Swan, Goose & Raptor Count, November 13th 2019


Eric & Helen

Trio – Zan, Barry & Helen


Birders at work

Great blue heron

Immature red-tailed hawk

Immature red-tailed hawk

Bald eagle

Trumpeter swans

Canada geese

The numbers went up and so did the temperature as 8 birders set out on today’s count, two cars were all we needed, now all we had to do was find some birds. Barry had already got a Northern Shrike for the day in Somenos and a whole wack of Canada Geese. I had called in at Quamichan Lake where there was more rowers than birds, something needs to be done about this disturbance or soon before we loose all the birds from this major wintering spot.  I did find the three resident Trumpeter Swans which were pushed way over on the east side of the lake.
We found ourselves first at Somenos Lake where the long staying Western Grebe and 4 Pied-billed Grebes were seen, but no raptors could be found not even the usual Bald Eagle. Several Otters were feeding along the far shore.
Heading north on the highway our first Red-tailed Hawk of the day was on a hydro pole watching for any unsuspecting mice to be thrown out of the passing cars. At Quist’s Farm we got our first Swan a lonesome fellow waiting for all his mates to turn up.. By this time we had only just got to double figures for Canada Geese a very unusual occurrence and where were all the Eagles?
As it turned out we ended up we both good numbers of waterfowl and raptors for the day with most turning up on the second leg of our daily journey; I believe the stop at A&W for lunch makes all the difference to the counters.
Our day ended with 89 Trumpeter Swans, 843 Canada Geese, 70 Cackling Geese, 12 Red-tailed Hawks and 27 Bald Eagles, a few extra raptors were 3 Coopers Hawks, 1 American Kestrel and 1 Peregrine Falcon, so all in all a good days work by the team. Talking of our team today i decided that i would get a few snaps of those that do the count as birds were not that forthcoming in front of the camera. Our team at times can be a little shy so just like trying to get a bird picture you have to stalk them and catch them unawares as to what you’re doing. You’ll see what I got with the attachments
Out in Cowichan Bay I made a seal count #115 which has been made a bit easier without so many log booms out there due to the strike, not sure how many are out there most years but this seems a healthy population. A few Sealions could also be seen out in the waters towards Khenipsen Road hunting for fish.
The day was not bad for numbers with past counts suggesting that over the following couple of weeks the Swans will move in and we hope we will have good numbers all over our area.
Short report this week as i need my beauty sleep. At the moment I am suffering a lot of discomfort in my hip and chasing after birds has had its toll on the joints.




Photo credits
Kurlene the ladies ringleader, by Derrick Marven
Eric Marshall the Jack of all trades, by Derrick Marven
The trio looking every way, by Derrick Marven
Warning bird photographer, by Derrick Marven
Birders at work, by Derrick Marven
Great Blue Heron, by Derrick Marven
Immature Red-tailed Hawk by Zan Stnehouse and Kurlene Wenberg
Bald Eagle by Zan Stenhouse
Trumpeter Swans, by Zan Stenhouse
Geese in flight by Barry Hetschko