -Jan. 1st 2018.

This year we had great weather with no rain or snow, the temperature early in the day was a little nippy but by mid-day had warmed up nicely.

We had 118 species seen with some rare sightings. This is our highest species total since 2007. The Northern Mockingbird obliged by staying around for more than a year, one wonders if will last out to next year’s count. A Bohemian Waxwing was found in a flock of its smaller cousins, the Cedar Waxwings, along Maple Bay Road in a Holly farm, this is the second year running for us to find this rare species for Vancouver Island. A flock of 21 Common Redpolls delighted the group counting in Cowichan Bay. It appears that this species has made a major influx this winter onto Vancouver Island with sightings at many locations.

Our overall count found 22,010 birds, which was slightly up from last year but sadly still well below our average.

We had around 35 people out counting and another 10 watching their feeders. It appears that the flu bug knocked our participants down this year as it ravaged the lower island.

The whole of Somenos Marsh was still frozen dragging the duck number down, surprisingly Quamichan Lake stayed open but lacked large numbers of ducks with not many Ruddy Ducks this year, this following on from getting skunked last year with this lovely little diving duck. Our count had established itself as the highest count in Canada for Ruddies but now we are an also ran.

Below are just some of the highlights by groups of birds.

Waterfowl

Most dabbling duck numbers were down with not many Green-winged Teal or Northern Pintail, we did manage to find 2 Eurasian Wigeon among the ever diminishing American Wigeon. Bufflehead numbers crashed with less than half our normal count. Lesser Scaup numbers were way down with the Sewage lagoons have the lion’s share. We did well for loons although their numbers remain low from many years ago.

Hawks & Eagles

This year saw a record number of Coopers Hawks with 20 recorded. Eagles were average and we only had 2 Northern Harriers which is low, they seemed to have vacated our area big time this year, we need more vermin. 1 American Kestrel was surprising as the swan and goose people seem to find them every week. Other Falcons did well with 5 each of Merlin and Peregrine.

Shorebirds

This was a big disappointment with just 4 Killdeer and 9 Black Turnstones. On the bright side we had 16 Wilson’s Snipe with one lucky group finding a nice flock.

Gulls

Gone are the days of major numbers found on our count, Mew Gull number went up nicely and a single California Gull was found  and the same group found a 1st winter Glaucous Gull. 82 Bonaparte’s Gulls were found between us and Saltspring and 3 Ring-billed Gulls made up the numbers.

Owls

Not bad for owls with 8 found, a Barn Owl was nice and so was a Short-eared Owl

Hummingbirds and Woodpeckers

Anna’s Hummingbirds went up from last year and the woodpeckers were around the same although still low from past years with one counter finding it hard to find a Northern Flicker for his list

Shrikes and Corvids

Northern Shrikes was a record with 9 found and Common Ravens were right on average. Northwestern Crows on the other hand dropped drastically, not sure what caused this but the large late afternoon flocks of yesteryear are no more.

Chickadees, Wrens and Kinglets

This is where our numbers tumbled with low counts across the board for all species. Brown Creepers being absent off many lists

Thrushes and Starlings

Robins, Varied Thrushes and Starlings were all in low numbers, Varied Thrush go up and down each count, this is two years running of low numbers. One Hermit Thrush was had.

Sparrows

Here the numbers went up a bit with reasonably good counts of most species and a Swamp Sparrow and 2 Lincoln’s were a nice addition. It is strange the way the Lincoln’s Sparrows which were so abundant just before Christmas appeared to have left.

Blackbirds

Red-winged Blackbirds continue to drop in our area although the Brewers are stable and came through with a good average count. We did have a Western Meadowlark for the count week and I know for certain they were out there on count day, must try to encourage the counters to paddle out in those wet fields.

Finches

Most finches were right on average although Pine Siskins took a major hit with this little finch being so irruptive some years and absent in others. The Common Redpolls were a great find and added nicely to our species count.

Lastly House Sparrows

Their numbers continue low from three to four years ago when we had record numbers, maybe the record Coopers Hawks have played a part in this.

Overall a great count with happy faces all around at the roundup where we were spoilt rotten by the ladies with lots of food and hot drinks, big thanks to all for their help and we will hopefully see you all again next year.

Derrick Marven

A copy of data sheet of the bird count is avialble on requesr from ericmarshall@shaw.ca as an Excel or pdf file.


Swan & Goose count Jan.25th 2018

How many killdeer?

 

Immature trumpeter swan

 

Adult & immature trumpeter swans

 

Trumpter swan with muddy head

 

Another muddy headed trumpeter swan

 

Paired bald eagles

 

Wilson’s snipe

 

Tundra swan in flight

 

House finch

 

Golden-crowned sparrow

At the dog park there was much happiness and laughter, not sure if it was my return of the lovely sunny weather that came with me. 7 eager counters set out and 1 other joined us later. A few geese here and a few geese there got our tally sheet moving under the watchful eye of Dorothy, Barry and Kurlene did the driving and this was much appreciated, we put ourselves in their hands week after week and we thank them deeply for what they do. Found one goose with a neck band this week: 071F. I thought I saw one with a leg band at the golf driving range but it soon disappeared into the crowd. A Red-tailed hawk has been standing guard for the past few days near the corner of Beverly Street and the highway, that was our first addition of the day. Zan took a picture of a flyover swan along the creek dike which appeared to show a small yellow teardrop below it’s eye, was it a Tundra, well maybe? A lovely pair of cuddling Bald Eagles awaited our arrival at Somenos Lake, yes it’s that time of year when you meet up with that old girlfriend and tell her what you’ve been doing since you left her last year. Our immature Bald Eagle numbers took a dive this week as many are left to fend for themselves and are chased off by the adults as two’s company three’s a crowd. At Quist’s Farm many swans and geese were counted and a game of hide and seek took place with up to 17 killdeer and 3 Wilson’s Snipe hid among the low vegetation, I am sure there could have been more just sitting there watching our every move. Westholme Road gave us some nice closeup looks at both adult and immature swans and many photo’s were obtained. Richard’s Trail was well flooded and we added a few more geese. A far off American Kestrel sat down on the hydro lines and then dropped down in the grass. We have done really well for Kestrel this year, one of the best that I can remember for the valley. Herd Road now unfrozen added a few more swans and a good bunch of geese and Tom Windsor Drive added even more geese and our first Great Blue Heron and a diving Belted Kingfisher. Highway 18 gave another 35 swans and that was about it until our break with just a few soaring Bald Eagles to add.
Our swan number were good this week at 660 just down a little from the past couple of weeks and our Canada Geese numbers shot back up at 1303 with the unfrozen fields giving up there bounty.
Boys Road was slow with just a couple of Red-tailed Hawks. Sahilton Road once again had the swans delving deep into the mud to get some new shoots to feed on, this is the first time that I have witnessed this action by the swans and to watch them push their heads way down and come back up with mud all over their bills and face is just mind boggling. This week we got a few pictures to show what they look like.
We now headed out west and only to find a major hydro crew doing work along Koksilah Road so nothing showing there, Riverside Road came next and here Dorothy tried to turn some big concrete blocks into swans, we were having none of that. Bench Road gave us some nice numbers of swans and 226 were counted. Dougan’s Flats had good number of geese but no swans. St. Catherine’s had nothing except some dickie birds that avoided my slow focusing camera, good job Eric’s was faster. On a hunch I sent the ladies, along with Bob, off to Cherry Point Road where they boosted our swan count up tremendously with way over 200 to bolster our total.
That was about it except a handful of Mute Swans along the Dock Road. No accipiters or other falcons this week, just a lovely day to be out with no rain.
Thanks to my good friends for giving me snacks to keep me going, it appeared that being at home being waited on by my dear wife has taken it’s toll on me as I was ready to drop at the end.
Many photos this week, enjoy
Derrick Marven

