Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Larking around

After a couple of days of torrential rain and gusty winds (with several flood warnings on the island) I was hoping for a few storm-blown seabirds, but there was little new offshore from the condo... south westerlies don't seem to have much effect here. Other than causing power cuts, that is.

A single Western grebe was this morning's highlight with the appearance of a common murre a close second, meanwhile a drake common goldeneye was 'new in' and a pied-billed grebe was fishing close by.

An early visit to the estuary gave me the place to myself - partly due, one presumes, to the flooded road.
A female northern harrier was busy hunting over the waterlogged marsh and bald eagles were sat around all over the place.
Scanning the American wigeon from the viewing platform, I picked out just one Eurasian bird. Plenty of pintail were also present as was a pair of gadwall.
Trumpeter swans remain in low double figures with just 11 seen.
An adult northern shrike was in the hawthorns.
I was delighted to find a Lincoln's sparrow associating with a feeding flock of house finches, juncos and golden-crowned & song sparrows, plus a juv white-crowned sparrow close to the viewing platform.
Up to50 red-winged blackbird were feeding out on the marsh.
I inadvertently flushed a male short-eared owl as I headed toward the long hedgerow, where I noticed a flicker showing features of both yellow and red-shafted forms.
I then heard the lovely fluting song of what I assumed must be a western meadowlark and soon found the bird, one of at least 5 present. Two were in song, sat in the hawthorns while others fed in the long grass alongside a group of starling.
A first-winter yellow-rumped warbler appeared and showed well in the bare branches of a nearby small tree.

Taking advantage of the clear morning I thought I'd go round to Holden Creek to see what was going on over there.
Not much, as it turned out.
A few crossbills were zipping around overhead and the 1stw northern shrike made its customary appearance.
The 2 cackling geese were still in the field, now joined by a few common Canadas and 5 mallard.
As usual the most numerous duck here was green-winged teal but they were very distant.

No comments:

Post a Comment