Swan, Goose & Raptor count February 5th 2020

Short-eared owl
Trumpeter swans
Trumpeter swan
Red-headed Trumpeter swans
Trumpeter swans in flight
Northern Shovellers
Ruddy ducks
Today was Bob’s Day  and I dedicate this weeks report to all the Bob’s that watch birds. This week we had our own Bob Nation along for the trip and my did he bring us luck, with a record count of swans for this season over 400 and 4 Tundra Swans to boot. 6  Snow Geese and over 1300 Canada Geese rounded out our count sheet. Once again this week Eric was in charge of keeping the tally as Dorothy can’t bring herself to come out in the rain, I am hoping that when the sun shines we will see her return, if not I will be requiring a doctors note.
6 dry counters left the dog park and we were soon counting hawks and eagles, this week also saw a record count for the season of 14 Red-tailed Hawks added to this was a drop in Bald Eagles, 2 American Kestrels, 2 Merlin and several Cooper’s Hawks and accipiter sp., we must start brushing up on our hawk identification as too many are going unresolved.
My day started with an omen at Quamichan Lake where a nice Ruddy Duck was close to the flooded car park, little did we know that we were going to find 5 more in the most unlikely spot of the Herd Road flooded fields.
We encountered a fair bit of flood damage this week around our route but none that would stop us from completing our count.
Strange sight up on Koksilah Road west where walking up this track in the farmers field was 6 female Deer all together in a herd, safety in numbers I guess or keeping tight to stay out of the way of marauding males.
123 Seals were counted out on the mini log boom of Cowichan Bay, been a while since I have seen this many out there, life must be good, can’t see that they are finding much to eat as the ducks were in very low numbers again. male and female Bald Eagles were perched together getting ready for the upcoming breeding season
Our biggest flock of swans this week and the group that held the Tundras was on Bench Road where 315 Trumpeter’s were counted among these were 49 immature our best count this season. I did get a report from one of our southern correspondents about a group of 120+ swans down on Cameron-Taggert on Tuesday, but they are out of our count route but are worth noting.
The best of the day was saved for the end of the count when  we found 3 Short-eared Owls all sitting up in low trees, Bob had worked his magic on this namesake day.
Photo Credits
Red-headed Trumpeter Swans by Barry Hetschko
Northern Shovellers by Barry Hetschko
Flying Swans by  Barry Hetschko

Ruddy Ducks by Barry Hetschko

Trumpeter Swans by Derrick Marven
Short-eared Owl by Derrick Marven
American Kestrels  by Zan Stenhouse