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