Photo Credits
Golden-crowned Sparrow by Eric Marshall
House Finch by Eric Marshall
Tundra Swan flyover by Zan Stenhouse
Wilson’s Snipe by Zan Stenhouse
Bald Eagles by Zan Stenhouse
Trumpeter Swans mud pack by Barry Hetschko and Eric Marshall
Adult and immature Trumpeter Swans by Derrick Marven
How many Killdeer by Derrick Marven


Coastal Waterbird Count, December 10th, 2017.

South side of Cowichan Bay.
Robin Lawson, Claude Lahaise, Kathy Coster, Richard Campbell, Gail and Steve Mitchell & Carol Milo were observers and saw:

Mute Swan, 6; Bufflehead, 120; Common Goldeneye, 4; Hooded Merganser, 7; Horned Grebe, 4; Double-crested Cormorant, 11; Great Blue Heron, 2; Bald Eagle, 1; Mew Gull, 1; Iceland Gull (Thayer’s), 3; Glaucous-winged Gull, 15; Belted Kingfisher, 1; Northwestern Crow, 4.

Kurlene and John did the count on the north shore of Cowichan Bay and saw:

Trumpeter Swan, 18; Gadwall, 3; American Wigeon, 109; Northern Pintail, 2; Surf Scoter, 32; Common Goldeneye, 20; Common Merganser, 2; duck species, 30; Double-crested Cormorant , 5; Bald Eagle, 6; gull sp., 87; Belted Kingfisher, 1; Northwestern Crow, 2; Common Raven, 1; Bufflehead, 49.

On sunny Sunday Dec. 10 Lyn and Jim Wisnia saw 25 species total in their two Coastal Waterbird Survey areas. The large gathering of Western Grebes right in the bay was impressive, and the lone Eurasian Wigeon right next to the boat ramp was a treat.

Verdier Point:
Mute swan, 4; American wigeon, 169; Mallard, 1; Surf scoter, 17; Bufflehead, 16, Common goldeneye, 40; Barrow’s goldeneye, 3; Hooded merganser, 2; Red-breasted merganser, 31; Pacific loon, 3; Common loon, 1; Horned grebe, 10; Western grebe, 258; Double-crested cormorant, 3; Bald eagle, 1; Mew gull, 17; Ring-billed gull, 1; California gull, 1; Glaucous-winged gull, 131; Gull sp. 1; Northwestern crow, 2.

Mill Bay:
Canada goose, 69; Mute swan, 5; Eurasian wigeon, 1; American wigeon, 39; Mallard, 26; Bufflehead, 26; Common goldeneye, 15; Barrow’s goldeneye, 6; Hooded merganser, 8; Common merganser, 1; Red-throated loon, 1; Pacific loon, 1; Common loon, 1; Horned grebe, 1; Red-necked grebe, 1; Western grebe, 150; Double-crested cormorant, 3; Mew gull, 303; Glaucous-winged gull, 35; Gull sp. 41; Northwestern crow, 5.


Swan & Goose count Jan. 17th 2018

Wet wooly jumpers

 

More wet wooly jumpers

 

Common redpolls

 

More common redpolls

 

Decoys

 

Trumpeter swans

 

Adult & immature trumpeter swans

I was not able to attend today’s wet and woolly count due a very poorly back, so it was left up to my good buddies to bare the brunt of today’s good weather. The results were awesome with numbers mirroring last weeks totals and all this under terrible afternoon conditions. Dorothy took the honors of writing a report, her humor not being as silly as mine. Today’s count had the highest number of Trumpeter Swans for a long long time with 695 added, they obviously like the rain.
Here is Dorothy’s report:

On a balmy morning four blythe and bonny birders embarked on the count without their stalwart leader; everyone had their assigned task – Barry opted to drive, Dorothy took the swan and goose sheet and Zan the raptor sheet and Eric was co-pilot and head counter for swans and geese.

Zan reported having seen a flock of redpolls just before she arrived at our starting point; but they did not hang around for the rest of us to see them.

There was a small flock of Canada geese on the old golf driving range and at Somenos Lake 20 on the water at the south end and 40 on the grass on the shore opposite to the dock.

Barry spotted the kestrel perched on one of the banners at the Exhibition Grounds. Quist Farm yielded a large count of trumpeter swans. On Richard’s Trail we counted 194 Canada geese.

On Herd Road east we found 26 Canada geese decoys and no live geese or swans in the area!

At our lunch break at A & W we congratulated ourselves (too soon) on the mild weather but rain arrived as soon as we restarted our drive. On the south side of Sahilton Road we found 50 adult and 23 immature trumpeters and wondered what attracted them to the rough grasses and rushes there. We drew a blank on Koksilah Road west but up Riverside Road we found many swans scattered over a large area.

No swans or geese showed up on Wilson Road where the sheep were sheltering under a tree from the pouring rain. Later on Jim’s Pond even the ducks were hiding from the downpour under the bushes around the edge of the pond.

From St. Catherine’s Road we could see many trumpeters spread out over a wide area and we had to drive down Telegraph Road to confirm a total of 312 adults and 28 immatures.

From Dock Road we could just make out seven trumpeters over against the south shore and 10 mutes close to the north side of the road.

