Swan, Goose & Raptor count Mar.4th 2020

Red-tailed Hawk
Bald Eagle
American Kestrel with Kermit
Lesser Scaup
Trumpeter swans – Tundra on far left
Great Blue Heron
It was a strange old day with most things going down and the sun going up once more; well it was a Wednesday so what do you expect. 9 birders set out from the dog park and for the second time ever I had my son along for the day. Those young eyes paid dividends as he spotted a few nice birds along the way and his driving was not bad either. We had to squash 3 girls into the back of his 4×4 and getting up into the vehicle did pose a few problems, but with a little sliding and pushing once in, every thing was fine.
Swan numbers went down a little this week as I am sure the early starters headed out for the fields further north. Geese numbers took a tumble again, I just wonder where they all keep going, some geese have already started to pair up and will be nesting very soon. Immature Bald Eagle numbers went down as more and more get chased away by adults from the breeding areas and more than likely some are heading up island for the Herring spawn.
4 American Kestrel again this week with Zan spotting two at the rest stop at hwy. 18 on her way in. One Kestrel toyed with the photographers on Herd Road as it had caught a frog and kept moving away every time we got close, but that’s why we got the long lenses for these occasions.
A new species was recorded this week and I’m not sure the exact name of the bird, it sounded like Shut-that Window or something like that. The girls in the back called it out so many times but I was unable to spot one from the front.  I have checked the AOU checklist but can’t seem to find a match, I do know that Gary likes his fresh air and likes to drive with his elbow out the window. The wind was playing hell with my hearing aid, Not sure what I was hearing.
A day totally different from last week with just one Northern Shrike and that was seen on the second to last stop. This week we saw plenty of California Quail and a few more sparrows and Junco’s.
Jim’s Pond had some nice Lesser Scaup in the sun and a fly in Double-crested Cormorant which disappeared as soon as it landed. Cowichan Bay had a few remaining diving ducks and a few more Green-winged Teal had moved in. American Wigeon were in good number at several locations and I only saw 3 Ruddy Ducks at the Herd Road fields.
Things are starting to wind down and only three counts to go and if this weather persists more and more swans and geese will head out.
Just a short report this week as my honey do list is longer than the bird list and is going up as the birds go down. I am using my new laptop so please excuse any glaring wrong doings.
Not many photographs this week, we must try harder.
Photo Credits
Lesser Scaup by Zan Stenhouse
Kestrel with Kermit by Zan Stenhouse
Great Blue Heron on the hunt By Zan Stenhouse
Tundra Swan far left by Zan Stenhouse
Bald Eagle by Gary Marven
Red-tailed Hawk by Gary Marven