2008/12/28

Visited by Bald Eagles again

I visited the dyke again today. It's a place (in this type of weather condition) where I can easily walk to to enjoy nature. Plus I have been seeing some excellent sightings, so why stop now?

The weather dramatically improved today, where the blue sky was definitely visible. However, it rained a little bit in the late afternoon as I was heading back home. Nevertheless, great weather condition that wasn't too cold or too windy.

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The American Bittern was still here. In fact, as I was leaving I actually saw two bitterns fighting over something, and I even heard their calls and saw one flying. Neat!

American Bittern (Botaurus lentiginosus)

One animal I saw a lot of today was the Northern Harriers. Two harriers kept flying back and forth trying to catch some preys. They must be really hungry. And I still didn't manage to get some good pictures. Such a shame.

Northern Harrier

Northern Harrier

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As I approached the Quilchena Golf Course at Blundell Road, I heard eagle calls!

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Looking ahead with my binocular, a Bald Eagle was visibly next to the large (but empty) eagle's nest.

There were two eagles instead of one. However, one doesn't have the white head so it's a juvenile, and it flew off as I approached. So all I got of it were shots of it flying away, too bad. It looked very large (wingspan-wise) as it flew above me.

The other eagle is an adult, and interestingly, it didn't flew off with the other eagle. It was patiently looking into the horizon, which gave plenty of time for all these photos.

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle

Then, I continued on with my walk.

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Along the ditch was a winterberry (I think) and there were many birds hiding in the thick branches and feeding on its red berries, such as towhee, robin, Varied Thrush (on the left), and Northern Flicker (on the right).

I saw the same Muskrat again today. It was near the same spot munching on some vegetation. This time I went further down the ditch to get better pictures. Didn't realize that the view looks very different from down there.

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If we keep meeting like this, I think I'll be very sad if I don't run into the muskrat next I come here.


Up above, I heard some strange sounds. Looking up, there were four birds flying above me. They seemed like Snow Geese, very much larger and the call was different. So I know I was looking at swans, or more specifically Trumpeter Swans (Cygnus buccinator). Such magnificent animals!

Trumpet Swan

Since my feet weren't freezing today (because I wore two pairs of socks), I decided to continue walking.

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Reaching the Terra Nova Rural Area, the lake seemed to be frozen and so was the ditch, hence no waterfowls for me to see. So I decided to head back as a little bit of rain was falling down and the sun was setting soon.

The views walking back.

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Saw this spider on top of the snow surface. I took this picture, but then wondering if it was dead, I took a stick and poked it. It rolled down the snow surface, so I assumed it was dead. But when I looked at it again moments later, I saw it moving. Ha, fooled by a spider.

Snow are interesting in its ability to emphasize outlines of objects by covering a soft white blanket over it.

Fallen logs.

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Dimpled snow.

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Snowy lookout.

High speed chase of a Northern Harrier.

Eurepean Starlings
Love today, love everything I saw, even these European Starlings.
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1 comment:

Wanderin' Weeta said...

Amazing, dramatic skies!

And a bittern, twice in a row! I have never (to my knowledge) seen a bittern, but then, I could have been looking straight at one and not seen it.

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