Swan & Goose Count March 6th 2019

Immature tundra & trumpeter swans

Tundra swans adult & immature

Barry & light refreshment

Northern shrike

Rusty necked trumpeter

Bottoms up

Snipe walking on water

Robin and snipe ballet

Trumpeter swans in flight

Trumpeter swans in flight

Boots – breeding pair

It was another fine Wednesday morning when 7 counters turned up at the dog park, one counter was almost in fine spring plumage, whilst most of the others still retained their winter coats. We headed straight off and started counting Canada Geese right away at the school and this trend continued for most of the day as we got back to the high numbers that we encountered just before Christmas with #1251 recorded. The same thing went for the Trumpeter Swans who returned to old and new pastures and we got # 515 adults and 66 immature. We also found some Tundra Swans today with 1 immature on Koksilah Road west and close ones on Koksilah east which posed nicely for the camera. On one of our first stops at the site of the ever rising retirement home on York Road we saw Killdeer and Robins and a few golf balls, Barry drove off to let the girls have a look and our new counter of the week Denny who was trying the day for the first time. The girls spotted some Wilson’s Snipe which they bragged about to us in the first car, saying we missed them. That is not true as we often don’t report birds from the lead car just so the laggers get to have something for show and tell, it keeps them happy and keeps them coming. I am sure i will pay dearly for that remark. Somenos Lake had over 40 Ruddy Ducks and a few swans and several Pied-billed Grebes, although the lake still lacks a lot of ducks which we usually find at this time of year. We pushed up to Quist’s where we got our first task of the upward trends in waterfowl that we got today. It is always hard alongside the Hwy as logging trucks try to dislodge our wing mirrors as they hurtle down the road to the mills. There were good numbers of Bald Eagles around and this weeks count we got #25 adults and #8 immature with many unseen up at the CVRD recycle depot which go uncounted each week. Our Red-tailed Hawk numbers bounced back up with #10 seen although accipiter’s were a no show this week, we did add a Peregrine and a Merlin but that was it. We had two Northern Shrikes with one being close enough for a rough shot.
The day belonged to the swans and many good picture opportunities were given as you will see with the attached pictures. We even saw the Trumpeters doing their ring around the rosy dance today, we always enjoy this sight .Not many dickie birds, I think they must be all confused with this weather although it don’t seem to bother the Anna’s Hummingbirds who sat up proud on many sticks around the route.
I find it hard to believe that her we are in March with just 3 more counts to go, it only seemed like a a month ago that we started, but here we are with the Swallows arriving and the Rufous Hummingbirds already hitting Washington State so their arrival should be here within the next two weeks, that’s if it ever stops snowing like it was this Thursday morning.
Our day was good and all had some nice sightings and several of us got some wonderful pictures, big thanks to our drivers Barry and Kurlene for keeping us safe, they do a wonderful job, Barry especially has to put up with a leader that makes him inch back and forth while I count and try for a few snaps, such patience. Such a wonderful bunch of people that i spend the day out in the big natural world..


Photo Credits.
Breeding pair of Brown Nike’s by Barry Hetschko
Flying Trumpeter’s by Barry Hetschko and Zan Stenhouse
Robin and Snipe ballet by Kurlene Wenberg
Snipe walking on water by Kurlene Wenberg
Bottoms up by Zan Stenhouse
Old Rusty by Zan Stenhouse
Northern Shrike by Derrick Marven
Barry taking light refreshment by Derrick Marven
Adult and Immature Tundra Swan by Derrick Marven
Immature Trumpeter and Tundra together by Derrick Marven