Home > Blog > Swan and Goose Count - Dec 13, 2017

Swan and Goose Count - Dec 13, 2017

Posted by Elizabeth on December 14, 2017

Oh no cried the counters not another sunny Wednesday, it is becoming tedious, sunglasses, sunscreen, back-lit photos and headaches from squinting, some vehicles have had to go in to have their air -conditioning upgraded. Just like all hardy Swan and Goose counter we take all weathers in our stride.

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Flying Trumpeter Swan by Zan Stenhouse

This week saw a marked increase in the Trumpeter Swan population with 317 adults and 43 immature and the geese took a slight decline down to 1219. Bald Eagle numbers are hanging in there with no birds leaving us for better feeding sites. We also scored a 3 species falcon day with a nice Peregrine Falcon on Richards Trail which hid up behind a load of branches, a American Kestrel on Herd Road right opposite the raptor center, maybe it was checking out to see if there were any little females for him to hook up with. Finally a nice Merlin delighted the second car on Koksilah Road.
 
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Peregrine Falcon by Derrick Marven
 
 
We did find a single Greater White-fronted Goose on Tom Windsor Drive among a good flock of Canada's sadly we couldn't find the Snow Goose or any Elk this week, Oh well you can't get them all.
Compared to last year for the corresponding date our swan numbers are up and if all goes to plan next weeks numbers should increase, that is if the birds decide to come down from up island.
 
There were just 5 counters this week as others were on other duties and one went a chasing. One of our group supplied us with a chocolate fix which was much appreciated, while another had a major sugar fix with what i can only describe as a Greater Cinnamon Bun.
 
We had a nice pair of Eurasian Wigeon along Herd Road, the only Redhead we encountered was one waiting beside the highway for a ride to Victoria with her banjo wielding friend.
 
Senior Derrick was my chauffeur this week and a great job he did although he did try to blame the photographers for being late finishing the count. Derrick and I had to do a bit of bushwhacking to count one flock of swans while the others laughed and pointed camera at us. At one point i was dumped on the side of Koksilah Road with the scope while the others took off down the road, this one spot near Kelvin Creek or is that Kalvin? This location always gives us a hard time as the swans are a long way off and there is a row of tall and short tree in front of the field. I am sure that there are few more swans lurking in there and as is always a problem the immature birds really blend in to the vegetation.
 
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Golden-crowned Kinglet by Barry Hetschko
 
Dickie birds were in short supply so it was nice to see that Barry got a Golden-crowned Kinglet in his lens, a hard bird to stop as they flit back and forth in the trees When using auto focus many things get in your way and branches are a wildlife photographers nightmare. You think you got it all lined up and camera decides to take picture of a branch instead, that's why now with digital photography you can keep taking pictures without any worries of running out of film and having to put another roll in. One wonders where photography will go next?
 
All the counters were happy and smiling today as we came to the end of the count along the Dock Road and the last few swans and eagles were counted. I have noticed there is a real decline in the number of diving ducks in the bay, there must be a lack of food source in there. 
 
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Red-tailed Hawk by Barry Hetschko
 
Just a little explanation about this weeks photo's i have added a couple from earlier in the week as they are so good. The Trumpeter Swan in flight is a wonderful capture and worthy of inclusion in my report. The Red-tailed Hawk asked Barry to see if the Somenos Marsh Wildlife Society could install some bigger boxes with larger openings as it could only get one claw through the small hole.
 
That was our day.
 
Take care and have fun.
Derrick