Sorry, Derrick, no neck bands this week. We did our best but visibility was poor once the rain began. Hurry up and get that back better – we need your leadership.

I returned home to find four feisty flickers fighting over our suet feeder.

A very big thankyou to my good friends and a job well done, hopefully I will be back next week although the docs have said it could be a long recovery, let’s hope not. I hope to be back with a complete full rain dance to get us back on the straight and narrow.

Derrick

Photo Credits

Wet woolly Jumpers by Zan Stenhouse and Eric Marshall

Common Redpolls by Zan Stenhouse

Adult and Immature Trumpeters by Zan Stenhouse

Decoys by Barry Hetschko

Trumpeter Swans by Barry Hetschko


Coastal Waterbird Count January, 14th, 2018.

Cowichan Bay South:
Seven determined birders –Eric Marshall, Carol Milo, Gail Mitchell, John Scull, Linda Hill, Wilma Harvie, and Christine Cutbill — peered into thick fog to try to identify waterbirds. Only those near shore could be seen. 4 glaucous-wing gulls obligingly landed in Hecate Park so they could be positively identified. The birds we saw were:
Bufflehead, 27; Common Goldeneye, 15; Double-crested Cormorant, 5; Great Blue Heron, 2; Glaucous-winged Gull, 4; gull sp., 10; Northwestern Crow, 1.

Cowichan Bay North:
Heavy fog on Sunday sent Bob Nation and Daryl Johnson back to count the waterbirds on Monday afternoon, Jan. 15th
Birds counted were:
Horned Grebe, 3; Double Crested Cormorant, 2; Mute Swan, 2; Trumpeter Swan, 31; Gadwall, 5; American Wigeon, 73; Mallard, 6; Green-winged Teal, 7; Surf Scoter, 7; Bufflehead, 8; Common Merganser, 8; Bald Eagle, 2; Mew Gull, 4; Unidentified Gull sp., 28; Common Raven, 1

On the clear, calm morning of January 14, 2017 Jim and Lyn Wisnia did two coastal waterbird surveys in South Cowichan.

Verdier Point area:
Canada goose, 16; American widgeon, 48; Surf scoter, 13; Scoter sp. 2; Bufflehead, 22; Common goldeneye, 14; Barrow’s goldeneye, 5, Red-breasted merganser, 9, Pacific loon, 2; Common loon, 1; Horned grebe, 11; Western grebe, 240; Brandt’s cormorant, 3; Double-crested cormorant, 1; Great Blue heron, 1; Glaucous-winged gull, 12; Gull sp. 3; Belted kingfisher, 1; Common raven, 1.

Mill Bay Area:
Canada goose, 35; Mute swan, 2; Mallard, 12; Greater scaup, 2; Surf scoter, 75; Bufflehead, 63; Common goldeneye, 27; Barrow’s goldeneye, 8; .Hooded merganser, 3; Common merganser, 5, Red-breasted merganser, 8; Pacific loon, 1;, Common loon, 1; Horned grebe, 2; Pelagic cormorant, 1; Double-crested cormorant, 2; Mew gull, 10; Glaucous-winged gull, 44; Gull sp. 10; Belted kingfisher, 2.


Swan & Goose Count Jan.10th 2018

Red-tailed Hawk

 

American Kestrel

 

Pileated Woodpecker

 

Trumpeter Swans & Ring-necked Ducks

 

Muddy Trumpter Swans

 

Attack by American Kestrel

 

Greater White-fronted Goose

Today was a real pain in the butt, literally, the rain that was forecast never happened, there were great birds all over and we hit a 5 year high for Trumpeter Swans. Back to this pain in the butt, I was suffering today with a terrible lower back pain and could hardly walk, Barry being the gentleman that he is even brought my scope to me while I leaned up against the vehicle to count the swans. Zan on the other hand thought that we had a touch of a breath problem and plied us with breath mints and Jane being the newby brought along some Christmas cookies. Elizabeth did a great job on the walkie-talkie.
5 counters left the dog park and we were quickly counting Canada Geese at the school and the golf driving range. Strangely this week the geese numbers took a major dive and we could only find 617, down almost a quarter. The Trumpeter Swans on the other hand came at us in near record numbers with just under 700 counted, we have never reached these numbers since the spring of 2013. Eagle numbers were down as is expected at this time of year.
When we got to Somenos Lake we were greeted by a nice Pileated Woodpecker trying it’s hardest to top this cottonwood tree, be interesting to see if next week if the top of this tree which is home to nesting swallows in the spring has any top left on it. Out on the lake Barry spotted three little ducks with their tails turned up, these were the first Ruddy Ducks that we have encountered this season. A few swans were added and we headed off up the highway. Funny we had just mentioned about the Kestrel not being around lately and there he was sitting on top of the flagpole at the exhibition grounds. As Barry was taking it’s picture a Red-tailed Hawk came in from behind and chased the Kestrel off the pole, well the American Kestrel took offense to this and went after the Red-tail which by this time had landed in a small tree, the Kestrel dive bombed the larger bird and squealed his annoyance at being disturbed from hunting, all the time Barry had the camera on rapid fire as we called out here it comes again. Such fun to watch as nature showed us one of it’s wonders.
Down to Quist’s farm where good numbers of birds were awaiting our counting and by the time we left we had added over 130 swans to our ever growing list. Along Westholme Road we saw some resident Eurasian Collared-Doves, a Great Blue Heron and sundry dickie birds. Richards Trail was next and a nice flock of Canada Geese contained one Great White-fronted Goose which gave us good photo opportunities. You could easily see why hunters call these adult birds speckled bellies. Somehow we went into some sort of time lapse as we totally forgot to go up Herd Road and found ourselves on Tom Windsor Drive counting geese, so we could have missed a few birds with that miss.
Today we had a new guest Elizabeth along with us and we were hoping to show her some Elk, but not this week I’m afraid.
After the break we headed over to the Boys and Sahilton Road area and the latter came through with a nice flock of swans with what appeared to be a possible family group of Tundra swans with one adult and two immature, there well could have been more out there but the birds were busy feeding with some swans having so much mud on their bills it was hard to tell what species they were. We left having counted over 130 birds. On the west side we found another large flock of swans near the corn fields on Koksilah Road, this is always a awkward spot to count made even harder this week as I hobbled back up the hill with the scope with Barry in tow in case I collapsed half way up. When all was said and done another 125+ Trumpeters were added and I’m sure many were lurking back behind the trees out of our prying eyes. Working on a tip we headed up Riverside Road and found a small flock of 18 swans and a strange bird walking up a field and as we got closer it turned out to be a Northern Flicker going for a stroll, acting more like a Green Woodpecker from the old country who spend a lot of time on the ground. On and around to Bench where way down the field a small group of 30+ swans were having a kick around. Dougan’s Flats was once again void of any birds, not sure whats going on out there but Barry spotted a funny looking thing out in the fields which closely resembled a hunting blind. Off we went to St Catherine’s and oh my what were all those white things down in the field. Once again I was propped up against the Jeep with the scope counting the crowds of swans and geese. 184 swans and 100 geese later and we were heading off down the road. Koksilah Road had a handful of swans for the first time in a while.
Dinsdale’s Farm like Dougan’s Flats was lacking any birds at all so it was left up to the Dock Road to give us our final additions with 25 Trumpeters and a few Mute Swans.
That was it great time with a great group of friends and still no rain at the end, couldn’t be better.

