The weather was very nice in the morning and I did my usual walk out at Island 22. The birds were very active today. There were good numbers of Buffleheads on the river. I counted/estimated about 25 of them. In the old campground I saw this Peregrine Falcon sitting up in a tree. I don’t see too many of them out there.
It’s interesting to see the changes happening already. To illustrate, there were quite a number of insects flying, especially near the west end of the park. A few birds were singing as well. There was a Pacific Wren singing and three Song Sparrows as well. I’m certain I heard a few frogs croaking as well. Chickadees seem to be noisier. There was a Great Blue Heron carrying a stick, possibly for a nest?
Near the eastern portion of the equestrian area I spotted a Ruby-crowned Kinglet. Further up, I saw another one. There were also two Pileated Woodpeckers at the west end of the park near the gate.
Here is the list
6 Canada Goose 4 Trumpeter Swan 10 Mallard 1 Canvasback 25 Bufflehead 7 Common Goldeneye 11 Common Merganser 2 Great Blue Heron 17 Bald Eagle 1 Peregrine Falcon 9 Glaucous-winged Gull 4 Downy Woodpecker 1 Northern Flicker 2 Pileated Woodpecker 14 Northwestern Crow 4 Common Raven 23 Black-capped Chickadee 3 Brown Creeper 4 Bewick's Wren 3 Pacific Wren 12 Golden-crowned Kinglet 2 Ruby-crowned Kinglet 8 American Robin 1 Varied Thrush 3 Spotted Towhee 8 Song Sparrow 4 Dark-eyed Junco
Kev, I was wondering the samething. I looked back at last year sightings, and the most I had was two on one outing. So far this year I have had five on one outing, and four on one outing. They seem to be in pairs too.
David, most of the birds listed I saw but some are identified by sound. The Pacific Wrens I didn't see but I could hear them. Most of the time I hear them then see them.
Gord, let me know that the Peregrine Falcon I saw out there this morning, might be a Prairie Falcon. When I was out there, I kind of thought that it could be potentially a Prairie Falcon, but I brushed that idea off quickly, obviously too quickly. I think it may be a Prairie Falcon as there is more white behind the eye than a Peregrine has. Here are a few more pictures.
Chris, good follow up photos. The breast and belly pattern is also a good field mark. Another supporting detail are the wingtips that do not make it to the tip of the tail. Great work on that bird and others. Im interested in your sighting of the stick carrying heron. Certainly suggests nesting! Was your Canvasback a male? I saw a really nice one there on Friday.
Gord Fraser Valley Birding Administrator eBird Regional Editor (Fraser Valley)
When I saw the first pic I thought Prairie Falcon as well. I just took a look at a number of google image examples as a reference and it seems like a match to me.
For those that would like to see a Pacific Wren, when you locate one by sound try "pssshh"ing at it. They are very curious little guys and they'll usually pop up momentarily to see what the noise is. Look for something that looks like a brown golf ball with a tail.
Thanks for the feedback guys. I wish I would have realized at the time what I had so if a few people were interested in seeing it they would have a better chance. The bird was seen in the old campground about 80-100 feet west of the parking lot. It was in a tree right near the river. The falcon is a new one. Two lifers today. I guess 13 is not an unlucky number.
Gord, the heron flew towards the river. There have been herons roosting there everytime I'm there.. I'm keeping an eye out. The Camvasback was a male and the first one I have seen since early January.