Swan & Goose count Nov. 28th 2018

Great Blue Heron


Bald Eagles in dead tree


Trumpeter Swans


Cackling goose


Peregrine Falcons


Immature Cooper’s Hawk


Northern Harrier


Mew Gulls in flight

This weeks count was supposed to have sunshine and showers but it turned out to be one long shower from start to finish. Bird numbers was very good considering the rain with the raptors coming through big time. Another 3 Peregrine Falcon day, 2 American Kestrels and several other good species. Sadly this week the Trumpeter Swan numbers took a dive #150, not sure what is happening but it appears that this is also happening up in the Comox Valley going on their numbers recorded this week. Our numbers are some of the lowest fourth week counts ever recorded. Even the Canada Goose numbers took a major decline with nearly a 1000 birds disappearing from last weeks count. We did do well for Snow Geese this week with 20 being counted and a nice flock of 15 to finish off our days count. Large numbers of gulls were seen around the valley as the rains and flooded fields caused the worms to come to the surface and cause a feast for the gulls. Eagle number continued to be high as the salmon feast continues with 150 birds in total counted.
We were 7 counters this week in two cars and at times birds were seen from all angles as we traveled around, we use a pair of walkie- talkies to communicate although some times direction and location can sometimes be lost in communication also when the second car gets to far behind and all we hear of them hear is a load of crackle instead of a voice, not sure of the distance these little gems can get, for the most part they serve us well.
Most of the swans were in their usual haunts with just a few more along Sahilton Road which was new for us this week.
Many people have asked what has happened to their garden birds this year with most people asking where’s all the Chickadees. There is a good cone crop this year and they might be feasting on them rather eating up all your handouts.We have noticed on our count the lack of dickie birds so I don’t think it’s just the feeders that are affected. Duck species are also in low numbers with hardly any Green-winged Teal and Northern Pintail in our wetlands.
As we reached the Dock Road yesterday the numbers of diving ducks were very low, Buffleheads, Common Goldeneye and Surf Scoters are down a lot from previous years.
Personally I think we have much to learn about what goes on in nature and most of what we think is conjecture as just when we think we know what’s happening nature throws us a curveball and does the complete opposite.
That was the case yesterday when the weather people said sun and showers, I must admit I did see some bright bits way off in the distance, maybe in the Sooke area.
We did our job and we did see some nice birds. Mission completed.


Photo Credits
Great Blue Heron, by Derrick Marven
Bald Eagles in dead tree, by Derrick Marven
Trumpeter Swans, by Derrick Marven
Cackling Goose, by Derrick Marven
Peregrine Falcons, by Zan Stenhouse
immature Cooper’s Hawk, by Zan Stenhouse
Northern Harrier, by Zan Stenhouse
Mew Gulls in flight, by Zan Stenhouse