Photo Credits
Greater White-fronted Goose by Derrick Marven
Attack by the American Kestrel by Barry Hetschko
Muddy Trumpeter by Derrick Marven
Trumpeters and Ring-necked Ducks by Barry Hetschko
Pileated Woodpecker by Zan Stenhouse
American Kestrel by Zan Stenhouse
Red-tailed Hawk by Zan Stenhouse

Derrick
in severe pain


Swan & Goose count, Jan. 3rd, 2018

Northern Shrike

 

Elk and geese

 

Muddy billed Trumpeter Swans

 

Western Meadowlark

 

Angry Bald Eagle

 

Odd Goose Out

 

014UK – collared Trumpeter Swan

Our first count of the new year was a little foggy but full of good birds and plenty of them with high numbers of Trumpeter Swans and good numbers of birds of prey.
8 people in two cars left the dog park with a new addition today as we were joined by Jane, her first S&G count, I believe she had a good time as she left a present behind in one of the vehicles.
At times today we were unable to see into the fields as mostly on the west side; you couldn’t see more than a few yards, the fog really didn’t lift until last thing which made it easy to see a few remaining birds in our last few spots.
We had an old friend, Trumpeter Swan with collar, and others with bills covered in mud, we had one whiter than the others and one dead swan feeding a hungry hoard of Eagles and Ravens at Quist’s Farm. We had a flying Greater White -fronted Goose who took up ice skating with it’s Canada and Cackling cousins on Somenos Lake. We also had 3 Northern Shrikes, a herd of Elk and a few assorted Gulls which did include a first winter Glaucous Gull. Barry got a Western Meadowlark just before the count along the Somenos Creek dike, a scarce bird for the Somenos area. Hawks were good with Coopers, Sharp-shinned, Red-tails, Merlin and Peregrine to add to our good total of Bald Eagles. All on all a wonderful January count, it was good to be out in the fresh winter air, good for clearing out all that holiday fuzz, I was personally glad that I didn’t have to walk far after just one days rest from the Christmas bird count, my legs were shot.
Trumpeter Swans reached new heights with over 450 counted and the Canada Geese decreased again down to 877. I am sure there were many more out there in the fog. A single Tundra Swan was mixed in the bunch at Quist’s Farm and at least two Killdeer were seen by at least one of us anyways. Star of the show today had to be at Somenos Lake where we found the neck banded Trumpeter Swan 01UK and below is what our good friend Peggy who keeps tabs on this bird had to say.
“She was banded Aug 3/ 2006” Age: “hatched in 2005 or earlier”
(For purposes of aging, swans are assumed to be hatched in June so she is at least 12 years 6 months old)
banded in Koyukuk National Wildlife Refuge in western Alaska wetlands where there are no roads)

We first saw her in the Cowichan Valley north of Phipps Road in Feb/ 2011, it is amazing what we can learn from a single bird with a band.

The Elk were in their normal spot at the park and ride on Hwy18 and then from there onwards it became all foggy and that was not just me. Big thanks to my buddies for sticking with me for another year on this count. A another big thanks to Kurlene who went back up to Bench and managed to add a few more swans after the fog had lifted a bit.
A short report this week as I have got a massive load of entries to make for the Christmas Count

Photo Credits
Northern Shrike by Derrick Marven
Elk and Geese by Derrick Marven
muddy billed Swans by Barry Hetschko
Western Meadowlark by Barry Hetschko
angry Bald Eagle by Barry Hetschko
odd goose out by Zan Stenhous
01UK by Zan Stenhouse

Happy New Year
Derrick


Swan & Goose count Dec. 20th 2017

Cowichan Bay Swans

Tundra & trumpeter swans in flight

 

Snowy owl

 

Great blue heron

 

Swans in flight

 

Golden crowned sparrow

It was the week before Christmas and it was quiet, it was no wonder as all was white
The sun was clear which made the birds disappear
Our numbers were down which left me with a frown
Dorothy and Eric had disappeared but Bob and Helen suddenly appeared

