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.
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