Sunday, 17 January 2010

Sunday Gunday

A few commitments kept me busy for most of the day but Jenny and I managed to find time to take a walk to Hemer Park and back in the afternoon, which despite the drizzle was very pleasant.
Not too much to report in the way of birds but the following were noted.
Great blue heron, trumpeter swan (4), mallard, gadwall (2), A. wigeon, RN duck (4), goldeneye, com. & hooded merganser, bald eagle, Cooper's hawk, northern flicker, raven, CB chickadee, RB nuthatch, 'Pacific' wren (ha!), GC kinglet, spotted towhee, song sparrow, junco, pine siskin. As you can see, it was pretty quiet!

I was able to get down to the Nanaimo River Estuary later - I thought I'd see what pre-roost behaviour, if any, I could observe.
I arrived to find the car park busier than I have seen it for ages. Pick-up trucks mainly, which seems to mean one thing down there, hunters. And indeed the place was buzzing with gun-toting fellows. Hardly coincidentally, there were no ducks to be seen...
Still 50ish trumpeters out on the marsh. I couldn't find anything in the hedgerow at all...
From the platform the outlook was bleak and other than a few gulls heading roostward there wasn't much going on at all. I found the golden-crowned sparrow flock, or at least they found me but I didn't see the white-throated amongst them, just 4 white-crowned. They were gathering in the area where I first saw the WT, and appeared to be preparing to roost so it would seem that they are pretty well tied to that area. A downy woodpecker was in the large oak.
I left as it started to get dusky and some hunters were just setting up - I guess they too were waiting for some roosting behaviour. Oh well, as I mentioned previously next weekend sees the end of the wildfowl season so maybe I'll get a chance to venture out onto the marsh without fear of getting in the way of a Dick Cheney...
Oh, and there were 11 GB herons stalking in one overgrown weedy field by Raines Road, obviously taking advantage of a food source of some kind... any ideas?

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