Oh! I am not that good at that stuff.
5 birders cuddled up with Barry in his 4 wheel drive and it was a good thing as in some spots we needed to crunch some snow even if we didn’t crunch lot’s of numbers. The swan numbers were down and the good numbers dropped like a stone, on the good side we did find a few more Red-tailed Hawks this week all taking in a few rays of the lovely sun. I can you believe it we found a American Kestrel in another new spot, either this bird gets around a lot or we have a good number of them in the valley, it will be interesting to see how many get counted during the Duncan Christmas bird count on the 1st of January. Eagle numbers were good although they were spread out a bit except for one tree on Boys Road that had a good number all chatting away.
Somenos Lake had a nice group of Trumpeter Swans, sadly they were way down in the south-west corner in thick mist and although I could count them I could not tell if there were any immature with them so they all went down as adults
We found 4 Killdeer on Quist’s Farm along with a good helping of swans and geese as they enjoyed the last bit of unfrozen water to be had. On Richard’s Trail we found our only falcon of the day the American Kestrel and with the water fast freezing only four Trumpeters were seen along with some dabbling ducks.
This week all participants behaved themselves so there was no juicy tales to tell,yes this weeks lot were a dull old bunch but good company.
Boy’s Road came through with it’s usual assortment of Bald Eagles with one tree bending under the numbers. A few Golden-crowned and Song Sparrows hopped from snow mound to snow mound and Barry just manged to get a shot in before someone came down the road and they all dived into a snow ladenned blackberry bush. On Sahilton Road we found bird of the day, I was telling everyone about a moggy that was sitting up on snow bank when Zan exclaimed look there’s a Great Blue Heron close, well close it was and Barry said I can’t get it all in the frame, so I grabbed the camera while Zan was letting the rapid fire of her camera go unabated and with such an obliging bird I hate to think how many pictures we took between us. This bird would not fly away instead paraded up and down in the bright sun, what a darling it was, thanks Mr or Mrs Great Blue Heron for a real treat.
A very strange occurrence on St. Catherine’s Road where Barry spotted a Northern Shrike that was sat up in a tree with a American Robin, maybe the robin was a bit big to stab on a spike somewhere so it was left alone as the shrike took off across the fields to find something bit smaller. Good numbers of Swans and Geese were counted at this location and some California Quail sat up nicely only for the camera to decide it was too sunny on the snow and failed to focus properly, don’t you just hate these over sunny days.
Good numbers of Red-winged Blackbirds were on Jim’s Crescent although the pond was frozen so no duckies or geese this week.
Just off of Telegraph Road we encountered a Snowy Owl which appeared to have dived into some dirty snow as its beak and the front of its face were a little dirty as it sat up beside a chimney breast for heat.
With Koksilah Road East devoid of birds we soon found ourselves down in Cowichan Bay where a few swans awaited us counters, then a few Eagles were at Dinsdale’s Farm and is always the case of late they sat on the wrong side of the road with the sun behind, you’d think they would know that we count on Wednesday and would be taking photographs of birds.
The Dock Road was next and a good number of Trumpeter Swans were enjoying the Khenipson Road side of the sunny bay while a few Bald Eagles sat on some posts and some lazy Seals were spread out on the log booms.
As we returned to the dog park a group of swans flew over with one that was decidedly smaller, a Tundra Swan , what an end to the day.

That was our day, I wish you all a great time over the holidays and we will be back in the New Year.

Photo Credits
Cowichan Bay Swans by Derrick Marven
Swans in flight by Barry Hetschko
Skiing Golden-crowned Sparrow by Barry Hetschko
Great Blue Heron by Zan Stenhouse
Snowy Owl by Zan Stenhouse
Tundra and Trumpeter swans in flight by Zan Stenhouse


Swan & Goose count Dec.6th 2017

Red-tailed hawk

Trumpter swans on Richard’s Trail

 

Fox sparrow

 

More swans, etc on Richard’s Trail

 

Spotted towhee

 

Elk & little buddy

 

More elk

Today was one of those wonderful birding days that we dream of, the sun shone brightly all day, the birds put on a great show and so did the beasts. Counting on a day like this was a joy, with the birds all being mostly easy to see.
6 birders left the dog park this morning and all had smiles on their faces from the get go. Some of the usual occupants of the Somenos Marsh were in attendance when Barry took his walk along the dike before meeting up with me, Northern Shrike, Red-tailed Hawk and a far off Peregrine Falcon and as the vehicles left and headed along Beverly Street a Merlin sailed over chasing another raptor which was unidentified. The usual group of Canada Geese were having kick around on the football pitch at the school and a few more were protesting at the golf driving range, wanting it left as grass and not another concrete jungle on floodplain.
Somenos Lake had a good number of Geese and a handful of ducks and a few far off Bald Eagles. As headed up the highway near Norcross Road we could see a few Trumpeter Swans down in the fields to the west and then a few Elk appeared and then a whole herd of the beauties were standing out grazing, it is always the way when your on the wrong side of the highway and no gaps in the concrete barriers. We did discuss about turning around, but we were on a mission to count birds not ungulates although I am sure a few photo’s would have helped holding back the tears. Later our good buddy Zan got some pictures.
This week our numbers of Swans increased with a healthy 233 adults and 42 immature, we were now getting a better ratio of young birds to adults. Bald Eagle numbers also bounced back up with 78 adults and 59 immature birds. Our total raptor count was 7 different species which is always nice to have, although the lack of Red-tailed Hawks was noticeable again this week. Barry managed a wonderful rear end shot of a Red-tail in Somenos, see attachment to see how this bird gets it’s name.
Best spot of the day was Richards Trail where the flooded fields were loaded with swans, geese and ducks, let’s hope no permit is issued to hunt on these lands this season as no crops have been planted now for more than four years and remains a very important area for waterfowl in migration.
We had another look at the Elk from the park and ride on Hwy18 before heading for our break.
Boy’s Road was next and good numbers of eagles were spread out among the trees at the bottom of the road and and it is nice to see heads way out in the field as some eagles were bathing in the flooded parts of the field. For the second week running at this location a accipiter darted over before we could get the glasses on it. Maybe next week will nail down what it is.
Back over to the west resulted in not much being added to our lists, another Merlin here and Bald Eagle there and then on Bench Road a group of swans awaited our counting while a Northern Shrike sat tantalizing on the wrong side of the sun on a hydro wire, oh it would have been such a nice shot.
Back along the highway and down to Dougan’s Flats, now I know how this location got it’s name as there was flat nothing there.
Back across to St.Catherine’s Drive and smiles were back on our faces as a group of swans and Canada Geese had a single Snow Goose among them. The girls went off to check out another raptor but it remained unnamed.
Jim’s pond had some geese and the Red-winged Blackbirds sat up in the willows to welcome us. I pished out a Spotted Towhee and asked it to come nearer which it obliged, it only sat still for a couple of shots in the brambles, that was enough for me to get a closeup of it’s red-eye.
Koksilah Road was next and again it was flat empty, not even a wayward duckie could be seen and gone was the shrike from last week. Down to the bay we went and 5 Mute Swans awaited us along with some Hooded Mergansers and a couple of Great Blue Herons. Just a few more eagles and a group of Canada Geese on Dinsale’s Farm and we were nearly done for the day.
The Dock Road had a Northern Harrier and hoards of Ducks and a pair of hunters scaring everything up from the fields, don’t the hunters understand that if they can see the ducks while walking out in the field, the ducks can also see them. We added a few more Trumpeters and eagles, four big lights in the wood yard were put down as Osprey just to please one of the counters and a e-mail was received from someone who left early and was supposed to be tending to the dog instead of playing on the computer.
That was it we were done, just a wonderful day out with good friends enjoying the wonder of nature.
When the sun shines you get lot’s of pictures, thanks everyone.

