Swan, Goose & Raptor count March 11th 2020

It takes a lot of determination and perseverance to be a swan counter because sometimes we go and we don’t see much at all and then all of a sudden some birds pop up and all are happy. It was a bit like that today as we went to many locations and found the cupboard was bare. 8 counters set out from the dog park and once again this week things were not good for the first few stops. We did see a few Swallows flying at Somenos and a few hardy Robins picking for worms. Somenos Lake had a good bunch of Geese but that was it. Zan on her way in today had counted the swans at Mt.Sicker Road so we did not cross the hwy and turned down and along to Westholme Road. We looked and looked but failed to find anything good. We tried to turn a couple of young Bald Eagles into Goldens but failed miserably. Even the American Kestrels failed to show them selves today so all we ended up with for the day were about the same number as last week Bald Eagles and a very low 5 Red-tailed Hawks, pretty poor I would say. Herd Road fields were covered in ducks and geese which brightened our day a bit. Having said bright, yes it was another sunny Wednesday, but that wind cut through our feathers and some who had molted into summer plumage felt that sharp chill. We soon found ourselves at A&W for lunch where french fries and cookies were tempted to us all, even got some smarties as well. I try all week to cut back on food and then come Wednesday all those ounces I had lost come rushing back on again.
This week the Trumpeter Swan numbers took a dive by about 100 birds as the migration starts; we did find a nice bunch of immatures that were starting to turn color along Hwy 18 and they were dully photographed by all as you will see. Funny that some of our previous years best spots for swans have seen a complete absence of birds, it makes one wonder what could possibly be missing from these fields this year or is that other fields have better fodder, I guess we will never know. Bench Road once again had the largest gathering and also along Koksilah Road east.
Barry on his pre-count walk found some goodies including a nice Lincoln’s Sparrow and a group of Starling checking out one of the swallow boxes. I don’t think they will all fit in there..
Just a couple of Deer and one dead Gray Squirrel were all the animals today; we did try to revive the Squirrel with a little tap from my boot but it was a gonner, we did offer it up to Barry for a stew but he declined. We did see a lot of Skunk Cabbage today and lot’s of other blooms coming on.
On our trip around our route we have around 10 or more eagle nests some of these have birds warming eggs already.
I guess I should mention the chocolate near the end, Zan always seems to have a bar or two to share, guess that’s why she carries all those bags. More inches were added to the waistline.
We are now on the home stretch with just two more counts to go for the season, we will miss our little gatherings, but spring is upon us, so much is to be seen and appreciated.
Lot’s of pics today, so hold on to your horses as they all load up.
Derrick
Trumpeter Swans by us all
Brewers Blackbirds by Derrick Marven
I’m behind you by Derrick Marven
Starlings buying a new home by Barry Hetschko
Northern Shrike by Barry Hetschko
Heron Meadow by Barry Hetschko
Lincoln’s Sparrow by Barry Hetschko
female Red-winged Blackbird by Zan Stenhouse
Golden-crowned Sparrow by Zan Stenhouse
Canada Goose pair by Zan Stenhouse and Denny Wagg
Eagle Nest by Zan Stenhouse
Heron by Denny Wagg

Great Blue Heron

Eagle’s nest

Canada geese

Trumpeter swans

Trumpeter swans

Lincoln sparrow

Northern shrike

Starlings

Trumpeter swans

Golden-crowned sparrow

Female red-winged blackbird

I’m behind you

Trumpeter swans

Heron meadow

Brewer’s blackbird