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Swan and Goose Count - Nov. 15, 2017

Posted by Elizabeth on November 20, 2017

It was a day of two halves, first half sunny and warm, second half cold and wet. 7 counters headed out from the dog park after adding several good birds to our list, these included a Peregrine Falcon, Red-tailed Hawk and a Sharp-shinned Hawk, what a start, things could only get better, well no.

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Northwestern Crow by Derrick Marven

Our numbers of swans dropped this week and the Goosies went way down as the migrants headed for somewhere better. Even the Eagles dropped a bit as the Salmon they had all been waiting for had not materialized. Somenos Lake lacked any birds except a small flock of Common Mergansers. We moved along sharply and found ourselves very quickly on Westholme Road where what appeared to be the same group of Trumpeters #22 that we had last week in the same field. it took two men climbing up on the vehicles to count the birds as they were hunkered down in a overgrown field. Meanwhile the others counted a Red-tailed Hawk and a Coopers Hawk while a Merlin zoomed over trying to catch some poor birdy. Richards Trail produced an escapee as a Muscovy Duck waddle down the road, someone urged me to get out and put it over the fence, no way i thought they have big teeth and bite with those big bills, let it find it's own way back home.We had a few more swans along the Herd Road flooded fields, our first immature birds were here. Then it went very slow and we found ourselves at A&W for our break where as always we were entertained by the local Northwestern Crows who have found that you don't need a take away as food comes too you if you look hungry and forlorn. 
 
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Muscovy Duck by Zan Stenhouse
 
After a nice rest we were back at it down Boy's Road counting the ever diminishing numbers of eagles. Here another good sighting was a large group of Pine Siskins being pursued by a small accipiter which a really think was another Sharpy but we never got a good look at it even though it came back a second time hard on the heels of the Siskins. We then moved over to Sahilton where poor Barry had an encounter with this massive tire biting dog, Barry quickly wound up his window as this ferocious beast tried to get at him, he was lucky to get away with his life.
 
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Killer Dog by Barry Hetschko
 
Over to the west we headed and the sky was black and then it started, torrential rain came down and wrecked what was a nice day up till then. We never found anything on Koksilah Road west, nor on Bench, but on Wilson Road a small flocks of swans were had, yes i was the one who got wet counting them.
 
On and on we went with just a group of geese on Dougans Flats and then just two swans on St. Catherines. Back down Koksilah Road east and the fields were bare, by this time Dorothy who had only her thumbs to twist decided she had had enough and baled out to go and snooze with her puppies back home in front of the fire.
 
We did get another Peregrine Falcon along Cowichan Bay Road and a couple of Mute Swans before we got to a barren Dinsdales Farm, i have never seen it so dissolute out there for many a year.
That was it our luck would surely have to change and after last weeks missed Northern Harrier along the Dock Road i was ready with the binoculars to check all the fence posts and man did it pay off as just down a few posts a Short-eared Owl was perched in the pouring rain, we gingerly edged forward the bird taking a few pictures and then moved over the other side of the road so that the other car could get in on the action. By this time the rain was coming down cats and dogs not the best conditions for taking pictures of a perched owl, but we did manage some keepers before this drenched owl took off and landed in the field out of the prying eyes of the counters.
 
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Short-eared Owl by Kurlene Wenberg
 
We added a four more Mute Swans before our day ended, even on this horrible afternoon the counters went home with a small smile on their faces.
 
Our total for Trumpeter Swans was 57 and we had 723 Canada Geese.
 
Until we count again, 
Derrick