Photo Credits
Red-tailed Hawk by Barry Hetschko
Fox Sparrow by Barry Hetschko
Spotted Towhee by Derrick Marven
Richards Trail waterfowl by Derrick Marven
More Richards Trail Zan Stenhouse
Elk and little buddy by Zan Stenhouse
More Elk by Zan Stenhouse

Derrick


Swan & Goose count Nov 29th 2017

Collared Canada goose

 

Northern Shrike

 

Black bald eagle

 

Bald eagles

 

Snow geese

It was one of those days when you leave home and you think am i dressed properly, well for sure some of us weren’t as the wind and cold went right down to the bones. It was nice when the seven of us were riding around in the two vehicles with the heater on, but get out and wow!
Barry had already found a few goodies by the time we left and so we had to improve on his finds. The school football pitch along Beverly had two nice Snow Geese mixed in with some Canada’s – one was an immature and the other almost an adult, more than likely last years youngun. On the golf driving range we found our first neck collared goose of the season and after closer inspection Zan spotted that it had leg a band also and the one next to it also had a leg band but no neck collar. We quickly moved on getting more geese along the way and at Somenos Lake we got our first Bald Eagles to add to the Red-tailed Hawk and Peregrine Falcon that Barry had spotted. We would have had a nice picture of the Red-tail in flight but Barry’s computer crashed under the weight of all those bird pictures he takes. Along the Highway we found the first American Kestrel of the day sitting in the exhibition grounds, I think this could be the same bird from last year back to gather in the produce that assorted barns have to offer. At Quist’s Farm the 5 Greater White-fronted Geese from last week were still present and a good flock of American Wigeon. Along Westholme Road we got our first sitting Trumpeters to add to the four seen flying over Somenos flats and along Richards Trail another 74 Trumpeters with our first immatures of the day, it is good to see these birds back in this location. That was it until we hit Herd Road and another 33 Trumpeters and 300 Canada Geese were added along with a nice assortment of ducks with some snazzy Northern Shovellers showing well. Our next American Kestrel was on Tom Windsor Drive a long ways off down the hydro line. There really was not much else for the first half so we broke for a rest and huddled in the car park of A&W waiting for our new driver senior Derrick who I’m afraid has no sense of time or cold. It was nice to have our senior friend along this week for the full circuit although his spotting of many leaf birds was a cause of some concern. Back on the road one vehicle doing Boys and the other doing Sahilton, there were less Bald Eagles than last week this was enhanced by two really dark almost black immatures, I personally have never seen such dark birds almost melanistic in appearance with just a few white blotches. Over we went to the west side and a few eagles were up and floating around sadly the photographers were not so energetic in getting out. Just a single swan was seen until we hit the end of Koksilah Road west and here we saw 8 Trumpeters in a field where we have never had them before so this was a nice surprise. One real funny sighting along the road was this big truck with a very long aluminum bridge on a big trailer. it passed us twice, I made the remark that it was the York Road–Somenos Creek bridge looking for a new owner.
Up on Bench Road a nice group of 45 swans were way down the field and a Merlin sat up on Wilson Road the same spot where last week it sat. Funny how you learn that some birds have a pattern for feeding and hang out at the same places week after week, like it is their personal larder. Dougan’s Flats gave us our second Merlin and it was here that I found myself in trouble again as I thought it was a female Kestrel, the others put their foot down and I found myself floundering. Mrs.Marshall, the local head mistress, tweaked my ear and made me apologize to the other car. Oh! I bet she was bossy when she teached and had some good nicknames.
On St.Catherine’s we had just two swans and nothing else not even a dickie bird. We then after a few geese found ourselves down on Koksilah Road east where a good 300 Canada Geese were browsing and just around the corner on Wilmott Road was a lovely Northern Shrike which dragged me out of the truck for some snaps while senior Derrick and Kurlene caused chaos by blocking the road. If there are any readers held up during the road block please accept our apologies. A good Northern Shrike picture is hard to come by especially one that seems to come back to this location year after year. Down through Cowichan Bay and a few more eagles were added and four Mute Swans. By the time we got to the Dock Road the wind was blowing and small whitecaps were coming across the bay, so we didn’t dally long and headed for home. The other car had just got a Northern Harrier way over the field to help our good hawk and eagle numbers.

Back home to a nice hot drink and warm fire.

Photo credits.
Snow Geese by Zan Stenhouse
Banded Canada Geese by Zan Stenhouse
American Kestrel by Zan Stenhouse
Bald Eagles by Kurlene Wenberg
Black Bald Eagle by Derrick Marven
Northern Shrike by Derrick Marven

Derrick
wearing the dunces cap


Coastal Waterbird Counts, Sunday November 6th, 2017.

Cowichan Bay

On the south side: Linda Hill reports that a new birder named Doug showed up valiantly in the pouring rain to hold a large umbrella over our heads as we quickly counted these birds:

28 gull species; 3 common goldeneye; 3 horned grebes; 90 Buffleheads; 6 Double crested Cormorants; 2 Hooded Mergansers; 1 Great Blue Heron

On the north side: The following birds were seen three very wet bird counters – Kurlene Wenberg, Bob Nation, and Daryl Johnson.

Trumpeter Swan,31; Surf Scoter, 13; Bufflehead, 269; Common Goldeneye, 262; Common Merganser, 63; Double-crested Cormorant, 14; Bald Eagle, 14; Shorebird species; 35; Mew Gull, 31; Glaucous-winged Gull, 47; Gull species, 430; Northwestern Crow 1.

Jim & Lyn Wisnia had to start counts earlier, so avoided rain for Verdier Point area, though got it for Mill Bay area. Despite reduced visibility we were able to see the long string of Western Grebes way out in Saanich Inlet and quickly counted by tens to get the estimated total, an encouraging number.

Verdier Point:
1. American Wigeon, 17
2. Mallard 10
3. Surf Scoter 9
4. Bufflehead 21
5. Common Goldeneye 27
6. Barrow’s Goldeneye 15
7. Red-breasted Merganser 31
8. Common Loon 5
9. Horned Grebe 18
10. Brandt’s Cormorant 1
11. Pelagic Cormorant 6
12. Great Blue Heron 1
13. Bald Eagle 2
14. Mew Gull 5
15. Glaucous-winged Gull 6
16. gull sp. 7
17. Belted Kingfisher 1
18. Northwestern Crow 1

Mill Bay:
1. Mute Swan 8
2. American Wigeon 34
3. Surf Scoter 13
4. Bufflehead 65
5. Common Goldeneye 17
6. Hooded Merganser 2
7. Common Merganser 2
8. Red-breasted Merganser 15
9. Pacific Loon 8
10. Common Loon 2
11. Horned Grebe 2
12. Red-necked Grebe 2
13. Western Grebe 450 see comments above
14. Pelagic Cormorant 1
15. Double-crested Cormorant 5
16. Mew Gull 7
17. Glaucous-winged Gull 44
18. gull sp. 14
19. Belted Kingfisher 3


