Swan&Goose count Jan.22nd

This week 4 participants headed out for the count and it was not long before we hit some good numbers of swans and geese. The DU pond at the Forest Museum had 7 Mute Swans and then Somenos Lake had just over 80 Trumpeter Swans and just under 100 Canada Geese. The lake was virtually void of ducks, not sure whats happening out there, but guess it’s lack of food?

A few swans were at Quist’s Farm and a handful of geese. A good flock of American Wigeon were feeding in the fields. We headed on round to Westholme Road where a large eagle type caught our eyes as it soared over the road, an abrupt stop had me out of the vehicle and squinting up into the sky, where low and behold we had a adult Golden Eagle that circled a few times before letting loose and drifting right out over our heads.

As always there was much conversation going on in the vehicle on all matters of life, none of which were really solved but it does make for some good laughs at times.

Highway 18 was our next good stop, here a big group of Canada Geese had congregated on a farmers field and right away closest to us I spotted 8 Greater White-fronted Geese, I gave a quick lesson on how to identify adults from immatures and pointed out that hunters refer to the adults as speckled bellies due to the dark bands that they have on their undercarriage. After a few scans it was estimated that there were 750 Canada’s which was down from the last time we found a big group in the same field.

On another matter:

There are times when all celebrities get some fan mail, so I was a little surprised that I get a few e-mails saying how wonderful they find my reports, well I’m not really up to Bieber standards but I get my share. Now and again I get stopped in the street by ladies who say I know you your that birder guy and how much they enjoy my little essays. Also of note are groupies that seem to follow stardom, this can at times be most welcome. I don’t get women’s things of a personal nature thrown at me, more like checklists and bits of scrap paper with field notes and bird lists on them. The occasional scream when I point out something good and yes the hug of thanks.

Now back to the facts:

After quick break at our rest stop we got skunked at our next 4 or 5 stops and so it was Dougans Flats before we found anything to enter on our sheet, over 70 Trumpeters were added and two handfuls of geese. Again we quickly moved along not finding anything until we hit Koksilah Road east when the fields showed much brown and white. 14 tiny Cackling Geese were close in for our inspection a couple of these showed the glint of a white collar that one would see on Aeulutian type which do show a distinct white band around their necks but I think they were not up to snuff for a positive identification. We added about 500 Canada Geese and just over 30 Trumpeter’s before moving on.
A couple more Mute Swans were had in Cowichan Bay village and 35 Canada’s on Dinsdales Farrm.
We hit the Dock Road in high hopes of adding a few more raptors to our days tally but other than a few more Bald Eagles nothing else was seen. Out over towards Khenipson Road on the other side  of the bay we had 17 Trumpeters and 4 unidentified sleeping swans. Ducks were at a premium out on the water but we did manage a few Greater Scuap in amongst the Bufflehead.

Along Tzouhalem Road we added 7 more swans to bring our totals up to a respectable level and then it was back to the dog park where yes the men are still working on the footpaths on this never ending Beverly Street make work program.

Thanks to my fellow counters for their good humor.

hi to all my fans and until next week keep on looking.