Walked down to Totem Park with the kids again today. It was pretty rainy for much of the time we were there, though the rain stopped and skies lightened a bit before we left.
I had intended to take a short walk down to Totem Park to check if any shorebirds were out that way and hopefully find a Rock Sandpiper – a species which I know is around, but had not been seen during yesterdays bird count. It didn’t quite work out that way, but that was because there were interesting things to be observing.
First up was a Western Screech Owl on Etolin Street – the first I’ve seen in daylight, and only about the third time I’ve actually seen one at all (though I’ve heard them many times).
Then down at the park I got distracted by conversation with a couple of different people – heard some interesting things about the goings-on of birds an other animals. Including ducks at Totem Park and Sea Otters out at Halibut Point Rec. (In one of the videos [update: no longer available] made by one of the people I was talking to – there is part of it you can observed Mallards working over the cobbles in Indian River for food, as well as seeing a Common Merganser try and come in to steal some bites – at least that’s what I think is going on.)
While out on the flats looking for the shorebirds, I looked up as the gulls and crows went into a bird plow. Spotted an eagle with something in its talons flying my way.
There was an odd duck out in the bay in front of Indian River mouth – too far away to get a very good look at. Also lots of birds out from Jamestown Bay, too far to identify as well.
Finally I started back home and then spent more time watching and photographing the owl, as well as showing some other passers-by.
The whole time there were interesting atmospheric displays as the clouds were breaking up in front of the sun.
In the end it was a fairly full day wandering around, seeing the sights, and then editing the photos later. I think the owl and eagle photos deserve their own post. The photos are in the album here, but I think I’ll write a separate post in the next couple of days to tell those stories a little better.
Marge Ward told me she saw a Golden Eagle at the park this morning, so I braved the rain to see if it was still around. I just found a young juvenile Bald Eagle. There were Pholiota mushrooms in abundance on a fallen alder where I had seen them a couple of years ago (prior to it falling).
Time of sit: 7:45-8:05pm Spent another evening just post sunset. Birds were a bit more vocal this evening. I could easily hear many gulls south of me on the beach near Totem Park. They were more vocal than yesterday and I wondered if perhaps some herring were getting stranded on the outgoing tide. A robin … Read more
During the school year I usually walk to UAS twice a week in the afternoon. It’s interesting to observe the changes, especially as the season turns to spring. The Channel boat harbors have boats in town for the Herring Sac Roe fishery tied up two and three deep to the transient floats. Long-line season starts a week or two prior, and the gulls are feasting on the effluent from the fish processing plants. Bald Eagles line the shoreline keeping an eye out for opportunities to eat, but it seems they are especially watching for the first herring spawning when the fish will be abundant close to the surface and relatively easy to feast on.
A trip in mid-November interrupted my recording habit, and it took a while to get back into it. Things seem to be pretty quiet most nights, and I decided to collapse a few of the highlights from the few nights in November I recorded but did not yet post. A Chestnut-backed Chickadee and Red-breasted Nuthatch … Read more