Swan & Goose count Nov.22nd 2017

Belted igfisher

Trumpter Swans

White-crowned sparrow

Wood duck

Screaming bald eagle

Juvenile bald eagle

We were only 5 today as one of our party had a Owlie after spending to much time on the mainland. The weather was warm and we managed to dodge most of the wet stuff and at the end of the day the sun shone and we were all smiles. Our swan count went up and the Bald Eagles put on a wonderful show with high numbers, they were dripping off the trees. At the end we had just over 150 Trumpeter Swans and just over 160 Bald Eagles. I don’t think we missed too many swans but I’m sure many eagles were missed and i think we could have easily trebled the eagle count with more time.
With just 5 people we went in one vehicle and wow, what happened in the back seat could have filled one of the tabloid front pages, who thought that a seat-belt could cause so much trouble and be put in so many wrong places, one member clung onto her new camera just in case she had to bail out at sometime.
Anyway enough of that, the birds did us proud this week with some wonderful views to be had and many pictures taken, I only wish I could add all the pictures but it would make the posting way to big. 2 American Kestrels, 1 Peregrine Falcon, Coopers Hawk, Sharp-shinned Hawk we were having fun. We had hardly started when a adult Northern Shrike was sitting on the new bird boxes at Somenos, sadly traffic did not allow enough time to get it’s portrait and it flew off. Quist’s Farm had 5 Greater White-fronted Geese our first of the season and a host of other waterfowl. Somenos at the corner of Beverly and TCH had most species of dabbler ducks in the now swollen water levels. What is strange so far this season is we have failed to find any of those neck banded Canada Geese from up island, not sure where they all went. Westholme Road came through with a ever growing flock of Trumpeter Swans which has now grown from 22 to 60 birds. Even Richards Trail had 6 swans this week, I wonder what will happen as the flooding increases. Herd Road is looking good and as long as the farmer lets them, the swans will increase here also. Canada Goose numbers increased this week with the higher counts being in the north end of the count area.
After our break we headed over to Boys Road where the number of eagles lining the trees was wonderful with many hanging out their wings as if they wanted to hand glide across the fields. This rain has washed many salmon carcasses down the river this in turn makes for easy pickings for the lovely Bald Eagles. It is always nice to see them out in the fields in the puddles taking a bath, good way to get that chummy smell off. When we hit Cowichan Bay several of the eagles put on a show for the photographers and many great shots were had. Many species of duckies have moved in with both species of Goldeneyes being seen. We added 5 Mute Swans to our total, all of them in Cowichan Bay.
Red-tailed Hawks were in short supply with just 2 seen all day, this was compensated by the 2 American Kestrels. Many Bald Eagles were in the trees on Tzouhalem Road adjacent to the river on our way home.
I can only say this was a wonderful day and how nice it would have been to have shown more of you what this wonderful valley has to offer, you will have to see the pictures and imagine what it was like to have been there.

If you see any spelling mistakes or grammar errors these are all intentional for you to spot.

Until we ride again, take care and enjoy our wonderful wildlife.

Derwick

Photo credits
Belted Kingfisher by Barry Hetschko
Trumpeter Swans by Zan Stenhouse
White-crowned Sparrow by Zan Stenhouse
Wood Duck by Derrick Marven
Screaming eagle by Barry Hetschko
juvenile Bald Eagle by Derrick Marven


Swan & Goose count Nov.8th 2017

It was a dry day although a little chilly, 5 people turned up for the count and because one of them was coming down with some nasty bug we decided to put all the clean ones in one vehicle and me with bugsy. I had already suffered the sickness, hopefully I was now immune to getting it for a second term. One of our group had paid a visit into Duncan before meeting up to see the Northern Mockingbird and it obliged by sitting up for a nice picture or two. This has to be the longest staying bird in BC history.
The swans and eagles put on a better show this week with 84 Trumpeters counted and 67 Bald Eagles most of the eagles being in the Boy’s Road area. We had 2 Merlins and 2 Northern Harriers one of which Barry and I was let off the hook, more on that in a bit.
Somenos Lake had a few swans and a small flock of geese, there wasn’t as many ducks out on the lake this week, the star of the show was a American Kestrel which sat up on a dead snag far out to the left from the elevated boardwalk at Drinkwater Road. This species is very uncommon in the Somenos area. We also had our first Northern Harrier here going back and forth on the far side of the lake. We motored along to Quist’s farm and found a few more swans, a small amount of assorted duckies and many Common Ravens. Along Westholme Road a good group of Eurasian Collared-Doves sat high up in a Maple tree. We then headed along Richards Trail but failed to find most of anything. We had discussed through e-mail about heading down east on Herd Road as a report of swans had come in and most were still there far out in the fields off of Flett Road. We then returned back along Herd to the highway, at Norcross we spotted a Red-tailed Hawk sitting up nicely and turned and took it’s picture although the light was not in our favor. Along Hwy 18 we saw nothing just some cows running across a field as if they thought it was spring, later we heard of a couple of cougars up that way so maybe the cows had spotted something that we missed. It was all downhill now until our break.
On Boy’s Road the annual gathering of Bald Eagles was in full swing with the trees all around dotted with these majestic birds. We had a few flyby Trumpeters over on Sahilton and then we left for pastures to the west. Koksilah Road was a bust and we did not see much until we hit Bench where a few of the early birds had set up shop way down in the field with their buddy Canada Geese keeping a ever watchful eye open for the nasty farmer. A distant Merlin took the girls off to get a picture and another Merlin sat up on Lakeside Road. Dougan’s Flats had just two adult Bald Eagles wondering where all the duckies had gone as only a handful sat down in a small puddle in the field. We crossed the highway and headed over to St. Catherine’s Road where we scored a nice group of 180 Canada Geese, strangely though there were hardly any dickie birds to be seen along the brambles. Our next lucky spot was along Koksilah Road east where good number of Geese were seen, we headed around to Wilmott Road for a better look and straight away I spotted a Snow Goose in the bunch. We counted around 600 Canada Geese here and the white one stood out like a sore thumb.
Down through the Bay where the first Common Goldeneyes of the fall had returned and the Bufflehead numbers grow daily. What was very strange was the lack of birds on Dinsdale’s farm with the fields devoid of any waterfowl what so ever.
The Dock Road was next which brings me back to the other Northern Harrier, as we drove along the road both Barry and I scanned the fields and posts in hopes of an early owl and then it happened right in front of us not 10 feet away a lovely male Harrier lifted off from a post, how did we miss this, the cameras were ready, sadly we were not and the bird fluttered off across the field, luckily one of our trusted ladies managed a flight shot in ever diminishing light. Sitting at home later on we heard that a Short-eared Owl and the Harrier were spotted again; oh well, you win some and loose some. With no swans or geese in the bay our day was done and as the temperature started to drop I think we were all ready for home and nice warm fire and chair to snooze in.

Photo credits.
Male Northern Harrier by Zan Stenhouse
Snow Goose by Derrick Marven
Red-tailed Hawk by Derrick Marven and Barry Hetschko
Trumpeter Swans by Zan Stenhouse

Red-tailed hawk

Trumpeter swans

Male Northern Harrier

Snow Goose

Red-tailed Hawk


Swan & Goose count Nov.1 2017

Peregrine Falcon

Young buck

Northern Harrier

Misty trumpeters

Red-tailed Hawk

Here we go again, it is hard to believe that today was the start of our ninth year doing this count and the fifth year of counting Hawks and Eagles.
The weather was tremendous with sunny skies all the way. 7 participants came out and so two cars left the dog park nearly on time. Think we need to get Bob an alarm clock for Xmas. Barry had already walked the dike chatting up some old dears and as we went up to meet him a nice Lincoln’s Sparrow sat up in the sun. The first two stops on the count produced good flocks of Canada Geese in the Somenos area, all of which were the big brutes. The third stop was down Drinkwater Road at Somenos Lake where way out on the far side of the lake in the morning mist sat our first Trumpeter Swans, three birds, one feeding and the other two asleep. Sadly these were the only swans total that we found all day. As promised to my buddy Paul I said three get well soons and it was appropriate that the swans would be in Somenos. Out on the lake were at least 20 Pied-billed Grebes a nice high count for this area, it appears they delighted in this past summers dry heat. My first Buffleheads of the season floated far out and when we came down through Cowichan Bay we had another nice group so this species is slowly arriving for winter. We added a few adult Bald Eagles as we moved along and a nice Red-tailed Hawk sat out in the open along Richards Trail for the lead car to admire, I think Eric will make sure that the camera is in the front from now on. As we came up out of the valley along the trail what appeared to be a large orangey breasted bird sat high up on top of a cedar tree, my first thoughts was it was a adult Sharp-shinned Hawk, then as we got closer a large woodpecker, maybe a Northern Flicker, it was then that my mouth overtook my brain and I said it could be a Lewis’s Woodpecker. The bird flew out of the tree just as Barry claimed a American Robin, I had egg on my face and to make matters worse a horse in a paddock started whinnying which honestly sounded like it was laughing at me. I did not mention any bird sightings again until the count was over for fear of ridicule. There was not much else of note before our break although Kurlene mentioned two birds that were up circling Mt.Prevost, one a eagle and one a accipiter. She did tell me what she thought they were, sadly I think she had joined my club so I just put them down as species. After our break it was off to Boy’s Road where we did get a nice adult Coopers Hawk and a couple of Red-tailed Hawks in the Modeste-Sahilton Road areas. It seemed strange at this early date not to find a single goose in the area. Today Nov.1st was the earliest we have ever started the count. We headed off to the west side of town, the cupboard was bare with nothing being seen, not even the second vehicle, man the’re slow. One thing of interest as we sat looking out over Dougan’s Flats was a red Meadowhawk dragonfly, which was almost certainly a Yellow-legged Meadowhawk one of the late flyers and by far the latest i have ever seen one. Back across the highway and we descended into Cowichan Bay, as Eric was making wonderful time we went down to visit the Sealions and what a wonderous group there was with well over 40 big beasts out in the bay and on the floating dock, most were Steller’s and just four Californian’s in view. Back down through the bay and along Cowichan Bay Road a nice Peregrine Falcon sat up on a dead snag. Dinsdale’s Farm had a big group of Geese with a Snow Goose trying to look inconspicuous in the middle. The last stop was on the Dock Road where were treated to some nice birds, a Eurasian Wigeon and possibly a hybrid one also, a flyover immature Northern Harrier with it’s distinct white rump who then put up a large flock of Bonaparte’s Gulls with more than 100 birds, the most I have seen in the bay in many a year. That was it our day was done.

Photo credits
Peregrine Falcon, Kurlene Wenberg
Young Buck, Barry Hetschko
Northern Harrier, Zan Stenhouse
Misty Trumpeters, Zan Stenhouse
Red-tailed Hawk, Eric Marshall

Not bad for the first week
Derrick


Coastal Waterbird Counts, Sunday, October 9th, 2017.

A bright and beautiful morning in Cowichan Bay, just after sunrise. On the south side of the Bay Carol Milo, Gail Mitchell, Laurie Vasey, and John Scull where joined at the Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre by two visitors inspired by the Wildwings Festival: Bruce Coates and Karen Jarvis. There were very few waterbirds in the south side of the estuary this Thanksgiving morning but on shore we were treated to Varied Thrush, Song Sparrow, House Sparrow, and American Goldfinch.
The waterfowl we saw were: Horned Grebe, 1; Double Crested Cormorant, 7; Great Blue Heron, 1; Western Gull, 1; Glaucous-winged Gull, 7; Gull sp., 25; Belted Kingfisher, 2 ; Northwestern Crow 2

Kurlene Wenberg, Bob Nation, and Daryl Johnson saw the following birds on the north side of the Bay: Canada Goose, 1; Mute Swan, 10; American Wigeon, 279; Mallard, 23; Surf Scoter, 19; Common Merganser, 10; Pelagic Cormorant, 1; Great Blue Heron, 7; Bald Eagle, 1; Mew Gull, 14; Gull sp. 68; Belted Kingfisher, 2

Jim and Lyn Wisnia counted the following (12 species total):

In Mill Bay Area: Canada Goose, 79; Mute Swan, 4; Mallard, 1; Western Grebe, 199; Double Crested Cormorant, 1; Cormorant sp., 1; Mew Gull, 12; Glaucous- winged Gull, 15; Gull sp., 2; Belted Kingfisher, 2; Northwestern Crow, 2.

Verdier Point area: Surf Scoter, 5; Common Loon, 5; Brandt’s Cormorant, 1; Mew Gull, 18; Glaucous-winged Gull, 20; Gull sp., 2; Belted Kingfisher, 1.